Monday, 2 April 2012

Paul Ramsay at a climate change monitoring workshop in Ecuador

I am in Quito, Ecuador, for a few weeks, combining research and teaching. Last week, I was one of a number of people working together in a workshop for the GLORIA climate change in mountains project. We were a small group from the northern and central Andes, representing monitoring efforts in Colombia, Ecuador, Perú and Bolivia. The idea of the workshop was to work through issues with data collection and to identify tricky plants that remained a mystery.

Segundo Chimbolema (Randi Randi) working
on his collection of mysterious high-altitude ferns.
Segundo will be working with two Plymouth
students on placement in Ecuador next year.
Sisimac Duchicela (CONDESAN) with her collection
of plants from the Pichincha Volcano. Sisimac is
currently applying to Plymouth to do a PhD on
high-altitude forest ecology.

Given that the Tropical Andes is the world's hottest hotspot for plant diversity, working through the difficult groups is not at all easy. But we made good progress, with the help of the keen and knowledgeable participants, and the wonderful resources at the herbarium of the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador.

Rosa Isela Meneses (National Herbaium, La Paz) working through
everyone's grass speciments--and loving every minute of it!

Now, everyone has returned home, but the monitoring goes on. Of course, mountains are among the first to show signs of changes in biodiversity as a result of climate change. The Andes have lots of endemic plants living at high altitudes, so knowing what is going on with their habitats is crucial to their conservation. Time will tell...

1 comment:

  1. Qué Chévere!!! Que pena que no me invitaron!!! saludos a todos los integrantes...