New Student Grants and Visiting Scientists

Hasenstab-Lehman Earns Research Grants

Doctoral candidate Kristen Hasenstab-Lehman recently received a highly competive graduate student research fellowship from the Torrey Botanical Society. The fellowship will support fieldwork for her doctoral dissertation on the genus Varronia and other members of the Boraginaceae (Borage Family). This grant brings the number of RSABG botany students who have received the Torrey Botanical Society prestigious fellowship to four.

The Mediterranean City Conference 2012

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden is proud to be a 2012 endorsing organization for The Mediterranean City conference, to be held in Los Angeles June 25 through 27.

The Mediterranean City: A Conference on Climate Change Adaptation will initiate an ongoing collaboration of cities working together to share ideas, needs and strategies to realistically adapt to the current and future impacts of climate change as they similarly affect the five Mediterranean-climate regions of the world. The conference will bring together an international network of experts from the academic, policy, business, public health and government worlds, and will stand as an example for how cities can work together across regional and national boundaries to bring more resources and knowledge to building solutions.

USFWS 2011 Recovery Champion

In March, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced that Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden was selected as one of the 2011 Recover Champions.

RSABG, one of two award recipients from the Pacific Southwest Region, was selected for the recovery work being done to conserve more than 100 federally listed plants.

Wall Awarded Important Conservation Award

Michael Wall, seed program conservation program manager at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, has won the 2012 Star Award from the Center for Plant Conservation for his work with rare and imperiled California native plant species.

The award was presented on April 20 in conjunction with the Center for Plant Conservation’s national meeting, held this year at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (RSABG). The award recognizes individuals who demonstrate the concern, cooperation and personal investment needed to conserve imperiled native plants.

Botanizing Around the Globe

RSABG botanists conduct fieldwork in Tanzania, Africa; Guyana, South America and North America.

J. Travis Columbus, CGU professor of botany and RSABG research scientist, Amanda Fisher, RSABG postdoctoral fellow, and Amanda Ingram, Wabash College professor of biology, traveled to Tanzania to study and collect chloridoid grasses including Halopyrum mucronatum (pictured right).

Become a Fan of Getting Native

August is the perfect time to prepare your garden for planting California natives this autumn. With a little effort and observation, you can identify the principal variables of light and shade. With this piece of the puzzle along with space requirements and soil conditions, you’ll be prepared to choose the plants that will thrive in your space.

Over the upcoming months, The Buzz will deliver a new installment of “Getting Native” video series with tips for selection, planting and maintenance success of California native plants.

Light and Shade in the Garden” offers an overview of how to determine sun and shade conditions in your home landscape. Watch the installment here.

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden and producer Frank Simpson are proud to present this ongoing project to help gardeners bring the beauty and craft of landscaping with California native plants home.

The “Getting Native” website and Facebook page host a growing number of short videos focused on a particular topic. Upcoming videos, already on the video editor’s desk, include demonstrations to help identify soil conditions and weed abatement techniques. Become a fan of Getting Native on Facebook and receive notice when new videos are posted. Visit Getting Native website at or their Facebook page.

Frank Simpson, writer and producer of “Getting Native,” received a degree in horticulture at the National Botanic Gardens in Dublin, Ireland, and degrees in landscape architecture from CSU Pomona.

Porter and Morawetz NSF Grant Awards

The Research Department currently holds 11 National Science Foundation grants.

Champagne was popped to celebrate the most recent National Science Foundation grant recipients—J. Mark Porter and Jeffery J. Morawetz.

J. Mark Porter, CGU associate professor of botany and RSABG research scientist, has been awarded a three-year grant to study the plant genus Loeselia that is a member of the Phlox family (Polemoniaceae). This funding, among other endeavors, will support Porter’s fieldwork in areas where this genus occurs in southern Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica and Panama. With this extensive sampling, supplemented with collections made by a Colombian colleague, Porter will be able to help clarify the relationships within this fascinating genus.

Jeffery J. Morawetz, The Fletcher Jones Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at RSABG, and colleague Christopher Randle at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, also received a three-year grant for their proposal “Systematic Investigation of Tropical Diversity in Orobanchaceae.” Morawetz and Randle are investigating the evolution of parasitism, and biodiversity, within the poorly known and understudied tropical lineage of the broomrape family. Their fieldwork will take them to four continents—North and South America (Mexico and Brazil), Asia (China) and Africa (Kenya and Madagascar).