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BDG Plant Collectors
John Pipoly was the first Resident Collector to participate in what ultimately became the Biological Diversity of the Guiana Shield Program. When Pipoly was hired the program was a joint Smithsonian, New York Botanical Garden (NYBG), and University of Guyana project. The SI, NYBG and Pipoly had engaged in extensive correspondence with Dr. George Walcott, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Guyana, and had agreed on the basic framework of a joint collecting program. John and his wife Fabiola arrived in Georgetown, Guyana, on 2 April 1986 and departed in May 1987. The first thing Pipoly had to do was set up the infrastructure necessary for a successful plant collecting program. He immediately arranged to have supplies shipped down for the first project that he undertook, the construction of three plant dryers at UG. Once the plant dryers were working he was able to begin collecting plants.
Pipoly spent 12 months in Guyana and approximately 140 days in the field. He collected 4574 numbers, 1929 of which were processed by New York Botanical Garden and 2645 of which were processed by the U.S. National Herbarium at the Smithsonian Institution. This included distribution to specialists for determination and to other institutions as part of specimen exchange programs. Currently just over 80% of these plants have been identified to species, showing that Pipoly collected over 1600 taxa in 680 genera. One set of his collections and a photocopy of his field notebooks were left in Guyana at the Jenman Herbarium, University of Guyana. Some of the specimens left behind have since been destroyed by insects, however the majority of specimens are now mounted and in the herbarium housed at the "Centre for the Study of Biological Diversity" at the University of Guyana. After Pipoly left Guyana, the New York Botanical Garden decided to end its involvement and it became solely a SI/UG program.
Dr. Pipoly is an expert in the Clusiaceae and Myrsinaceae. Currently, he is the Urban Horticulture Extension Agent, UF-IFAS/Broward County, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Click on the link above to see John Pipoly's trips across the Guiana Shield.
The contents of this site represent a 2009 update of the data found in the original publication:
Smithsonian Plant Collections, Guyana: 1986-1987, John J. Pipoly III
T. Hollowell, V.A. Funk, C.L. Kelloff & G. Gharbarran. 2000. Biological Diversity of the Guianas Program, Department of Botany. National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution
No photographs were taken during these expeditions.
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