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Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica

Main | Family List (MO) | Family List (INBio) | Cutting Edge
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The Cutting Edge

Volume XVIII, Number 2, April 2011

News and Notes | Leaps and Bounds | Germane Literature | Season's Pick | Annotate your copy

MO VISITATIONS.  New INBio chief Carlos Hernández Herrero was in St. Louis for a single day on 16 March.  Carlos took the helm at INBio about six months ago, replacing Alfio Piva, who is now a vice president of Costa Rica (there are two).  While at MO, he lunched with Flora mesoamericana and Manual co-PI's Gerrit Davidse and Mike Grayum (respectively) and spent the remainder of the day in meetings, most notably with Garden President Peter Wyse Jackson and President Emeritus Peter H. Raven.

TRAVELS IN CENTRAL AMERICA.  Alex K. Monro (BM) made another of his now standard yearly visits to Costa Rica, with funding courtesy of the Darwin Initiative.  He spent about a week (29 March–7 April) collecting in the eastern Cordillera de Talamanca (mainly on the Pacific slope) in the company of INBio's Frank González, Marcos Moraga, and Daniel Santamaría, as well as Universidad de Costa Rica herpetologist Eduardo Boza.  On 25 and 26 April, Monro and Santamaría worked in the vicinity of Miramar de Puntarenas, Las Horquetas de Sarapiquí, and the Zona Protectora El Rodeo (in the Valle Central), with a view to assess geographic patterns of variation in Brosimum alicastrum Sw. (Moraceae).  Barely missing the deadline for our last issue were INBio botany czar Nelson Zamora's visit to Panama in early January, for the LAPI meetings, and also a brief visit to Costa Rica during the second and third weeks of that month by Marcgraviaceae specialist Stefan Dressler (FR), to gather herbarium data for his Flora mesoamericana treatment.

PASSAGES.  We were deeply saddened by the recent demise of Donald Eugene Stone (10 December 1930–4 March 2011), Executive Director of the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) from 1976 to1996 and again from 2003 to 2005.  A native of Eureka, CA, Don attended Humboldt State University and the University of California at Berkeley, where he earned his Ph.D.  Having defined himself as a systematic botanist specialized on Juglandaceae, Don served on the faculty of Tulane University until 1963, when he moved to Duke University.  In 1965, he participated in an OTS course on Tropical Monocots, an experience that changed his life.  During his long tenure at Duke, Don mentored many students who came to figure prominently in Costa Rican floristics, including Manual co-PI Barry Hammel and several of our contributors.  Don was author of the Juglandaceae treatment for Flora costaricensis and an intrepid field botanist, often venturing alone into remote forests in search of his quarry.  Despite his years, Don was as fit and robust as a man half his age; thus his death came as a genuine shock to those of us who had not been aware of his recent illness.  We will miss him greatly, and extend our sincere condolences to his wife of 58 years, the former Beverly Larson, and their three daughters.  A memorial service was held on 16 April in Durham, NC.  We also share the grief of Manual co-PI Nelson Zamora (INB), who recently lost his father, Modesto Zamora Sánchez.  The funeral was held on 18 February in Nelson's hometown of San Isidro de Heredia.  And we have just been informed of the sudden and premature passing of celebrated orchidologist and bon vivant Eric Alston Christenson (1956–2011), formerly of The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, where he once edited the in-house journal Selbyana.  Although not known as a field botanist, Eric published numerous papers on orchid taxonomy, often in popular journals (see under "Germane Literature" for a recent example).  Our brief interactions with Eric during his editorial tenure were of a positive and collegial nature.  Incidentally, he pronounced his surname "Christianson," perhaps having capitulated to the relentless will of the masses.


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