Stephen F. Austin State University’s SFA Gardens will host the monthly Theresa and Les Reeves Lecture Series at 7 p.m. Nov. 10 in the Ina Brundrett Conservation Education Building at the Pineywoods Native Plant Center, located at 2900 Raguet St. Dr. Yalma Vargas will present “Sugar Maples from USA to Guatemala: Phylogeographic Patterns and Taxonomic Novelties.”
Vargas is a research fellow from the National Council of Science and Technology based at the University of Guadalajara, Mexico. Her research interests include phylogeography, molecular systematics and plant ecology and conservation.
After earning her Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of Guadalajara, Vargas moved to the U.S. to pursue a master’s degree in ecology from Louisiana State University. While working on her graduate degree, she concentrated on the ecology and conservation of cloud forests with sugar maples in Mexico and Central America. Later, her doctoral research integrated the evolutionary history of sugar maple populations along the Eastern U.S. and Central America.
As part of her graduate research, Vargas wrote a natural area proposal and management plan to protect one of the sugar maple populations in Western Mexico, which resulted in a legal decree under the state park category.
After graduating with her doctoral degree, Vargas served as assistant curator in the LSU herbarium and as a research associate in the university’s School of Renewable Natural Resources conservation genetics lab. She began her research fellow position in 2014, and her most recently funded project will test different hypotheses of plant demographic change in relation to quaternary geological events. She will use the genome of white oak populations along their distribution in Mexico and Central America.
The Theresa and Les Reeves Lecture Series is held the second Thursday of each month and includes a rare-plant raffle after the program. The lecture is free and open to the public, but donations to the Theresa and Les Reeves Lecture Series fund are always appreciated.
Parking is available at the nearby Raguet Elementary School, 2428 Raguet St., with continual shuttle service to the Ina Brundrett Conservation Education Building.
For more information, call (936) 468-1832 or email [email protected].