Wednesday, June 16, 7 pm

(On-Line Meeting)

"USF Forest Preserve", Jeannie Mounger 

Located north of Fletcher Ave, the USF Forest Preserve protects over 600 acres of imperiled sandhill and wetland ecosystems and nearly a dozen endangered or threatened plant species. More than 400 native plant species can be found within the preserve, along with an estimated 194 bird species, 31 reptile species, bobcats, otters, fox squirrels, white-tailed deer, and countless other wildlife. For decades, the Preserve has functioned as a core research facility and natural classroom for many departments in the College of Arts and Sciences. The entire property also serves as a critical link in a wildlife corridor that joins the Cypress Creek floodplain to the Green Swamp.

This talk will explore the variety of habitat types and floristic diversity found within the USF Forest Preserve, highlighting several endemics and species of conservation concern. It will also detail the current threats facing the future of biodiversity in the preserve.

Jeannie Mounger is a PhD candidate and teaching assistant in the Integrative Biology department at the University of South Florida where she studies epigenomics and transcriptomics of coastal and invasive plant species. Her work primarily focuses on Spartina alterniflora, Rhizophora mangle, and the Reynoutria japonica species complex. She has taught courses in Field Botany, Biodiversity, and Ecology. She is also an 8th-generation Floridian with a passion for Florida's native flora. Recently, she co-founded the grassroots initiative Save the USF Forest Preserve, which is seeking to prevent the destruction of the preserve.


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