of Lecythis pisonis by Xylocopa frontalis
Ph.D.: University of Wisconsin, 1974
My research centers on Neotropical rain forests, especially the floristics of Amazonian and Guianan forests. I am also interested in educating others about the diversity of beauty of plants and this has led my wife, Carol Gracie, and I to offer ecotours to various destinations, mostly in the Neotropics but also to Europe.
My original curator painting illustrates another of my research interests, the interaction between plants and animals. In the painting Xylocopa frontalis is seen visiting the flowers of Lecythis pisonis in the rain forests of eastern Brazil. This painting led to another painting in which the seeds of this species are shown being dispersed by the bat Phyllostomus hastatus. These paintings have been reproduced in an article published in Natural History magazine about the pollination and dispersal biology of the Brazil nut family (Mori, S. A. 2000. Bats, bees, and Brazil nut trees. Natural History, April 2000. Pp. 66-69).
I include several other paintings prepared by Michael Rothman that depict scenes in French Guiana, the flooded forests of the Rio Negro, and the seeds of Lecythis pisonis being dispersed by Phyllostomus hastatus. The French Guiana canopy painting is owned by the Massachusetts Horticultural Society.