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The Fifth International Conference on the Comparative Biology of Monocotyledons (Monocots V) convened in New York City in June 2013, marking the 20th anniversary of the conference series. The New York Botanical Garden (Bronx) hosted Monocots V, also using facilities of the adjacent, beautiful Fordham University Rose Hill Campus. Over 330 participants, including about 80 students, represented 37 countries. Twenty-two symposia covered a wide array of taxonomic groups and subjects, such as life history strategies, morphology, paleobiology, phylogenomics, and reproductive biology.
This volume of proceedings from Monocots V comprises 12 papers from 24 contributing authors. Monocot groups represented include Asparagales (Amaryllidaceae, Asparagaceae, Asteliaceae, Blandfordiaceae, Boryaceae, Doryanthaceae, Hypoxidaceae, Iridaceae, Ixioliriaceae, Lanariaceae, Orchidaceae, Tecophilaeaceae, Xeronemataceae), Pandanales (Cyclanthaceae, Pandanaceae, Stemonaceae, Triuridaceae, Velloziaceae), Poales (Cyperaceae, Poaceae, Xyridaceae), Commelinaceae, and Hydrocharitaceae. Among the volume’s dozen papers is the Conference’s Plenary Lecture by Paula J. Rudall (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew), “Morphological misfits and character evolution in monocots, with particular reference to Pandanales.”
Ever since his childhood in Southeast Asia, William Wayt Thomas has been interested in the natural history of tropical forests. Although he focussed on things that move when he was young, he began to appreciate that plants provide the framework for all other life in a forest. He attended the University of North Carolina and received his Ph.D. in Botany from the University of Michigan in 1982. Dr. Thomas is the Elizabeth G. Britton Curator of Botany at The New York Botanical Garden and is also the Executive Director of the Organization for Flora Neotropica. He studies the plant diversity and conservation of the Atlantic coastal forests of northeastern Brazil, especially the forests of the state of Bahia. He is fascinated with species distributions, endemism, and the dynamics of rarity. Thomas also studies the evolution and systematics of the sedge family (Cyperaceae) 111 tropical America, especially the beak-rushes (Rhynchospora). William Wayt Thomas's Author Page
Dennis William Stevenson holds a Ph.D. University of California, Davis 1975. He is Vice President for Laboratory Research at The New York Botanical Garden and Editor, Botanical Review. His expertise is in Cycads, Monocots, and Genomics. His major research interests in the past few years have focused upon the evolution and classification of the Cycadales (cycads) and their placement in seed plant phylogeny. He is conducting research on various facets of the biology of the Cycadales and Gnetales. These facets include reproductive biology, anatomy, cytology, molecular systematics, as well as taxonomic monographs and treatments of these groups for various floras being prepared for the neotropics. Another major research interest is the systematics of the monocots, particularly, the Commelinidae. The topics under investigation include developmental floral morphology, embryology, and inflorescence structure because this basic information is incomplete or unknown for many of these families. These data are being combined with gene sequence data to generate phylogenetic hypothesis on the origin and classification of the monocots. Dennis Stevenson's Author Page
The major focus of my research is the floristics of eastern North America. Specifically, my research entails study of the identification, geographic distribution, frequency, ecology, and conservation of plants growing wild in this region. The chief aim of this research is revision of Gleason and Cronquist's Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada (The New York Botanical Garden Press, 1991). The Gleason & Cronquist Manual is the latest in a rich tradition of books on plants of northeastern North America published by New York Botanical Garden staff. Since Nathaniel Lord Britton published his Illustrated Flora in 1896, the goal of these books has been to enable the user to correctly identify plants growing in the wild in a vast region. The geographic coverage of the Gleason & Cronquist Manual encompasses all or portions of 22 states of the U.S.A. and five Canadian provinces. Major advances in botanical science since the last edition of the Manual mean the time is ripe for a revision. In addition, I conduct research in plant systematics. Much of this research is devoted to revisionary systematics of sedges, particularly the genera Carex and Rhynchospora (Cyperaceae). Carex, with about 2000 species, is the largest genus of flowering plants in North America and one of the world's largest genera. Data from field, laboratory, and herbarium studies permit me to describe new sedge species, reconstruct their phylogenies, and improve their classifications. I am especially keen on utilizing phylogenetic trees to understand sedge morphology, chromosome number variation, and biogeography. I also study the systematics of the Western Hemisphere Pitcher Plants (Sarraceniaceae), carnivorous plants with pitcher-like leaves functioning as traps. Despite their inherent interest and popularity in horticulture, pitcher plants remain poorly understood. I am applying novel approaches to study their systematics. Robert F.C. Naczi's Author Page
Lisa M. Campbell specializes in Systematics; Anatomy of Xyridaceae in the areas of North America; and Venezuela, particularly in the Guayana region. Lisa M. Campbell's Author Page
Dr. Jerrold Davis studied Botany and Systematics at the Universities of Maryland, Vermont, and Washington, where he received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees, espectively.ÿÿ He served on the faculty of the University of Montana from 1984 to 1986, and on that of Cornell University from 1986 to the present, where his appointment is in the L.H. Bailey Hortorium and the Plant Biology Section within the School of Integrated Plant Science.ÿÿHis research areas include the systematics of grasses and other monocots, and the methodology of phylogenetics. Jerrold I Davis's Author Page
Alan W. Meerow is an American botanist, born in New York City in 1952. He specializes in the taxonomy of the family Amaryllidaceae and the horticulture of palms and tropical ornamental plants. He also works on the population genetics and molecular systematics of cycads and palms. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_W._Meerow)