IAPT Biodiversity Challenge
A total of 107 applications were received in the 2022 round of the Biodiversity Challenge. Thank you to all who applied.
The following 22 applications were selected for funding, with a total of $197,697 (US) awarded.
Small Collections Initiative
Strengthening of the Ethnobotanical Herbarium of the Andean-Amazon Foothills (HEAA) and the development of a biocultural and academic knowledge exchange process in the department of Putumayo-Colombia
The Herbario Etnobotánico del Piedemonte Andino-Amazónico (HEAA) aims to build and advance the articulation of ethnobotanical work with goals in social and environmental development, based on the integration of the visions about the use and management of the territory which the local communities (ethnic, peasant and afro-descendant) inhabiting it have.
Jorge Luis Contreras Herrera
Juan David Hoyos Bautista
Enhancing taxonomy skills in West Africa: supporting the growth of GC herbarium (Ghana) as a key agent for taxonomic capacity building
Gold Coast (GC) herbarium is a small herbarium serving biodiversity research in West Africa. Settled in the University of Ghana, it is at the heart of building taxonomic expertise. With almost half of the collections digitised; recent collaboration in an international taxonomy course; and set to host the large African conference AETFAT in 2025, there is a synergy towards increase in taxonomic research, limited by poor conditions of the herbarium. Improvement of these would be timely, along with tailored training, to support its expansion and the new generation of taxonomists.
Gabriel Komla Ameka
Exploration of the flora of poorly documented inselbergs and inselberg-associated habitats in Suriname
Fredberg is a granite outcropping with pristine forest that is poorly explored. Two collecting expeditions in this area will ultimately increase our Herbarium collections, but also provide crucial information to protect this area. Collecting, training and communication is the goal. We propose to investigate Fredberg in two different seasons.
Molgo, Iwan E.
United States of America
Re-establishing an herbarium for the People and Plants of Montserrat
The main aim of this project is to improve local conservation monitoring, education, capacity building and species management on Montserrat by re-establishing a national Herbarium on the island. Montserrat lost its herbarium and collections in the 1995 volcanic eruptions. Previous and recent plant work has demonstrated the need to re-establish these facilities. The Montserrat National Herbarium will be located as an integral part of the Botanic Garden and Monserrat National Trust Headquarters, building botanical capacity and centralising resources.
Delmaude C. Ryan
Digitization and collection management of the QMEX herbarium, Querétaro, México
With 60,000 specimens, the QMEX herbarium is the largest in the biologically diverse state of Querétaro, Mexico. This project will develop a photographic digitization workstation and assist with specimen imaging and various curatorial activities. Four undergraduates will be trained in collection management. The project will be publicized via outreach initiatives.
Luis Hernández Sandoval
Mahinda L. Martínez y Díaz de Salas
Upgrading the L.J. Brass Memorial Herbarium of the Forestry Department at the Papua New Guinea University of Technology.
Floristic research is a need in Papua New Guinea where there is high plant diversity compared to plant taxonomists. Botany training began in 1970 at the teaching herbarium at the PNG University of Technology. The Brass Memorial Herbarium has many PNG collections that need upgrading to meet international standards.
Billy Bieso Bau
Papua New Guinea
Scientific heritage in peril: safeguarding the Andean plant collections housed in MERC herbarium, Venezuela
This proposal seeks financial aid to reinstate the integrity and functionality of MERC, a herbarium of the Universidad de Los Andes, in Mérida, Venezuela, with approximately 30,000 specimens (between vascular plants and bryophytes) and valuable collections that document the country's rich biodiversity, especially in region of the Northern Andes.
Cherry Andrea Rojas
Field-to-Fungarium: Mapping Amanita in Tropical Africa (MATA)
In the current project, specimens (i.e., physical objects with complete label information) of tropical African Amanita will be collected through a vast network of collaborators to enrich the mycological collections of Fungarium UNIPAR and Fungarium O, respectively, of the University of Parakou (UNIPAR) and the Natural History Museum (NHM) in Oslo. The fungarium specimens will be used later for revisionary work towards a monograph of Amanita in tropical Africa.
Jean Evans Israël CODJIA
CRITICAL NEED FOR EXPANSION OF BCRU, A SMALL HERBARIUM IN PATAGONIA ARGENTINA
This grant proposal aims to allow the expansion of the BCRU Vascular Plants collection to a new physical space in order to guarantee the correct curation of an important collection of Patagonian plants; enable the growth of the collection; and train staff and students in Herbarium management and digitization.
Carolina I Calviño
Restoration of the Herbarium of Lubumbashi (LSHI) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
The LSHI Herbarium has faced degradation since the looting in 1992. Basic equipment to maintain the collection is lacking and the collection has never been digitized. The proposed activities will not only improve the herbarium but also make its original collection accessible.
