An NSF-funded workshop project led by Field Museum Adjunct Curator Robert Lücking received world-wide attention through a report in the international science business journal International Innovation. The article highlights Robert's training activities in Latin America and focuses on the particular situation in Colombia, where the project has developed substantial scientific expertise in short time.
A two day Biosynthesis meeting was held on August 29 & 30, which worked toward the goal of engaging students of partnering institutions to aid in capturing data from scientific collections; thus relieving some of the taxonomic impediment.
Collections Manager and Adjunct Curator Matt von Konrat and Associate Curator and Botany Chair Thorsten Lumbsch are working together with colleagues in Fiji and worldwide to explore the diversity of these overlooked organisms in Fiji.
This years has been a truly international year for the Botany Department - the lichen research group, lead by Associate Curator and Botany Chair Thorsten Lumbsch and Collections Manager and Adjunct Curator Robert Luecking alone had visitors from all continents (except Antarctica) visiting the museum to work with their research group.
Thorsten Lumbsch and Robert Luecking are working on a collaborative project with about 50 colleagues worldwide funded by the National Science Foundation.
DNA barcoding of fungi
A 2010 issue of Phytotaxa was dedicated to a group of green land plants commonly referred to as bryophytes. A broad consensus confirms that bryophytes may not be monophyletic, but rather represent three paraphyletic lines, i.e., Marchantiophyta (liverworts), Anthocerotophyta (hornworts), and Bryophyta (mosses). Together, bryophytes are the second largest group of land plants after flowering plants, and are pivotal in our understanding of early land plant evolution. A growing body of evidence is now supporting liverworts as the earliest diverging lineage of embryophytes, i.e., sister to all other groups of land plants.