Smithsonian Botanical Symposium
Smithsonian Botanical Symposium
20thSmithsonian Botanical Symposium: Exploring Plants in the Neotropics
The National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) and the United States Botanic Garden (USBG) will host the 20th Smithsonian Botanical Symposium, “New Horizons in the Study of Neotropical Floras,” on 19 May 2023.
The tropical regions of America—the Neotropics—have long intrigued explorers and scientists who sought to study, catalog, and explain their incredible biodiversity, which includes more than 100,000 plant species. The origins, evolution, and even species composition of the Neotropical flora are far from understood and are the subject of active research in the face of ongoing habitat loss and climate change. The 20th Smithsonian Botanical Symposium will feature current research on the natural history, geographic diversity, evolution, and conservation of plants in the Neotropics. Speakers will include scientists who explore this incredible flora and contribute to our understanding of how and why there are so many plant species in tropical America.
In addition, the 20th José Cuatrecasas Medal for Excellence in Tropical Botany will be awarded at the Symposium to an international scholar who has contributed significantly to advancing the field of tropical botany. The award is named in honor of Dr. José Cuatrecasas, a pioneering botanist who spent many years working in the Department of Botany at the Smithsonian and devoted his career to plant exploration and taxonomy in tropical South America.
The Symposium will be in a hybrid format with both online and in-person attendance. The talks will be held at NMNH in Washington DC, and an evening reception and poster session will take place at USBG.
Tentative schedule (all times are Eastern Daylight Time):
1:00 pm – Opening remarks and the presentation of the José Cuatrecasas Medal for Excellence in Tropical Botany
1:15 pm – W. John Kress - The complexity of nature: A coevolutionary mosaic of plants and animals in the Neotropics
1:45 pm – M. Alejandra Jaramillo - Piper evolution and ecology: A peppery tale from the understory
2:15 pm – Break
2:45 pm – Gregory W. Stull - Plant migrations and the assembly of the Neotropical flora: insights from the Mesoamerican-eastern North American biogeographic disjunction pattern
3:15 pm – Alejandra Vasco - Accelerating lineage discovery to document Neotropical fern diversity
3:45 pm – Break
4:15 pm – Paola Pedraza-Peñalosa - Documenting the flora of a diversity hotspot: Las Orquideas National Park, Colombia
4:45 pm – Panel discussion
5:15 pm – Closing remarks
6:00 pm – Reception and poster session at USBG (in-person only)
We request all attendees, both in-person and virtual, to register. The event is free; there is no registration fee to attend the Symposium.
Registration is now open.
CALL FOR POSTERS: Poster presentations will be held during the evening reception at the U.S. Botanic Garden. Space is limited. Abstracts must be submitted electronically before 21 April 2023. In-person only to present a poster. For more information, see the Call for Posters webpage.