LuEsther T. Mertz Library, New York Botanical Garden 2900 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY
J’Nese Williams – Imperial Plans and Local Governance: The St. Vincent Botanic Garden, 1765–1822
In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the British government began funding botanic gardens in its colonies to manage economic and scientific botany projects. Though these gardens were an overall success, the St. Vincent Botanic Garden struggled to fulfill its mission. As an example of failure, the history of the St. Vincent Garden reveals the limitations of government support of science in this period.
Tim Lorek – Plant Breeding and Wild Sugarcane in Colombia’s Cauca Valley, 1927–1967
In the 1930s, the USDA collaborated with Colombian agribusiness and experiment stations to breed a temperate variety of sugarcane. This partnership highlights the use of wild sugarcane (Sacchaum spontaneum) as it traveled from the steppes of central Asia, through initial scientific crossings in Dutch Java, and finally to breeding programs in the greater Caribbean. Several scientists involved in these collection and breeding programs donated specimens housed in the NYBG Herbarium. Their work contributed to significant changes in global sugarcane production and remains relevant for its economic, biological, and social impact in sugar landscapes.
Free and open to the public. Part of the Andrew W. Mellon presentations seminar series. For more information, please visit the New York Botanical Garden website.
Support for the Humanities Institute at The New York Botanical Garden provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.