(1994) Miami University, Ohio
Areas of Expertise
Reproductive biology and systematics of vascular plants of the Caribbean
My primary research area is the reproductive biology of flowering plants of the Caribbean. Specifically, I am interested in pollination biology, evolution and ecology of plant mating systems, and comparative studies of breeding systems between mainland and island species. I use a combination of hand pollination experiments, fluorescence and light microscopy (serial sections), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and confocal microscopy to determine the breeding system of individual species and investigate the evolution of breeding systems within a genus. I am also interested in the relationship of rarity to plant reproductive biology, and applying my findings to conservation.
A second area of interest is Caribbean biogeography. The biogeography of the Caribbean is complex because of the potential of multiple colonizations of the islands from the surrounding mainland, and because our understanding of the geological history is fragmented. This line of research aims to understand the evolution, biogeography and modes of speciation in this region.
While most of my research has been in the Rubiaceae, Cactaceae, and population biology of Zamiaceae, future investigations would include other flowering families with genera of interesting biogeographic distribution and floral morphology.
Negron-Ortiz, V. 2007. Chromosome numbers, nuclear DNA content and polyploidy in Consolea (Cactaceae), an endemic cactus of the Caribbean Islands. American J Botany (In Press).
Negron-Ortiz, V. In Prep. The consequences of many flowers and no fruits on the recovery of Consolea corallicola, an endemic cactus of the Florida Keys.
Strittmatter, L. I., Hickey, R. J and Negron-Ortiz, V. In Review. Heterochrony and its role in sex determination of cryptically dioecious Consolea (Cactaceae): staminate flowers. Botanical J of the Linnean Society.
Strittmatter, L. I., Negron-Ortiz, V. and Hickey, R. J. 2006. Comparative microsporangium development in male-fertile and male-sterile flowers of Consolea (Cactaceae): when and how does pollen abortion occur - Grana. 45: 81-100.
Negron-Ortiz, V. 2005. Taxonomic revision of the Neotropical genus: Erithalis (Rubiaceae: Chiococceae). Sida. 21: 1565-1598.
Negron-Ortiz, V. and L Strittmatter. 2004. Embryology of floral dimorphism and gender system of Consolea corallicola (Cactaceae), a rare species of the Florida Keys. Haseltonia. 10: 1-10.