Dr. Antonio Toscano de Brito has been named Curator of the Orchid Research Center at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. His duties will include researching selected orchid species, publishing scientific and popular articles, identifying plants, building Selby’s living and preserved collections and giving lectures on plant research.
Toscano began work at Selby Gardens on the Global Plants Initiative project, funded by the Mellon Foundation in April 2011. He is currently working under two grants studying orchidsof Brazil. His research involves molecular work which is funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services, and fieldwork partially supported by an individual grant from the National Geographic Society. When these grants are finalized, Toscano will continue making contributions to advancing scientific research on behalf of Selby Gardens.
A native of Brazil, Toscano graduated from the Universidade Federal Rural in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, before receiving his Ph.D. on orchid systematics from the University of Reading/Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, in England. More recently he worked as a visiting scholar at Harvard University. Toscano has made numerous scientific expeditions throughout Brazil to complete plant collections and travelled extensively in Europe visiting herbaria and libraries. He has contributed or authored more than 50 scientific publications, including two books on Brazilian orchids, and is a recipient of three international awards for excellence in plant research.