Botany News

Botany in the news:
Algae -- the new biofuel? World interest in using algae as a biofuel is expanding. Photosynthesis in algae produces oils and ethanol that can be converted into advanced biofuels. Since 2007, more than $1 billion has been injected into algae-to-energy research and development. The journal Nature has four weekly articles about the companies and their efforts on this new biofuel (see Nature Sept. 24, 2009).

Botany faculty in the news:
Scott Warren, Jean C. Tempel '65 Professor Emeritus of Botany, recently received the William A. Niering Outstanding Educator Award from the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation at their annual conference in Portland, Oregon. Watch him discuss his tidal marsh research in this Nature Conservancy video "Connecticut Faces Behind the Data".

Peter Siver's recent work on diatoms and chrysophytes, including his discovery of fossils 48 million years old from a Canadian diamond mine, is featured in the National Science Foundation's Discoveries website "Crimes to Climate History: Tiny Diatoms Offer Big Clues" (January 7, 2009). How does he do this research? Learn more about his research program featured on the National Science Foundation and Live Science site "ScienceLives: Making a Living Studying Nature" (February 25, 2009).

Alumni in the news:
Linda (Reddington) Lillie received news from The Professional Landcare Network (PLANET) recently that her company Sprigs & Twigs, Inc of Gales Ferry, CT was awarded the “2010 Environmental Improvement Distinction Award” for their work on the “Cook Backyard Project” in East Lyme, CT. This national award is in recognition of a superior project executed by landscape professionals and will be presented at the PLANET Green Industry Conference in Louisville, KY. Read more about this award in an article from The New London Day.

Carl Lewis ('95) is the new Director of the the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. Carl, a geneticist, recently established the new genus Leucothrinax for the thatch palm. Read about his new excursion to study and conserve the palms of Micronesia!

Chris Sardella ('93) recently won the Milken Family Foundation's National Educator Award. Sardella, a fifth grade teacher in Northborough, Massachusetts, plans on using the $25,000 award to pursue a doctorate in education while continuing to teach.

Department News:
The Botany Department is pleased to announce the appointment of Rachel Spicer, who comes to us from the Rowland Institute at Harvard.

The College hosted the Seventh International Chrysophyte Symposium in 2008.

The China Trade Bonsai Society of Southeastern Connecticut uses the New London Hall facilities of the botany department to hold their regular meetings.