||Jessica Arcate-Schuler is Manager of the Forest.
||Robert Naczi, Ph.D., is Curator of North American Botany.
The 11th Northeast Natural History Conference was held April 6 – 9 in New York’s capital city, Albany. The meeting attracted more than 500 enthusiasts, who came from as far as Maine and Michigan. Professionals and students delivered 190 oral presentations and exhibited 115 posters on subjects ranging from a survey of reptiles and amphibians in the Albany Pine Bush to an analysis of how deer compound the problem of invasive plant species.
The NENHC Conference is an important regional forum allowing researchers, naturalists, and students to get together to share current research and information. As a leader in this realm, The New York Botanical Garden, of course, made a strong showing. We, Jessica Schuler and Dr. Robert Naczi, moderated the session “Natural History of The New York Botanical Garden: Interpreting an Old-growth Forest.” The session was a multi-institutional, collaborative affair, much in keeping with the project we coordinate called the NYBG Natural History Project. This session included the following presentations:
NYBG staff and collaborators at Northeast Natural History Conference. Left to right: James Furlaud, Erik Zeidler, Wayne Cahilly, Matthew Pace, Jessica Schuler, Robert Naczi, and Jason Munshi-South:
– “Four Hundred Years of Forest Stewardship at The New York Botanical Garden, or Why Was this Not Made Firewood?” a lively history of the Forest was presented by Wayne Cahilly, the Manager of the Lionel Goldfrank III Institutional Mapping Department of NYBG and resident tree climbing expert.
– Matthew Pace, a Curatorial Assistant in the Steere Herbarium, delivered an in-depth reconstruction and analysis of the Garden’s historic flora, “Rediscovering the Flora of The New York Botanical Garden Forest, Using the Steere Herbarium.”
– “Landscape Genetics of White-footed Mice (Peromyscus leucopus) in the Bronx,” presented by Dr. Jason Munshi-South, Assistant Professor of Biology at Baruch College, looked at genetic continuity in New York City’s most common native mammal, the mouse.
– Erik Zeidler, a recent graduate of Bronx High School of Science and current student at University of Kansas, gave a talk revealing some surprising facts about the snapping turtle in, “Herps in the Big Apple?: A Comprehensive Study of Common Snapping Turtle Populations Amidst the Hustle and Bustle of Bronx, N.Y.”
In the Botany Session, James Furlaud, an intern in the Institute of Systematic Botany, delivered an oral presentation, “Taxonomic Status of Stout Smartweed, Persicaria robustior (Polygonaceae).” Jamey based his presentation on the morphometric analysis he conducted of smartweed specimens from the Garden’s Steere Hebarium and Harvard University’s Gray Herbarium.
At the annual meeting of the New York Flora Association held at the Conference, Rob Naczi delivered a presentation on his ongoing efforts to revise Gleason & Cronquist’s influential book, New Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada.
The NYBG team received many positive reactions to their presentations, especially those by Matthew Pace and James Furlaud. Jamey received Honorable Mention for Best Student Botany-related Oral Presentation from the New York Flora Association. Matthew received Honorable Mention for the Best Overall Botany-related Presentation from NYFA. Congratulations, Jamey and Matthew!