CEB Committe on Evolutionary Biology

SPOTLIGHT: Mercado-Diaz: Lichens on Islands

Mercado-Diaz: Lichens on Islands

Collecting Sticta dichotomy s. lat. in Jamaica

July I spent mostly in Puerto Rico. This trip was really fantastic! I got to see my family and also participated in the 11th International Mycological Congress, which to my luck was celebrated in San Juan. This is the most important and largest mycological gathering of all. My participation in the meeting was vast. I served as a field guide for three different field trips in different forests of the island. I was also a symposium organizer and speaker. My talk was about the use of integrative taxonomic approaches to understand the diversity of the lichen genus Sticta in Puerto Rico. The name of the symposium (which I organized with Thorsten Lumbsch and Robert Lucking) was: Lichens on Islands: Evolution, Endemism, and Conservation. Lastly, I got time to do several collecting field trips throughout the island with the idea of expanding the sampling for my project and assessing the status of our forests' biodiversity after the hurricane. These were very interesting trips and yielded several dozen specimens which I am actually sequencing already.

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