Morgan Gostel, Ph.D.

Research Botanist

Event Date

March 5, 2019, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM


Research Lecture Series

Program Information

Lunchtime Lectures
Dates: First Tuesday of each month
Time: 12 - 1pm
Location: online for now
Cost: Free, Open to the Public

BRIT Research Seminars
Date: Various dates throughout year
Time: 12 - 1pm 
Location: online for now
Cost: Free, Open to the Public
Visit the event page for specific date and time information.

Point of Contact

Brooke Byerley Best, Ph.D.

Director of Research Programs

Due to the unique combination of extreme species endemism and richness the island of Madagascar is considered one of the world’s hottest biodiversity “hotspots”. Madagascar is the fourth largest island on Earth and although its land area is approximately 40,000 mi2 less than the state of Texas, the number of species found here and nowhere else is comparable to what you might expect on an entire continent. Because of this, Madagascar is a natural laboratory for studying biodiversity and evolution. Among the nearly 1,000 species of vertebrates in Madagascar, approximately 80% are endemic – meaning they are found nowhere else on Earth. The amount of plant diversity here is even more startling – the island is home to more than 11,000 species of plants. Put another way, nearly 4% of the world’s plant species are found on just 0.1% of the world’s land area! Among these 11,000 species, almost 9,000 (84%) are endemic and each year, many more are described. What is it about this amazing island that leads to the evolution of so much diversity? During this seminar we will highlight Madagascar’s unique contributions to global biodiversity, emphasizing plant diversity and endemism, focus on some case studies, and discuss some of the prevailing hypotheses regarding the drivers of evolution here.

About Research Lecture Series

The BRIT Lecture Series is designed to create community wide conversation about a diverse range of important and rapidly developing topics. This series gives scientists and speakers a forum for sharing the most current information about their areas of expertise and allows the public to interact with leading members of the local, national, and international scientific community.

Our Lecture Series is made up of Lunchtime Lectures and Research Seminars. Lunchtime Lectures take place the first Tuesday of each month, February – July and September – November, from noon - 1pm in the BRIT Commons (**Now held virtually until further notice***). Research Seminars take place periodically throughout the year and are scheduled based on the availability of our in-house and visiting researchers.

All events are free and open to the public. Please watch this page and our social media channels for announcements of upcoming Lunchtime Lectures and Researcher Seminars.