Biodiversity and species discovery in the Philippines


Peter Fritsch, Ph.D.

Vice President of Research / Director of the Herbarium

Event Date

February 7, 2017, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM


Brown Bag Lunchtime Lectures

Program Information

Time: First Tuesday of each month, 12-1pm

Location: BRIT Commons

Cost: Free, Open to the Public

Point of Contact

Alyssa B. Young

Research Manager and Special Collections Librarian

The more than 7,000 islands of the Philippines Archipelago contain a remarkable diversity of life, harboring perhaps the greatest concentration of unique species per unit area in the world. About 9300 species of vascular plants are native to the islands. This stunning level of biodiversity is critically threatened by habitat loss while still being poorly documented, even while the country has among the highest rates of current species discovery anywhere. Among the discoveries in the past 10 years include 16 new species of mammals, a striking two-meter-long monitor lizard, and many species of the bizarre parasitic plant Rafflesia.

Dr. Peter Fritsch will summarize the history of floristic work in the Philippines including current efforts at BRIT, and highlight three of his recent expeditions to Luzon and Mindanao. He will discuss new species discoveries in the blueberry group and explain how scientific exploration and education can help save the forests of these fascinating islands.

About Brown Bag Lunchtime Lectures

The BRIT Lecture Series is designed to create community wide conversation about a diverse range of important and rapidly developing topics. This series gives scientists and speakers a forum for sharing the most current information about their areas of expertise and allows the public to interact with leading members of the local, national, and international scientific community.

Our Lecture Series is made up of Brown Bag Lunchtime Lectures and BRIT Research Seminars. Brown Bags take place the first Tuesday of each month, February – July and September – November, from noon - 1pm in the BRIT Commons. Research Seminars take place periodically throughout the year and are scheduled based on the availability of our in-house and visiting researchers.

All events are free and open to the public, please watch this page and our Facebook page for announcements of upcoming Brown Bags and BRIT Researcher Seminars.