Guarding Ginger’s Goodness by Lillie Weaver
University of Connecticut (UC) Assistant Professor and former Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) Fellow Dr. Carlos Garcia-Robledo has been working with Dr. John Kress (his former Smithsonian Advisor) to study a large collection of ginger related specimens. Their collaboration has made it possible for the staff at the UC Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology (EEB) to acquire and cultivate over two-hundred rare ginger-related specimens.
This collection of ginger relatives includes all eight families of Zingiberales which is one of the biggest orders of plants currently threatened by climate change. Global warming is causing the extinction of all types of plants at an alarming rate. In fact, over the last two and a half centuries more plant species have become extinct than all bird, mammal, and amphibian species combined. Think about that the next time you’re making gingersnap cookies.
By studying this collection of ginger relatives, researchers will better understand how global warming affects the interaction between all living things. You can read more about this inspiring story here.