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B.S., University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, Puerto Rico. MAY 1977.
Ph.D., City University of New York, New York. MAY 1989. Disertation: The Systematics of Serjania section Platycoccus, 1989.
Work Experience Curator of Botany. APR 1989- present. National Museum of Natural History. Maintains an active program of scientific research on systematics and biogeography of tropical plants, specifically Sapindaceae and plants of the Caribbean region.
My research is directed toward two main lines of investigations. The first is aimed at phylogenetic studies and the second at floristics and biodiversity studies. My phylogenetic studies are centered on the world-wide plant family Sapindaceae.
On a more regional scale, I am deeply involved in phylogenetic studies of the Neotropical members of Sapindaceae, represented by approximately 700 species of lianas, shrubs, and trees, naturally occurring from southern United States to northern Argentina, including the West Indies. In particular, am working on the Paullinieae and the Melicocceae tribes. The Paullinieae consists of six genera with approximately 450 species, and forms a natural group defined by their similar vegetative and floral morphology. The Melicocceae consist of the genera Talisia and Melicoccus. Talisia consists of 63 taxa and is centered in the Guianas, with numerous species occurring from Mexico to northern Argentina. Melicoccus, on the other hand contains only 3 species and is naturally distributed in S. America and the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles. My research in the Caribbean has been devoted to much needed floristics and descriptive work. In spite of the numerous centuries of botanical explorations in the area, there is still no comprehensive floristic treatment for the region as a whole, that would allow for the development of diverse scientific inquiry.
visit website: ravenel.si.edu/botany/prflora/index.html for more information
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