California Botanical Society

28th Graduate Student Symposium

Virtual Meeting via Zoom
Friday, April 30, 2021 and Saturday, May 1, 2021

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2021 Botany Speaker Series

The CalBotSoc botany speaker series aims to showcase and promote the work of early career botanists. If you are an early career botanist interested in giving a talk of general interest to our members, please email us at

CM_bioblitz Maria Jesus

thumbnail_IMG_E8384 Jenna Ekwealor

SuePierre_large_DSC3435 Suzanne Pierre

thumbnail_IMG_4561 Natalie Love

Justin Luong Justin Luong

SF Conservatory (3) Adriana Hernandez

Lorena_Villanueva Lorena Villanueva-Almanza

Thursday, July 8, 2021 7-8pm PT
Maria Jesus

"Worth more than gold: A vascular flora of the southern Inyo Mountains, Inyo County, CA"

The Inyo Mountains in Inyo County, California, are situated in a regionally important transition zone where the Great Basin Desert and Mojave Desert bioregions meet. Much of this arid mountain range remains poorly documented and extensive work is needed to assess the vascular plant diversity via a specimen-based study. In particular, the southern extent of the range had been lacking in botanical collections despite an abundance of distinctive biogeographic features and high diversity in rare and endemic plant species. Much of this ecologically intact and nearly roadless area is urgently threatened by gold mining which would impact numerous rare plant species and culturally important plant populations. Vascular plant specimens were collected between July 2018 and April 2021 and will form the basis of a published floristic study including an annotated checklist. A total of 360 minimum rank vascular plant taxa were documented during this study. Of these, 26 are possible edaphic endemics and 30 are listed as rare in California. In addition to reviewing these findings, I will also discuss how conducting place-based research afforded a unique opportunity to inform conservation action.

Maria Jesus is a master’s student at California Botanic Garden/Claremont Graduate University where she is completing a vascular flora of the southern Inyo Mountains. Thanks to a chance encounter with a plant identification course during her undergraduate English studies, Maria abandoned plans to become a librarian and found her way to field botany. Just prior to graduate school, she managed a multi-agency vegetation monitoring program aimed at informing adaptive management of public lands. Maria is a Switzer Fellow (2019) and a Gloria Barron Scholar (2020) and is passionate about advancing native plant conservation.


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2021 Schedule of Talks

14-Jan: Lorena Villanueva-Almanza

11-Feb: Adriana Hernandez

11-Mar: Justin Luong

8-Apr: Natalie Love

13-May: Suzanne Pierre

10-Jun: Jenna Ekwealor

8-Jul: Maria Jesus, CBG & Claremont Graduate University

12-Aug: Rachael Olliff-Yang, UC Berkeley

12-Aug: Brianne Palmer, SDSU & UC Davis

14-Oct: Daniel Winkler, USGS

11-Nov: Sarah Jacobs, Cal Academy

California Botanical Society
c/o Jepson Herbarium
1001 Valley Life Sciences Building
Berkeley, California 94720-2465