As part of on-going work at the Gesneriad Research Center, Dr. John R. Clark of Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, will conduct an expedition to the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific from May 2 – June 26, 2009. The expedition is generously funded by Dr. Anne Vidaver, an ardent supporter of research on the gesneriad plant family.
The Solomon Islands, located northeast of Australia and east of Papua New Guinea, is a biologically-rich part of the world representing some of the last large tracts of lowland and mountain island forest in the world. According to the World Wildlife Fund, the biodiversity of the Solomons is greatly threatened by deforestation for logging and subsistence agriculture.
Dr. Clark, along with collaborators from the Ministry of Environment, Solomon Islands, and the University of the South Pacific in Fiji, will be conducting plant diversity studies in this poorly-known and increasingly threatened part of the world. Specimens and data collected during this expedition will be used for inventory, classification and conservation efforts. To learn more about the Vidaver Expedition and to follow Dr. Clark’s progress go to http://gesneriadresearchcenter.blogspot.com.