Texas Plant Conservation Program

Plant diversity is being lost at an alarming rate. It is this same diversity that supports human livelihoods and many of our most precious natural resources. One of FWBG|BRIT’s major goals is to raise awareness of the value plants bring to life, and the threats they face worldwide. FWBG|BRIT is committed to working toward conserving plant diversity at home in Texas, and around the world.

Vision & Purpose

To prevent plant extinction in Texas by supporting and maintaining viable, self-supporting, and genetically diverse populations of all Texas plants in their natural habitat, and to collect, store, and manage conservation seed collections for use in research and restoration of rare Texas plants.

Program/Area Summary

Texas is home to 448 rare vascular plant species, including 113 categorized as Critically Imperiled (G1) and at high risk for extinction. For many of these species only a few individual plants remain in the wild. These plants are faced with increasing levels of threat from population growth, urban development, land use changes, invasive species, and climate change. Population monitoring is essential for identifying populations and species in decline and targeting sites for seed collection and habitat restoration. The Texas Plant Conservation Program conducts research on rare Texas plants with projects including species status assessments, predictive habitat models, and population monitoring.

The Conservation Seed Bank collects seed from wild populations of rare plants as an insurance policy against extinction. The seed is used for research and restoration efforts for these rare species. The seed bank is an essential component of the Plant Conservation program at FWBG|BRIT. It provides baseline data and plant materials for research efforts seeking to understand how we can best conserve these species while actively conserving genetic diversity of our most imperiled plants.

For more information on the Texas Plant Conservation Program, please contact Dr. Brooke Byerley Best.

Current Research

Events

Past Research

Videos

Alejandra Vasco, Ph.D.

Research Botanist

Ana Niño

Librarian

Ashley Bordelon

Herbarium Collections Manager

Barney L. Lipscomb

Director of BRIT Press and Library, Leonhardt Chair of Texas Botany

Brooke Byerley Best, Ph.D.

Director of Texas Plant Conservation

Bob O’Kennon

Research Scientist

Diego Barroso

TORCH TCN Project Manager

Erin Flinchbaugh

Research Administrative Assistant

Gabrielle Harris

Press Sales and Fulfillment Coordinator

Jason Best

Director of Biodiversity Informatics

Jessica Lane

Herbarium Assistant

Kelly Carroll

Herbarium Digitization Technician

Kimberlie Sasan

Herbarium & Research Assistant

Manuela Dal Forno, Ph.D.

Research Botanist

Megan O’Connell, Ph.D.

Conservation Botanist

Morgan Gostel, Ph.D.

Research Botanist

Natch Rodriguez

Herbarium Digitization Technician

Peter Fritsch, Ph.D.

Vice President of Research & Conservation

Rachel Carmickle

Herbarium Technician & Conservation Program Assistant

Robert George

East Texas Flora Project Manager

Tiana Franklin Rehman

Director of the Herbarium & Collections Manager