Biology delegation attends Botanical Congress

Willow Eyres presenting at International Botanical CongressJim Seago, professor of biology at SUNY Oswego, and Willow Eyres, a May graduate in biology and the Honors Program, participated in the recent XVII International Botanical Congress in Vienna, Austria. 

Eyres started a project on the structure of plants adapted to life in wetland habitats in 2004 that she expanded in the spring 2005 into an honors project. Her work led her to join Seago in the long-term project on the kinds of structural adaptations that plants show in aquatic and wetland habitats.

Because of her work, she together with Seago; Kamal Mohamed, associate professor of biology; and Danilo Fernando, associate professor at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, authored an abstract that was submitted to and accepted by the International Botanical Congress for a poster presentation. She prepared the poster, “A Survey of Root and Shoot Adaptations of Aquatic and Amphibious Angiosperms,” which was displayed at the Austria Center, and she presented it.

Seago also had a poster, co-authored by Leland Marsh, emeritus professor of biology at SUNY Oswego, that was displayed and presented at the congress. The title was “Adaptive Strategies of Aquatic Basal Angiosperms and Monocots.”

The International Botanical Congress is the major conference of the world’s botanists held every six years. In 2005, the 100th anniversary of its previous hosting by Vienna, there were over 3,800 botanists from 97 countries in attendance.

While hundreds of people saw her poster, Eyres personally met and discussed the substance of the poster and project with dozens of professionals, ranging from students to the world’s leading experts, Seago said.

After the congress, Eyres, with Seago and Ichirou Karahara of Toyama, Japan, was given a tour of the Danube River and its adjacent wetlands in southern Slovakia near Bratislava, that was hosted by Alexander Lux of Commenius University in Bratislava. Here they saw typical wetland and riverine plants of central Europe.

The European trip ended with a few days in Prague, where Eyres had an opportunity to work in the lab of Olga Votrubova of Charles University. She learned improved techniques for handling wetland plants, and she and Seago added information about one species of European plant to their overall project, Seago said.

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(Posted: Oct 05, 2005)

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