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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 XXV, Number 1, January, 2018

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

MO-BOUND AT LAST! Congratulations to Universidad de Costa Rica graduate student Marco Vinicio Cedeño on being awarded an Alwyn H. Gentry Fellowship to study at MO! Marco expects to show up sometime between April and June of this year, when he will immerse himself in MO's unrivaled Araceae holdings in conjunction with his work on Costa Rican Monstera (see also "Araceae," under "Leaps and Bounds").

NEW ORCHID JOURNAL. Our colleagues at the Jardín Botánico Lankester (JBL) have launched a new online-only serial publication, Species Orchidacearum, in concert with the Jardín Botánico Joaquín Antonio Uribe (JAUM) in Medellín, Colombia. This new series intends to make orchid illustrations easily available as "a tool for all people trying to identify their plants in the field and collections" (quoting here from a recent message from Adam Karremans). The first issue also includes the description of a new (non-Costa Rican) orchid sp. See the following site for more information and links to the published issues:


ANAI SOLDIERS ON! We have recently been hearing again from our comrade of bygone years, Bill McLarney, one of the founding partners of the non-profit Asociación ANAI in Costa Rica. Based in the Talamanca lowlands in the southeastern corner of the country, ANAI has been doing all kinds of wonderful work (mainly involving education and conservation) in that area since it was founded about 40 years ago. Back in the day, we collaborated extensively with Bill (an ichthyologist from New York state) to produce a floristic inventory of what is now the Refugio de Vida Silvestre Gandoca-Manzanillo. Our various excursions yielded fantastic discoveries too numerous to mention in that rich and floristically unique region. To learn more about the history of ANAI, its accomplishments to date, and what it is up to nowadays, spend some time at the following Web site:


OBITUARY. It is our sad duty to report the death, on 19 November, of our longtime friend and colleague Amos Bien, at 66 years of age. Amos has been best known in recent decades as the founder (in 1983) and proprietor of the remote Rara Avis Rainforest Lodge & Reserve, abutting Parque Nacional Braulio Carrillo at about 700 m elevation (the lodge itself) on the Atlantic slope of the Cordillera Central. In addition to hosting a relatively hearty subset of ecotourists, Rara Avis has been the site of many scientific investigations. A New York City native, Amos first appeared on the scene in Costa Rica ca. 1979, as a SUNY Stony Brook grad student, still in his 20's, pursuing a study of epiphyllous liverworts at La Selva. That is where we came to know him. His master's thesis, Substrate specificity of leafy liverworts (Hepaticae: Lejeuneaceae) in a Costa Rican rainforest (1982), was completed in short order, but Amos had other things on his mind. A proclivity and talent for all things practical led to a brief tenure as La Selva station manager, during which he busied himself repairing and improving plumbing and electrical systems and such, honing skills that would serve him well in subsequent years. A sudden windfall in the form of a family inheritance was parlayed into a trip around the world in the company of his then-girlfriend, and with the money that remained, Amos purchased the property that would become Rara Avis. At least, that is our recollection of how it all unfolded. And then life happened, as they say, and it all went by so quickly; Amos married, had a family, and divorced, years elapsed (decades even), and we never crossed paths again. Amos was diagnosed with terminal cancer several months ago, and not surprisingly, defied the odds and hung on for at least three times longer than the doctors predicted. Although he had long since become a Costa Rican citizen, Amos passed away in Washington, DC, were he had gone to be among relatives. He was a truly unique character, and will be sorely missed. For a deeper appreciation of the rich life, heritage, and legacy of Amos Bien, see the following article (from Costa Rica's venerable English-language newspaper, The Tico Times):


And here is a brief obituary:



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