Edouard Ilunga wa Ilunga
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Taxonomic & Systematic Initiative
Uncovering hidden taxonomic diversity within hyperdominant Pouteria Aubl. (Sapotaceae) in Amazon rainforest
Sapotaceae is one of the most important plant families in the world. With around 1,250 species, this Pantropical family is particularly diverse in the Neotropics. Given its high diversity and importance, it is surprising that the major clades of Sapotaceae are so poorly understood. In this project we focus our attention on the hyperdominant species of Sapotaceae in Amazon rainforest: Is Sapotaceae hyperdominance an artifact of unrecognized diversity under the current taxonomy, or a real biological pattern? We propose to start with Amazonian hyperdominant species of the genus Pouteria Aubl.
Systematic Revision of the genus Indigofera L. in southern Africa
Mr Brian Du Preez
Dr Brian D. Schrire
At least 100 undescribed species of Indigofera are known from southern Africa. About 50 are being described at present (Cape Region), while the rest of southern Africa will be done from 2023. Extensive fieldwork and in-depth phylogenetic analyses will be done to revise the genus and understand biogeographic patterns.
Tackling the poorly known and potentially threatened neotropical tree lineages: modern systematics and biogeography of Pisonieae (Nyctaginaceae) and Garcinia (Clusiaceae)
Leandro Lacerda Giacomin
Daniel da Silva Costa
Lucas Cardoso Marinho
Despite of its biological significance, most of Amazonian plant diversity is considered poorly known and severely threatened, due to rapid environmental changes. We aim to advance in the systematics of two Amazonian neglected plant lineages, building robust phylogenetic framework, testing macroevolutionary hypothesis and constructing identification tools to the wide public.
The flora of the Middle Magdalena of Colombia and its floristic origins as a keystone for its conservation
Orlando Adolfo Jara Muñoz
David Sanin Robayo
The goal of this project is to advance the knowledge of the MMV flora and to contribute to a better understanding about the patterns and processes of diversification in the region as well to his conservation. To meet this goal, the following specific objectives will be developed.
Filling the gaps: Botanical exploration of Mamasa and Tentena, two under-sampled areas in central mountain range of Sulawesi
Wendy Achmmad Mustaqim
Wisnu Handoyo Ardi
The proposed expedition focuses on areas in central Sulawesi which have never been botanically explored. This work will close a major gap in our knowledge of the Sulawesi flora, make data and specimens available in international herbaria and online, and contribute to local botanical training and initiatives for ex-situ conservation.
Using the austral flora for a comprehensive phylogenetic understanding of Clerodendrum (Lamiaceae).
Alan James Paton
The widely distributed Clerodendrum (Lamiaceae) is economically useful but confusion about generic and species boundaries persists. This project will acquire genomic sequence data to assess relationships between Australasian and Asian species, which is needed to test the monophyly of the genus and assist an accurate taxonomic classification of Asian Clerodendrum.
Unveiling the greatest species radiation in Philippine Archipelago: Integrating phylogenomics and artificial intelligence to study the tempo and mode of speciation in Begonia sect. Baryandra
Mark Angelo Castillo Bucay
Danilo N. Tandang
The project aims to enhance taxonomic knowledge by collecting species of the Begonia sect Baryandra in the Philippines (especially from remote islands) and use them to illustrate possible congruence of image processing techniques and phylogenomics in illustrating tempo and mode of evolution of one of the greatest plant radiation in the archipelago.
Patterns of taxonomic and physiological diversity of lichen forming fungi and their photosynthetic symbionts in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado
The proposed project aims to contribute to the lacking lichen collections in Colorado and better understand the full picture of lichen diversity from both the fungal and algal symbiont perspective. We propose innovative techniques such as physiology and sequencing to compare mechanisms driving fungal and algal diversity across elevational gradients.
Towards an Integrative Taxonomic Revision of the Scaly Tree Ferns of Java based on Morphological, Cytological, and Molecular Evidence
Titien Ngatinem Praptosuwiryo
Joko Ridho Witono
Our research project aims to: (1) revise the scaly tree ferns of Java; (2) observe reproductive mode and chromosome number of the taxa; (3) study interspecific and intraspecific relationships of the taxa using molecular approaches.
Filling major gaps in Solanaceae to understand evolution of key morphological innovations
Mahinda L. Martínez y Díaz de Salas
Juan Domingo Urdampilleta
Although the relationships of Solanaceae have been exhaustively examined using molecular data, there are still genera where the phylogenetic relationships and taxonomy are not nearly resolved, what we call ‘major gaps’. This project aims to clarify the taxonomy and evolution of the groups less studied: Browallia, Cestrum, and Physalis.
Next Generation Forest Plot Tree Identification
Identifying trees in tropical forests is challenging and expensive but vital. Our project will pioneer an affordable, next generation DNA sequencing based protocol for identifying trees in a poorly known tropical biodiversity hotspot, in collaboration with taxonomists and ecologists, to increase the quality and quantity of tropical tree identifications.
Empowering local communities in the identification of their native orchid diversity in the Colombian Pacific states
Janice E. Valencia Duarte
Eva Do Ledezma Rentería
We want to empower local communities in the identification of their native orchids through strengthening taxonomic skills, improving local herbaria, and developing open-access materials. Collectively, we will establish the orchid diversity and its distribution in geographic gradients, and update the national database of orchid records made in 2015.