Gregory Plunkett
Gregory Plunkett Gregory M. Plunkett, Ph.D., Director and Curator, Cullman Program for Molecular Systematics at NYBG, conducts research on tropical and southern-hemisphere plants, which integrates field and herbarium studies with molecular phylogenetics and biogeographic studies. His field work concentrates in the Southwest Pacific islands, and in tropical and temperate South America. Before joining NYBG in 2009, he was a Professor of Biology at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he taught general botany, plant taxonomy, economic botany, and molecular systematics for 12 years.

For Entwined, he will present:
Conservation of Biocultural Diversity in Vanuatu
The South Pacific archipelago of Vanuatu contains vast areas of rich forest and unexplored ecosystems. Yet despite its widespread recognition as a conservation priority, virtually nothing is known about the islands biodiversity. Vanuatu is also exceptionally rich in cultural diversity, with over 100 indigenous languages along with a traditional lifestyle dependent on plants for both subsistence and cultural practices. Tragically, pressures from development, globalization, and climate change threaten to wipe out much of this diversity. NYBG is leading an international team of researchers helping to document and conserve Vanuatu's biocultural heritage, providing a model for promoting the continued survival of the Pacific Islands' plants, habitats, and human cultures.

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