Alejandra Vasco studying the ferns of Colombia

Forbes Magazine Highlights FWBG | BRIT Research Scientist’s Race to Protect Threatened Fern Species

Research Botanist Alejandra Vasco studies the rich diversity of ferns in Colombia
Research Botanist Alejandra Vasco studies the rich diversity of ferns in her native Colombia.

Forbes magazine recently featured the work of FWBG | BRIT Research Botanist Alejandra Vasco, Ph.D. documenting the fern species of her native Colombia, highlighting the work of our scientists to understand and conserve threatened plants.

The May 22 article by Andrew Wright begins, “Colombian Botanist Alejandra Vasco is realizing a long-held dream to document the vast diversity of ferns in her home country, racing against time to find new species threatened by climate change and other human activities.”

Vasco met Wright through Twitter; he is a science journalist based in Colombia who has written for publications including Science, BBC World Service Radio, New Scientist and Nature.

The reaction to the story has been overwhelming positive, says Vasco. “A lot of people have contacted me, from distant family to old friends, to students, to fern amateurs, to journalists, and to scientists,” she says. “I was contacted and interviewed for one of the most important Colombian newspapers. Also, some science groups have asked me to participate either in their Twitter account or in workshops, I also have been invited to give classes and seminars, and several fern societies have asked me if they can reproduce the Forbes article in their newsletters.”

Vasco’s work in Colombia was funded by a four-year, $1.1 million grant from the National Science Foundation*. She expects to make several more expeditions before the projects in 2025 to study fern species in remote and isolated regions.

You can learn more about Vasco’s work and watch several videos produced by her team at the YouTube channel Ferns of Colombia.

Read the article at Forbes.com.

* National Science Foundation Award ID 2045319 https://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=2045319&HistoricalAwards=false

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