FAME, fortune, and genomics in Madagascar: Preserving a blueprint of hyperendemism in a biodiversity hotspot

Posted October 11, 2016 - 11:32am

Madagascar is one of the world’s “hottest” hotspots with a diverse and endemic biota that is increasingly threatened by habitat destruction. Dr. Laurence Dorr of the Smithsonian Natural Museum of Natural History’s Botany Department is the lead of a team of five researchers that received a GGI-SIBG (Global Genome Initiative-Smithsonian Institute of Biodiversity Genomics) award aiming to collect 50% of the Malagasy genera from the team’s collective expertise, including 37 families, 433 genera, and 3,056 species, many of which are endemic.

The team left for Madagascar on September 21 for six weeks of collecting, training local counterparts, and initiating partnerships between local Parc Botanique et Zoologique de Tsimbazaza (PBZT) and Smithsonian’s GGI-Gardens initiative.

Catch a glimpse of these researchers and their experiences by following co-PI and GGI-Gardens researcher Morgan Gostel on his Azafady blog.