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In Orchid Flora of the Greater Antilles, world-renowned orchidologist James D. Ackerman and his collaborators provide clear, detailed accounts of each orchid species found in the Greater Antilles. This region, one of the world's biodiversity hotspots, encompasses the oldest, largest, and most complex islands of the West Indies, where 70% of its 594 species of orchids are found nowhere else on Earth. The taxonomic treatment reflects many of the recent changes in generic circumscriptions brought about by molecular systematics. English and Spanish versions are given for generic and species keys and the glossary of orchid-related technical terms. High quality scientific illustrations (species treatments) are included.
A serendipitous trip to a surplus plant sale at a university greenhouse led to a small purchase of orchids, a trip to the library, and the subsequent discovery of orchid biology. So began the career trajectory of James D. "Jim" Ackerman. He received a B.A. and M.A. from Humboldt State University in California, and then in 1976 he moved across the continent to enter a Ph.D. program and work with Norris H. Williams at Florida State University. He entered what was then a small world of orchid biologists, which lead to summer internships at Marie Selby Botanical Garden under the guidance of Calaway Dodson, and a Smithsonian Predoctoral Fellowship to work with Robert Dressler (and later David Roubik) at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama to study the evolutionary ecology of the orchid-male euglossine bee interaction. Armed with a Ph.D. in 1981, Jim took a job at the University of Puerto, R¡o Piedras, and has been there ever since, teaching a spectrum of undergraduate and graduate courses in botany and ecology. He is currently Director of the UPRRP Herbarium and Zoological Museum. Most of his research and that of his students involves orchids in some fashion or other and for years he worked on various aspects of the ecology and evolution of deception pollination and lately in invasive species biology, publishing over 130 scientific articles. But his interests in taxonomy and floristics have never been far away. The result of which has been a few books, not the least of which are "An Orchid Flora of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands (NYBG Memoirs, vol. 73), and the recent "Orchid Flora of the Greater Antilles" (NYBG Memoirs, vol. 109). James D. Ackerman's Author Page