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Tucson, AZ, United States

Austin D.F.,Arizona Sonora Desert Museum | Staples G.,Singapore Botanic Gardens | Bianchini R.S.,Institute Botanica
Taxon | Year: 2014

Previous lectotypification of Ipomoea hederacea is shown to be ineffective. Here we discuss the situation and lectotypify the species with a specimen annotated by Jacquin. Ipomoea hederacea is not based on Convolvulus hederaceus L., since Jacquin was applying the name to a different taxon and therefore did not intend to publish a combination based on Convolvulus hederaceus. © International Association for Plant Taxonomy (IAPT) 2014.

Austin D.F.,Arizona Sonora Desert Museum
Economic Botany | Year: 2013

Moon-Flower (Ipomoea alba, Convolvulaceae)-Medicine, Rubber Enabler, and Ornamental: A Review. Native to the Americas, moon-flower (Ipomoea alba) was first recorded by Europeans with its Taino common name in the 1520s. Subsequently, the species was reported from India with a Malayalam name in the 1660s. In the time between, the climbers had been transported around the world. A dominant reason for the spread was because of the medicinal uses the Europeans had learned in the Americas. Although the Spanish report of I. alba being used in making rubber in the Americas was published in the 1520s, no one realized it was that species until the 1800s. In part because of the early spread from its region of nativity into the Old World, scientists in Europe were confused about the origin of the species. As moon-flower was overshadowed by other medicinal species in the 1800s, people began to utilize the climbers for horticultural purposes. © 2013 The New York Botanical Garden.

Austin D.F.,Arizona Sonora Desert Museum
Economic Botany | Year: 2013

The Origin of Quamoclit (Ipomoea quamoclit, Convolvulaceae): A Review. Although it was originally American, I. quamoclit reached Europe by the 1550s. The vines are recorded from both Europe and India in the 1500s and were taken to both places because of its medical uses. While the species is now known as a garden ornamental and weed, there is a complicated record dealing with its early Renaissance discovery, transport, and the names it brought with it or that were later applied. Several aspects of these topics are discussed. © 2013 The New York Botanical Garden.

Austin D.F.,Arizona Sonora Desert Museum
Economic Botany | Year: 2011

Indian Potato (Ipomoea pandurata, Convolvulaceae)-A Record of Confusion. Once European explorers began sending back plants from distant lands, confusion developed regarding their identities. Among these was Ipomoea pandurata, which native peoples in the eastern United States considered to be a purgative. Unfortunately, edible plants like potatoes were confused with I. pandurata, and by the early 1900s Americans and Europeans began writing that indigenous peoples also ate its roots. The literature for the late 1900s into the 2000s mostly reports that I. pandurata is edible. Although no documented use for food by pre-European cultures in the Americas has been found, the myth persists that the roots were eaten on a regular basis. © 2011 The New York Botanical Garden.

Aslan C.E.,Arizona Sonora Desert Museum | Pinsky M.L.,Princeton University | Ryan M.E.,University of Washington | Ryan M.E.,Simon Fraser University | And 3 more authors.
Conservation Biology | Year: 2014

Conservation practitioners and scientists are often faced with seemingly intractable problems in which traditional approaches fail. While other sectors (e.g., business) frequently emphasize creative thinking to overcome complex challenges, creativity is rarely identified as an essential skill for conservationists. Yet more creative approaches are urgently needed in the effort to sustain Earth's biodiversity. We identified 4 strategies to develop skills in creative thinking and discuss underlying research and examples supporting each strategy. First, by breaking down barriers between disciplines and surrounding oneself with unfamiliar people, concepts, and perspectives, one can expand base knowledge and experiences and increase the potential for new combinations of ideas. Second, by meeting people where they are (both literally and figuratively), one exposes oneself to new environments and perspectives, which again broadens experiences and increases ability to communicate effectively with stakeholders. Third, by embracing risk responsibly, one is more likely to develop new, nontraditional solutions and be open to high-impact outcomes. Finally, by following a cycle of learning, struggle, and reflection, one can trigger neurophysiological changes that allow the brain to become more creative. Creativity is a learned trait, rather than an innate skill. It can be actively developed at both the individual and institutional levels, and learning to navigate the relevant social and practical barriers is key to the process. To maximize the success of conservation in the face of escalating challenges, one must take advantage of what has been learned from other disciplines and foster creativity as both a professional skill and an essential component of career training and individual development. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

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