Our highly trained staff of orchidologists at the University of Florida.
Left to right: Robert L. Dressler, Norris H. Williams, and W. Mark Whitten. Photo by Lotte Skov.
Norris H. Williams will serve as lead PI on the project. He has an extensive background in orchid biology, including orchid anatomy, palynology, pollination biology, chemical ecology, and molecular systematics. He served for nine years as Chair of the Research Department of the Florida Museum of Natural History and has administrative experience with large, complex groups. He has developed extensive contacts throughout Central and South America during the past 39 years. He has recruited students from Mexico to Brazil and has active collaborations in Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Brazil. He will oversee organization and administration of the project and will supervise database and website organization and development.
W. Mark Whitten has extensive field and lab experience in orchid systematics, pollination biology, orchid chemical ecology, and molecular systematics. He will supervise DNA aliquot distribution, voucher databasing, PCR and sequencing troubleshooting, GenBank data entry, and matrix construction.
Cassio van den Berg (Brazil) has worked extensively on molecular and morphological systematics of the large and horticulturally important Laeliinae and will contribute his expertise and samples.
Germán Carnevali (Mexico) is collaborating with us on studies of Maxillariinae and Laeliinae; he has broad expertise in orchids of Mexico and Venezuela.
Robert Dressler (US and Costa Rica) authored two of the most influential books on orchid phylogeny and evolution and publishes frequently on orchids of Mesoamerica. He is a research associate at UF, and will assist with morphological character evaluation, choice and scoring, and with verification of voucher determinations.
Guenter Gerlach (Germany) has extensive experience with Stanhopeinae and Zygopetalinae and has made (and will make) available critical material from the Munich Botanical Garden.
Eric Hágsater (Mexico) is the authority on Epidendrum (1100+ sp), and has extensive living, herbarium, and DNA accessions of this group and of additional Mexican taxa.
Gerardo Salazar (Mexico) is essential for his expertise on Mesoamerican taxa, as well as for his expertise on the Cranichidae.
Franco Pupulin (Costa Rica) contributes extensive knowledge on systematics and especially of morphology of Central American taxa.
Gustavo Romero (USA) is curator of the Ames orchid herbarium, with its excellent collection of types and rich library. Gustavo has broad expertise in neotropical taxa.
Together, the group represents a diverse, world-wide assembly of some of the most active and productive researchers on Orchidaceae.