Proposed Symposium Title: APOCYNACEAE - ON THE WAY TO A MODEL FAMILY
Abstract: Apocynaceae (the dogbane and milkweed family) is one of the ten largest flowering plant families, with approximately 5,350 species and diverse morphology and ecology. From the first Apocynaceae symposium in St. Louis 1999 onward, each IBC presented a forum for Apocynaceae researchers to present the progress in taxonomy, phylogeny, biogeography, reproductive biology, chemistry and other interesting features in the family. A focus of particular interest has been the study of several large genera (>150 spp.) in the family, which have been found to constitute species-rich radiations in some cases, but morphologically similar polyphyletic conglomerates in others. Thus, the family has advanced from a poorly known assemblage of species to a model family on which biogeographic and phylogenetic hypotheses can be tested.
The present symposium aims to provide a platform both for speakers making the diversity of species accessible by taxonomic and basic molecular phylogenetic work, as well as those using this framework for hypothesis-testing.
Speaker 1: Shannon C. K. Straub
Associate Professor of Biology
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Geneva, NY 14456
Tentative title: Evolutionary studies at multiple scales in Apocynaceae
Speaker 2: Michele Rodda
Singapore Botanic Gardens
National Parks Board
Tentative title: Biogeography of Marsdenieae (together with S. Liede-Schumann)
Speaker 3: J. Francisco Morales
Curator of the Herbarium
National Herbarium of Trinidad and Tobago
Department of Life Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology
The University of West Indies,
St. Augustine Campus, Trinidad and Tobago
Tentative title: Deciphering the Odontadenieae based on Nuclear and Chloroplast data
Topics (Up to three): Systematics
Topic 2: Biogeography
Topic 3: Macroevolution
Justification: Starting at the XVI IBC in St. Louis (1999), our series of symposia on Apocynaceae has sped up research and knowledge in this 10th largest Angiosperm family, so that it has now reached the knowledge level of a model family. To continue this successful series in Madrid will spread this knowledge among a broad community of botanist, and thus lay the ground to tackle biological and evolutionary questions on a transcontinental scale. Bringing the active researchers from all over the world together, will also help to unify concepts and techniques and thus fasten progress in Apocynaceae research.