Science Village Community

The Science Village provides a place for professional botanists to perform their research and to interact with the large community of members, volunteers, general public, and staff that composes Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. This team of scientists includes Fairchild researchers, Florida International University faculty, post-doctoral fellows, graduate students, and laboratory volunteers.

Administrative Staff

Rose Ricks:
Science Village Assistant
Phone: 305-667-1651 x 3520


Carl E. Lewis, PhD:
Director of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
Phone: 305-667-1651 x 3333
Systematics, molecular phylogenetics, micropropagation, orchids, palms

Brett Jestrow, PhD:
Herbarium Curator
Phone: 305-667-1651 x 3427
Systematics, molecular phylogenetics, micromorphology and anatomy, plant exploration, Caribbean plants

Jason Downing, PhD:
Orchid Biologist
Phone: 305-667-1651 x 3354
Plant micropropagation, conservation ecology, molecular systematics, mycorrhiza, genetic diversity

Jennifer Possley, MS:
Field Biologist
Phone: 305-667-1651 x 3514
Natural areas management, ferns, restoration ecology, GIS, invasive species, threatened species

Jimmy Lange, BS:
Field Biologist
   Phone: 305-667-1651 x 3515
Conservation ecology, impacts of sea level rise on plant communities of south Florida, restoration ecology, field botany, GIS mapping of rare plants and habitats

Kenneth J. Feeley, PhD:
   Ecology and biogeography of tropical forests, effect of climatic change in tropical forest structure, empirical modeling techniques

Hong Liu, PhD:
Associate Professor at Florida International University, Department of Earth and the Environment
Phone: 305-667-1651 x 3517
Orchid conservation, population biology, plant-animal interactions, reproductive biology, invasive species, China plants, restoration ecology

Javier Francisco-Ortega, PhD:
Professor at Florida International University, Department of Biological Sciences
Phone: 305-667-1651 x 3512
Systematics, molecular phylogenetics, cycads, palms, botanical history, threatened species, island plants