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BDG Plant Collectors
Lynn Gillespie was the third Resident Plant Collector to participate in the BDG Program. Over a nearly 19 month period, she spent 12 months in Guyana and approximately 135 days in the field. She collected 2510 numbers, which were processed by the U.S. National Herbarium at the Smithsonian Institution. This processing included distribution to specialists for determination and to other botanical institutions as part of specimen exchange programs. Currently just over 85% of these plants have been identified to species. These determinations show that Lynn Gillespie collected over 1200 taxa in 610 genera. Copies of her field notebooks and mounted vouchers for her collections are now in the herbarium housed at the "Centre for the Study of Biological Diversity" at the University of Guyana.
Several Guyanese accompanied Gillespie on her collecting trips. Those who assisted with collecting, as recorded on the specimen labels, include: D. Gopaul, L. Kelly with the University of Guyana Forestry Class, H. Lall (name changed to H. Persaud, March 1989), and S. Tiwari. The Guyanese who assisted in Georgetown include M. Ameer and G. Bacchus. Other participants in collecting trips include V. Funk, M.E. Gillespie, R.J. Gillespie, C. Kelloff, T. McDowell, P. Peterson, and D.R. Smart.
The assistance of Dr. George Walcott, Vice-Chancellor of UG, Dr. Indarjit Ramdass, head of the UG Biology department, and the staff at the U.S. Embassy in Georgetown, Guyana was invaluable. Dr. Walcott made the entire operation possible by proving to be the crucial person in developing the project. Dr. Ramdass helped considerably in facilitating field trips and providing logistical support, and the U.S. Embassy helped with handling and shipping of supplies and specimens collected by Gillespie. Without all of their help, the program would not have succeeded.
Dr. Gillespie is an expert in the plant family Euphorbiaceae and is currently a Research Scientist at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa. Her publications include work on the Euphorbiaceae of Guyana (Gillespie, 1993a; 1993b; 1994; Gillespie and Armbruster, 1997). She continues to collaborate with the BDG program by providing determinations of collections in that family.
Click on the link above to see Lynn Gillespie's trips across the Guiana Shield.
Read Lynn Gillespie's published trip report in PDF format:
Lynn J. Gillespie, 1989-1991
T. Hollowell, L.J. Gillespie, V.A. Funk, and C.L. Kelloff. 2003.
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium
Volume 44: 1 - 104
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