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Teale: Dr. Robert Robichaux, Restoring Hawaii’s Marvels of Evolution

Thursday, November 15, 2018
4:00pm – 5:00pm

Storrs Campus
Konover Auditorium, Dodd Center

Silverswords and Lobeliads: Restoring Hawaii’s Marvels of Evolution

Dr. Robert Robichaux, Distinguished Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, Founder and President of the Board of Trustees of the Hawaiian Silversword Foundation 

The Hawaiian silversword and lobeliad lineages are prime examples of plant adaptive radiation, wherein single colonizing ancestors have given rise to a spectacular array of descendant species. Yet these two lineages now include some of the world’s most critically imperiled plants. In this lecture Dr. Robert Robichaux will discuss his long-term, collaborative efforts at large-scale reintroduction of the endangered Kaʻū silversword and Pele lobeliad plants on the eastern slopes of Mauna Loa and Kīlauea volcanoes in Hawai-- two of youngest and most geologically active volcanoes in the Hawaiian archipelago, and thus potentially the most evolutionarily dynamic.

Robert Robichaux is a Distinguished Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Arizona, and Founder of the Hawaiian Silversword Foundation, an organization devoted to conserving and restoring the native plants and ecosystems of Hawaii. Dr. Robichaux studies plant evolutionary biology and conservation biology. His current research explores the ecological and evolutionary factors underlying adaptive radiation in plants, with a focus on the Hawaiian silversword alliance (Asteraceae) as a model system. One focus of his research is the link between regulatory gene evolution and adaptive radiation (in collaboration with M. Purugganan). He also seeks to understand mechanisms of adaptation and mechanisms of speciation (in collaboration with E. Friar), specifically in the context of adaptive radiation. In addition to basic research interests, he maintains applied research interests in plant conservation, with a focus on native Hawaiian plants and ecosystems.

The Edwin Way Teale Lecture Series brings leading scholars and scientists to the University of Connecticut to present public lectures on nature and the environment. The lectures are open to the public and do not require registration.

No registration required – FREE

For additional information:


Edwin Way Teale Lecture Series on Nature & the Environment (primary), Center for Environmental Science and Engineering, EEB Related Events, Libraries, UConn Master Calendar

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