|A major clade within Acanthaceae is the cystolith clade. Cystoliths are anatomical structures found in leaves and are thought to be composed of calcium carbonate or calcium oxalate. Their function is unknown.|
August 2011: Erin Tripp and Lucinda McDade, together with co-authors Siti Fatimah and Iain Darbyshire, submit manuscript on the interlineage hybrid, heteroplasmic genus Physacanthus.
August 2011: Erin Tripp and evolutionary ecologist Kyle Dexter return to Namibia for further study of the Acanth flora and the evolution of the regionally endemic, species-rich genus Petalidum; they are joined by Namibian student Hendrina Hasheela.July 2011: Siti Fatimah and Erin Tripp submit manuscript on comparative anatomy and morphology of the African genus Satanocrater for peer review.
July 2011: Siti Fatimah is accepted into a graduate program in the Netherlands (University of Leiden), where she is to pursue research in ecology and evolutionary biology. She finishes her employment at RSABG in August 2011 - Siti, we will miss you! Long live Acanths of Malaysia!
July 2011: Siti Fatimah, Ryan Stanfield, Erin Tripp, and Lucinda McDade present results from their research on Ruellieae at the 2011 Botany Conference in St. Louis, MO. Erin Tripp is awarded the annual Cooley Award for the best paper presented in Plant Systematics for her work on the intergeneric, interlineage hybrid Physacanthus (in collaboration with Lucinda McDade, Siti Fatimah, and Iain Darbyshire).
Jun 2011: Master's student Dan Koenemann and Erin Tripp submit manuscript on the nomenclature of Sanchezia for peer review.
May 2011: We have been working on the evolutionarily complex genus Physacanthus for nearly two years now. Results have been recently synthesized, and the manuscript is on its way for peer review. Physacanthus is heteroplasmic, having chloroplasts of two different Acanth lineages within a single plant. Morphology of the genus also suggests it may be an intergeneric, interlineage hybrid.
March 2011: Tripp travels to China for a month to collect Acanthaceae with Chinese colleague and Acanth specialist Dr. Deng Yunfei. The fieldwork was a success - with almost all targeted genera found in flower or fruit in Yunnan, Hunan, Guizhou, and Guangdong Provinces.
December 2010: Dan Koeneman, PhD student in botany at RSABG, completes a successful semester-long RA ship with Tripp & McDade; Dan undertook two projects: 1) a complete bibliographic investigation of all names ever published in Ruellieae (2,265!), and 2) a nomenclatural study of the taxonomically difficult genus Sanchezia. Results from both projects will be tremendously helpful to our Systematics of Ruellieae manuscript, which is in prep.
October 2010: Tripp, together with Kew Gardens colleague Dr. Iain Darbyshire, discover a new species of Barleria among the recent field collections of E. Tripp and K. Dexter from Namibia. The manuscript is in preparation.
September 9th 2010: Ryan Stanfield is awarded a $10,400 fellowship to support his upcoming master's research on the ability of cystoliths to sequester heavy metals.
September 1st 2010: Siti Fatimah Binti is hired full time on the Ruellieae project.
August 6th 2010: Ethiopian botanist Ensermu Kelbessa and grad student Mekbib Fekadu arrive at RSABG for a month of training and collaborative research. Ensermu, Tripp and McDade survey pollen diversity of all genera in Ruellieae; Mekbib participates in a 10-day molecular systematics training workshop, then conducts a comparative survey of leaf and stem anatomy across Ruellieae. Some anatomical sections can be seen here.
August, 2010: Preliminary results on the Systematics of Ruellieae presented by Tripp, McDade and Isa at the annual botany conference in Providence, RI.
July 15th 2010: Ethnobotany section added here.
July 8th 2010: Horticulture section added here.
June 9th 2010: Second field trip report from Ethiopia can be found here.
April 18th 2010: First field trip report from Namibia can be found here.
May 2010: Thuy Ly, undergraduate at Pomona College in Claremont hired as summer intern to begin the study of nectar biology in Acanthaceae; collaborative project co-supervised by Dr. Chuck Taylor, Professor of Chemistry at Pomona College.
April 2010: databasing and georeferencing of musuem specimens and plants collected in Africa begins at RSABG
April 2010: Tripp conducts fieldwork in Ethiopia, accompanied by botanist and Acanthaceae specialist Dr. Ensermu Kelbessa.
March 2010: Tripp conducts fieldwork in Namibia, accompanied by evolutionary ecologist Dr. Kyle Dexter.
March 2010: Ryan Stanfield (then) undergraduate at California State Polytechnic University - Pomona, volunteers to design and develop Acanthaceae website; release of Acanthaceae webpage.
January - February 2010: Tripp and McDade travel to Europe to study natural history collections and make contact with colleagues. The following herbaria were visited: Z (Switzerland), GZU, W, WU (Austria), M, B (Germany), C (Denmark), S, UPS (Sweden), BR (Belgium), K, HNN (United Kingdom). Several Acanthaceae specialists were consulted during these travels including Dr. Alexander Schmidt-Lebuhn (Z), Dr. Mariette Manktelow (UPS), Dr. Kaj Vollesen (K), and Dr. Iain Darbyshire (K).
January 2010: Siti Fatimah Binti, (then) undergraduate at California State Polytechnic University - Pomona, hired to help in the molecular lab and to assist with other aspects of the research project.
December 2009: Tripp travels to Ecuador to learn field methods in bat pollination from bat ecologist Nathan Muchhala; Tripp and McDade apply for permits to conduct research in Africa.
November 2009: Tripp travels to Missouri Botanical Garden, The Smithsonian Institution, New York Botanical Garden, and California Academy to study natural history collections and solidify contacts with colleagues. Over 1,000 specimens were selected and requested on loan to Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden for further study.
October 1, 2009: Ruellieae project launched, funded by US National Science Foundation.
July 15th 2010: Resolution of scrolling banner images have been reduced to improve site performance. Use of internet explorer on this website is not recommended.June 9th 2010: Website restored and field report updated.
April 26th 2010: RSABG website hacked, Acanthaceae pages destroyed.
March 16th 2010: Basic design on site mostly complete, now comes the content phase.
March 6th 2010: New image scrolling banner!
March 1st 2010: Acanthaceae Beta v. 0.1 Non-release candidate.