Biogeography and seed desiccation tolerance in Fagaceae
“I am a PhD student co-supervised by the Kunming Institute of Botany, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank partnership. My PhD programme focuses on the seed ecology of Chinese Cyclobalanopsis (Fagaceae). My interest in the genus Cyclobalanopsis (evergreen oaks) was led by my Chinese supervisor Prof Zhou Zhekun. With a broad understanding of biogeography of Fagaceae, he suggested I start my PhD programme on this genus, which mainly grows in tropical and subtropical Asia. This proposal interested Prof Hugh Pritchard and Dr Matthew Daws at the MSBP.
My PhD programme started in 2006. I collected seeds of 13 Cyclobalanopsis species and also seeds of Quercus, Castenea and Lithocapus in China. Under the guidance of Prof Pritchard and Dr Daws, I visited the MSB that winter to begin the research on these seeds. The aim of my programme is to build up seed ecological knowledge of Cyclobalanopsis, an area not well studied until now. The programme includes studies on storage behaviour, germination, and desiccation tolerance. European oak seeds are also studied as a comparison.
My experience at the MSB broadened my seed biology knowledge through experimental practice, and also through reports and talks. During my five and a half month stay I got to know many excellent colleagues from around the world, who helped me with lots of good suggestions. I have since had the opportunity to attend the 9th ISSS Conference on Seed Biology in Poland. Study with the MSBP is brightening my career as a seed biologist.”
- Read about the work of Kew's Millennium Seed Bank partnership in China
- Read about the Millennium Seed Bank's research project into the Frequency of Desiccation Tolerance in certain taxa
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