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COSEWIC assessment and update status report on the American Columbo in Canada

Biographical Summary of Report Writers

Tyler Smith completed a B.Sc. in Ecology at the University of Guelph. He has eleven years professional experience as a naturalist and field biologist.  He was employed as the field botanist for Royal Botanical Gardens from 1998 until 2002, where he was responsible for curating the RBG herbarium (HAM), vegetation monitoring for the Cootes Paradise wetland restoration, and development and implementation of conservation projects for species at risk. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Plant Science Department at McGill University, researching the systematics and ecology of Carex section Porocystis. Tyler has published a number of articles and reports on habitat restoration, endangered species conservation, and the flora of Hamilton, including the recovery plan for few-flowered club-rush (Trichophorum planifolium). He co-authored the COSEWIC update status report for small-flowered lipocarpha (Lipocarpha micrantha), broad beech-fern (Phegopteris hexagonoptera), and green dragon (Arisaema dracontium).

Carl Rothfels graduated from McMaster University with a B.A.Sc. Combined Honours Biology. He has been a naturalist in a professional capacity since the early 1990s, including six years as an interpretive naturalist in Algonquin Provincial Park. While at Algonquin he undertook the curation of the Algonquin Museum Herbarium (APM), and updated the Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Algonquin Provincial Park. He has published several articles on the distribution and ecology of exotic species, including Lythrum hyssopifolia L. and Hesperis matronalis L., and he has contributed dozens of new plant records for Algonquin Park, York Region, and the new City of Hamilton. Carl is currently employed as the principal researcher for Royal Botanical Gardens’ rare and endangered plants program, as the curator of their herbarium (HAM), and as their natural lands steward.  In addition to his botanical experience, Carl is an avid birder and entomologist. He co-authored the COSEWIC update status reports for broad beech-fern (Phegopteris hexagonoptera) and green dragon (Arisaema dracontium).

Erica Oberndorfer graduated from McMaster University with an Honours B.A.Sc. She has worked on a number of ecological restoration and conservation projects at the Royal Botanical Gardens, including fieldwork contributions to the few-flowered club-rush (Trichophorum planifolium) recovery plan and the small-flowered lipocarpha (Lipocarpha micrantha) status report, the joint RBG and Six Nations ethnobotany project, and ecological restoration monitoring. She completed an internship in greenroof technology in Germany in 2001, and continues to be very active in green community initiatives. She was the Nature Reserves Stewardship Coordinator for the Federation of Ontario Naturalists from 2003 to 2004 and worked extensively on management planning for alvars.  Erica is currently an M.Sc. candidate in the Biology Department at St. Mary’s University in Halifax, researching plant diversity maintenance in coastal barrens.

Collections Examined

No additional herbarium material was examined in the preparation of this update report. In preparing the original status report Crins and Sharp examined specimens from the following herbaria: Canadian Museum of Nature (CAN), Ottawa, ON; Agriculture and Agri-food Canada (DAO), Ottawa, ON; University of Guelph (OAC), Guelph, ON; Royal Ontario Museum (TRT), Toronto, ON; Erindale College, University of Toronto (TRTE), Toronto, ON; University of Western Ontario (UWO), London, ON; University of Waterloo (WAT), Waterloo, ON. They also confirmed that no F. caroliniensis specimens were held by the herbaria at Queen’s University (QK, Kingston, ON), University of Windsor (WOCB, Windsor, ON), and Wilfred Laurier University (WLU, Waterloo, ON) (Crins and Sharp, 1993).


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