Sanders wins fellowship for summer research

June 4, 2014

Apteria_aphylla1_JPG sandersDr. Rogers Sanders, director of the Bryan Arboretum, has received an Appalachian College Association Faculty Fellowship to conduct research this summer.

Dr. Roger Sanders Dr. Sanders, whose discipline is botany, plans to survey and catalog the plants on timber land Bryan Colleges owns in Liberty County, Florida. “The tract may be close enough to the Apalachicola River to be part of the area that harbors a high number of species (of plants) that are found nowhere else, or are the most southern outposts of plants commonly found farther north.,” he said. “We’ll document specimens of every flowering plant species we find, and preserve all except any endangered ones for study. We’ll keep a set at Bryan, give one to the University of Tennessee and one to the Florida State Natural History Museum.”

In a preliminary trip this past fall, he and colleague Dr. Todd Wood “scouted out the property to determine the most efficient means of conducting the survey. We hope that in the process of mapping the plant communities on the property, this research should discover additional populations of rare species, such as the ‘parasitic’ flower Apteria aphylla we located, which has a single flower growing on a wiry stem out of the dry leaf litter.”

He said several Bryan students are considering applying for Colonel Lee B. Ledford Student Research scholarships to assist in the research. If their applications are accepted, they would help map and collect plants, and learn conservation management skills that would make Bryan Arboretum part of a regional and national effort.

In Florida, Dr. Sanders will work with Jeff Main, timber manager for the property, who will provide mapping programs and logistics.

Appalachian College Association fellowships are designed to encourage faculty development opportunities in the 36 member institutions of the association.