Current Efforts in Native Orchid Conservation: Presentations & Panel Discussion

Location

San Antonio Botanical Garden
555 Funston Place, San Antonio, TX

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Saturday, February 11 | 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Celebrating the fourth annual orchid exhibition at the San Antonio Botanical Garden, join us for an in-depth morning about the current research and efforts in orchid conservation across the country featuring presentations by four specialists from the region and nation, followed by a panel discussion moderated by Andrew Labay, Director Horticulture, San Antonio Botanical Garden.

Free. Reservations and walk-ins welcome.

Register for February 11

PRESENTATIONS | 9 – 11 a.m.

Overview and Introduction by Michael Eason | 9 – 9:30 a.m.

With an estimated 28,000 species in 800 genera, the Orchidaceae is one of the largest and most diverse plant families in the world. Found throughout the tropics and into more temperate latitudes, their often-unworldly flowers have captivated humans for millennia. Michael will give a general overview of this family, its etymology, and ethnobotany, and how this plant family has found its way into our everyday lives, narrowing the focus to Texas, and providing a segway into the conservation efforts to save our most delicate flora.

 

Chasing Rare Orchids in the Wilds of Texas by Adam Black | 9:30 – 10 a.m.

Texas is home to over 50 species of native orchids, including some that are increasingly rare due to habitat loss and other pressures. Adam will highlight the state’s most imperiled orchid species and the challenging collaborative field work he has been involved with to locate, pollinate, and collect seeds for conservation work.

 

Conservation of Rare Plants and Imperiled Communities in Roadside Rights-of-Way by Matt Buckingham | 10 – 10:30 a.m.

Numerous rare plant species and communities can be found along highway rights-of-way.  In some cases, these areas are among the last vestiges of once widespread communities thanks to mowing and other management activities that mimic historic disturbance regimes.  Matt will discuss the occurrence of these communities in roadside rights-of-way in Texas, as well as their importance and current research and conservation efforts aimed at identifying and protecting these special places.

 

Native Orchid Conservation Efforts at Longwood Gardens by Peter Zale | 10:30 – 11 a.m.

Successful orchid conservation requires a multidisciplinary approach that supports in situ and ex situ conservation.  Public gardens are expected to play a key role in supporting these efforts.  Longwood Gardens initiated a native orchid conservation program in 2015 that focuses on horticultural aspects of ex situ orchid conservation including seed propagation, seedling establishment, and collections development, that is balanced with in situ restoration, population assessments of rare species, and field work to catalogue previously unknown orchid occurrences. Peter will present on the development, successful outcomes, and future aspirations of the program to date with specific attention paid to projects and partnerships in Texas. This presentation will be given virtually.

 

Break | 11 – 11:15 a.m.

 

PANEL DISCUSSION | 11:15 a.m. – 12 p.m.

 

End Program | 12 p.m.

 

 

ABOUT THE PRESENTERS

 

Adam Black, Director of Horticulture and Conservation at Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories and Arboretum, Charlotte, NC: A past resident of Texas with a passion for locating and preserving the state’s botanical diversity, he continues to focus on plant conservation in Texas, throughout the southeastern US and beyond.

 

Andrew Labay joined the San Antonio Botanical Garden in 2017 as a horticulturist responsible for plant production and plant collections, including the Garden’s orchid collection. In 2020, he was promoted to Director of Horticulture. In this role, Andrew oversees the management of horticulture operations and plant collections across all gardens. He brings over 12 years’ experience in horticulture with a strong background in greenhouse management and perennial fruit crops. Prior to joining the Botanical Garden, Andrew served as a viticulture program specialist with Texas A&M Agrilife Extension. Andrew holds a M.S. of Integrative Plant Biology from the University of Montpellier II, located in the south of France.

 

Matt Buckingham, Biologist with the Texas Department of Transportation Environmental Affairs Division: Prior to joining TxDOT as a protected species biologist Matt worked as a conservation biologist for a land trust in southeast Texas and spent several years as a research biologist working on a variety of projects investigating topics like nesting ecology of Snowy Plovers in the Texas panhandle, habitat selection of Neotropical migrant songbirds along the upper Texas coast, and population ecology of secretive marsh birds in the Chesapeake Bay region of Maryland and Virginia. Matt holds a BS in Wildlife Management and an MS in Biology, with an emphasis on ecology and evolutionary biology from Stephen F. Austin State University. For his Masters, Matt studied interaction between the avian communities of Iguazu National Park, Argentina, and their habitat. Matt’s interests are broad and include ecology and conservation of a wide range of taxonomic groups.

 

Michael Eason, Associate Director of Plant Conservation & Research, San Antonio Botanical Garden: As a conservation botanist and voice for native plants Michael has devoted his career to the conservation of native plants and habitats in Texas and beyond. For just over a decade, he managed projects such as the Millennium Seed Bank project, Floristic Survey of Big Bend National Park, Ferns of the Trans-Pecos, and a Review of the Aquatic Invasives of Texas while working for the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Additionally, through his botanical consulting business, Texas Flora, he designs and installs native plant gardens, and performs a variety of plant surveys on both public and private lands, including rare plant surveys, plant inventories, wetland delineation, and ecological assessments. Most recently he worked with a team performing accuracy assessments in Death Valley National Park, Mojave NP, and Big Bend NP. In 2018 he published the field guide, Wildflowers of Texas, and is currently working on several other book projects including Wildflowers and other Plants of Western Texas – a field guide, Naturalized and Invasive Species of Texas, and Native and Naturalized Fabaceae of Texas. Michael has served on the Executive Board of the Native Plant Society of Texas (NPSOT) from 2017 to 2021, is currently the State Botanist for the organization, and is co-president of the Big Bend Chapter of NPSOT.

 

Peter Zale, Ph.D., Associate Director, Conservation, Plant Breeding and Collections at Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, PA: Peter Zale holds a Master’s degree and Ph. D in plant breeding and genetics (2009, 2014) from The Ohio State University. In his current position he leads curatorial activities, the plant breeding programs, the plant exploration program, and the plant conservation program. His main efforts at Longwood have centered around development of a comprehensive conservation horticulture program focused on native orchids of the U.S. and temperate terrestrial orchids from around the world. In his spare time, he has been building his own “private botanical garden” with extensive collections of native plants, hardy orchids, geophytes, woodland plants, trees, shrubs, and a variety of other plants that reflect personal interests and the idea that gardens serve as a tool for ex situ plant conservation

Read the Garden’s Registration and Cancellation Policies for information about member discounts, refunds and more.

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