Research

Research

Staff

Peter Fritsch, Ph.D.

Vice President of Research / Director of the Herbarium

Barney L. Lipscomb

Dorothea Leonhardt Chair of Texas Botany, Head of BRIT Press

Brooke Byerley Best, Ph.D.

Editor, Botanist, Living Roof Coordinator, Research-Education Liaison

Tiana Franklin Rehman

Herbarium Collections Manager

Kim Norton Taylor

Herbarium Technician and Botanical Research Assistant

Dwayne Estes, Ph.D.

Botanical Explorer & Curator of the VDB Herbarium

Jason Best

Director of Biodiversity Informatics

Heather Bass

Research Assistant

Alyssa B. Young

Research Coordinator and Special Collections Librarian

Taylor Sultan Quedensley, Ph.D.

Research Botanist

Alejandra Vasco, Ph.D.

Research Botanist

The BRIT research staff strives to incorporate the "three Ds" into each of our projects: discovery, documentation, and dissemination. Our researchers generally focus their projects around the themes of biodiversity exploration, botany science core, and sustainability. By participating in a variety of projects around the world, from Peru and Jamaica to our home in Fort Worth, Texas, our researchers are always on the go...and always learning.

Employment opportunity:
BRIT seeks a highly motivated Research Botanist with a primary focus on plant systematics and complementary interests in floristics, ecology, and/or conservation. Research incorporating a combination of genomics, collections, field work, and/or geographic focus on Texas and the south-central United States is preferred. The target start date for the position is July 1, 2018. Click here for more information.

Upcoming Events

Botany, Ecology, and Nature

Workshops and classes for the botanically inclined.

BRIT and the Fort Worth Botanic Garden are pleased to offer this series of classes and workshops that will focus on giving participants hands-on, experience-based education in the fields of plant and wildlife science, conservation, sustainability, and ecology. These carefully designed classes and workshops (most of which will will feature field investigations or lab work) will enhance  participants' prior education, offer participants the opportunity to assemble a unique set of skills, and allow participants to interact and network with professionals in their field of interest. 

Upcoming Events
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The Eye and the Microscope


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Recent Articles

My Summer Education: The Microscopic World

BRIT has been amazing – a catalyst that has unlocked the doors to the natural world and shown me wonders that I had never fully appreciated. I have always loved hiking, climbing trees, being outside in general, but my connection to the surrounding plant-life was distant, similar to the relationship between a homeowner and the trees that form the hardwood floors. I appreciated plants’ beauty and enjoyed the shade, but now there is a definite connection between my (limited) scientific knowledge and the physical plants. It means so much more to know the scientific name of a tree you just ran past, or to recognize Vitis mustangensis and know that you can eat the wild grapes growing on the vines. Perhaps most exciting thing to me is this: the further realization that the microscopic world is bu...
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Recycling Rocks!

Mixed-stream recycling is pretty amazing. We get to throw all of our recyclables into one bin, and then — POOF! — they magically get taken away and sorted elsewhere. No more icky sorting of paper from soda cans, milk jugs from mason jars! But have you ever wondered how the sorting ACTUALLY HAPPENS and WHO DOES IT?
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A Trip to Seville Farms

A couple of weeks ago, over half of the BRIT building was eerily empty for a day as the whole research department set off for a tour of Seville Farms, which is owned and operated by one of our board members, Billy Brentlinger. Seville Farms is a large-scale plant nursery providing annuals, perennials, and ground covers to numerous garden centers across Texas. The farms have five facilities containing over three million square feet! On this trip we visited the headquarters in Mansfield, Texas, and Billy and his right-hand-man John gave us an in-depth tour of the operations, start to finish.
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My Time at Mile High

Hello! I wanted to share my experience in the Mile High City with all of you back home in the great state of Texas. I am currently participating in a year-long service program in Denver, Colorado, while I discern my path as an up-and-coming environmental scientist. My first couple days in Colorado were spent in the mountains. Amazing views! My service group, Colorado Vincentian Volunteers, is a nonprofit organization based in Denver dedicated to inviting young people into a process of transformation through companionship with those who are poor and marginalized. So what exactly does this mean? Essentially, the group functions similarly to a domestic Peace Corps, but with a spirituality component. While the program consists of 20 participants, I live with 9 in a home we fondly call COHO. We...
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BRIT Teams with Tarleton State University to Build Habitat Maps of 57 Central Texas Rare Plant Species

TxDOT will use maps to find, protect rare plants along Texas highways FORT WORTH, Texas – The Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT®), Tarleton State University, and the Texas Department of Transportation are teaming together to document rare plant species that may potentially exist within TxDOT rights-of-way in 23 counties in the Waco and Austin districts of Central Texas. Through a TxDOT grant, Tarleton and BRIT will research and build habitat maps for 57 of the 81 Edwards Plateau rare plant species. The work includes identifying, documenting, and mapping areas where these rare species most likely occur. TxDOT will use these maps to improve the department’s ability to protect the rare species, which grow along Texas highways. For several of these species, roadsides represent a sign...
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Yunnan, China

Dr. Peter Fritsch, BRIT’s VP of Research and Director of the Herbarium, is on a visiting scholarship from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, based at the Kunming Institute of Botany in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province. Peter went on a brief (8-day) field trip in late October-early November to far northeastern Yunnan Province and the bordering area of Guizhou Province.
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The changing plant life of small islands in the Sea of Cortéz

We met at the office at 6:30 am and proceeded to spend about two hours packing the truck with food. 40 mouths are many to feed, and after hundreds of pounds of coolers, boxes, bags of rice, and beans, stuffed in between with fresh fruit, we load up and hit the road...
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World Record Largest Myxomycete Found On BRIT Campus

In April 2016, a world record myxomycete was discovered on the BRIT campus. We're here to answer your questions: What is a myxomycete? Why does this matter? Should we be scared of it?
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