Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Jasper and his Antherostele

I would like to congratulate our friend in PNPCSI, Jasper Obico, who earned his masteral degree in botany. After years of work on his thesis, he defended it with flying colors. And last Sunday he finally paraded in the U.P. amphitheater along with this year's crop of the country's top hopefuls.

Incidentally, Jasper's thesis was about the taxonomy of a particular genus that is proudly Philippine endemic - Antherostele. Antherostele are related to coffee and the familiar santan, all belong to the family Rubiaceae. But unlike the last mentioned, members of this particular genus are all presently confined naturally within Philippine bounds, meaning you won't find it in any other country. And Jasper literally went around the archipelago to find the recorded species, document them and update their taxonomy. Not an easy job since these rubiacs are found deep in our forests ranging from Ilocos to the Visayas. Shows Jasper's passion and dedication to further botanize Philippine flora.

Well done, Jasper! May you influence more students to be sentinels and defenders of our forests.

(Pictures of Jasper and Antherostele callophylla were downloaded from Jasper's Facebook account.)

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