Thursday, April 27, 2017, 7:30 p.m.: The saga of Nevin's barberry: SoCal native on the brink of extinction, with Loraine Washburn: Nevin's Barberry, Berberis nevinii, was an early adopter of the SoCal lifestyle, but with so many members of Homo sapiens subsequently jumping on that bandwagon, the fate of Nevin's Barberry took a turn for the worse, and things have ended up rather badly for this native prickly barberry — it is now an endangered species. What is the story of this rare southern Californian shrub? Why is it so rare in the foothills of the Transverse and Peninsular ranges to which it is native, and yet quite amenable to life in southern California gardens? Loraine will present her findings from a population genetics, demography, and reproduction study of this species in light of the current status of Nevin's Barberry, and discuss prospects for its restoration going forward.
Loraine Washburn is currently Conservation Botanist and Laboratory Manager at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in Claremont. Her research focus at RSABG is on population genetics; her interests are in plant conservation, reproduction, and interpreting science to lay audiences. Her Ph.D. research at UCLA focused on sexual dimorphism in jojoba. Loraine's conservation work prior to joining RSABG was in land protection, conservation planning and policy in North Carolina and Maine. She has taught conservation at Duke University and Bates College, and marine science to high school girls in Maine.