Brett Jestrow

Brett Jestrow, PhD

Director of Collections
Center for Tropical Plant Conservation, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
Phone: 305-667-1651 x 3427

Curriculum Vitae

Research Activities

I focus on Caribbean plant evolution (including South Florida), covering anatomical and molecular methods. Of course, conservation and education are important parts of all research. Every month, the herbarium hosts the Plant Identification Workshop a fun way to see a herbarium first-hand, and see how we identify plants.

Current research projects

  • Phylogenetics of endemic genera of the Caribbean
  • Physiology of the nickel hyperaccumulating genus Leucocroton
  • Succulent evolution in the Caribbean (other than cacti…)


Chin, C., H. A. Priestap, M. L. Veisaga, T. Commock, K. Campbell, B. Jestrow, J. Francisco-Ortega, and A. Barbieri. 2014. Antiproliferative effect of Portlandia extracts and their fractions on breast cancer cells. European Journal of Medicinal Plants 4: 1186-1199.

Commock, T., K. C. Campbell, J. Meikle, J. Francisco-Ortega, and B. Jestrow (In press). Conservation and taxonomic updates for the Jamaican endemic genus Dendrocousinsia (Euphorbiaceae). Brittonia.

Jestrow, B., E. Freid, S. Arango-Arces, and J. Francisco-Ortega. 2014. The Bahamian flora: plant exploration, living collections, and DNA – A journey started in 1963. Botanical Review 80: 231-244.

Jestrow, B., F. Jimenez Rodriguez, and J. Francisco-Ortega. 2010. Generic delimitations in the Antillean Adelieae (Euphorbiaceae) with description of the Hispaniolan endemic genus Garciadelia. Taxon 59: 1801-1814.

Jestrow, B., J. Gutierrez Amaro, and J. Francisco-Ortega. 2012. Islands within islands: a molecular phylogenetic study of the Leucocroton alliance (Euphorbiaceae) across the Caribbean Islands and within the serpentinite archipelago of Cuba. Journal of Biogeography 39: 452-464.

Jestrow, B., J. J. Valdes, F. Jimenez Rodriguez, and J. Francisco-Ortega. 2012. Phylogenetic placement of the Dominican Republic endemic genus Sarcopilea (Urticaceae). Taxon 61: 592-600.

Jestrow, B., G. Proctor, and Francisco-Ortega. 2008. Lasiocroton trelawniensis (Euphorbiaceae), a critically endangered species from the cockpit country of Jamaica, belongs to Bernardia (Euphorbiaceae). Botanical Review 74: 166-177.

Korber, N., L. E. Gelberg, J. Mosely, M. Swan, E. Freid, B. Jestrow, and J. Francisco-Ortega. 2013. The unpublished autobiography of Donovan Correll (1908-1983): accounts on Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and Bahamian plants. Moscosoa 18: 85-103.

Maunder, M. M. Abdo, R. Berazain, C. Clubbe, F. Jimenez, A. Leiva, E. Santiago-Valentin, B. Jestrow, and J. Francisco-Ortega. 2011. The plants of the Caribbean Islands: A review of the biogeography, diversity and conservation of a storm battered biodiversity hot-spot. In: Bramwell, D. and J. Caujapé-Castells (eds.). Pp. 154-178. The biology of island floras. Cambridge University Press, London.

Meerow, A.W., L. Noblick, D. E. Salas-Leiva, V. Sanchez, J. Francisco-Ortega, B. Jestrow, and K. Nakamura. 2014. Phylogeny and historical biogeography of the cocosoid palms (Arecaceae, Arecoideae, Cocoseae) inferred from sequences of six WRKY gene family loci. Cladistics 30: 1-26.

Oleas, N., B. Jestrow, M. Calonje, B. Peguero, F. Jiménez, R. Rodríguez-Peña, R. Oviedo, E. Santiago-Valentín, A.W. Meerow, M. Abdo, M. Maunder, P. Griffith, and J. Francisco-Ortega. 2013. Molecular systematics of threatened seed plant species endemic in the Caribbean Islands. Botanical Review 79: 528-541.

Priesta, H., *C. Chin, M. L. Veisaga, T. Commock, K. Campbell, B. Jestrow, J. Francisco-Ortega, and M. Barbieri. 2014. Volatile constituents of five species of Portlandia (Rubiaceae). Journal of Essential Oil Research 26: 125-129.

Rodríguez-Peña, R. A., B. Jestrow, W. Cinea, A. Veloz, F. Jiménez-Rodríguez, R. García, A. W. Meerow, M. P. Griffith, M. Maunder, and J. Francisco-Ortega. 2014. Conservation and genetics of two Critically Endangered Hispaniolan palms – Genetic erosion ofPseudophoenix lediniana in contrast to P. ekmanii. Plant Systematics and Evolution 300: 2019-2027.

Rodríguez-Peña, R. A., B. Jestrow, A. W. Meerow, T. Clase, F. Jiménez-Rodríguez, M. P. Griffith, E. Santiago-Valentín, J. A. Sustache, and J. Francisco-Ortega. (In press). Genetic diversity and differentiation of Pseudophoenix (Arecaceae) in Hispaniola. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society.

Zona, S., J. Francisco-Ortega, B. Jestrow, W. J. Baker, and C. E. Lewis. 2011. Molecular phylogenetics of the palm subtribe Ptychospermatinae (Arecaceae).American Journal of Botany 98: 1716-1726.

Education and Training

Florida International University. Ph.D. in Biology, 2010

University of Florida, B.S. in Botany, 2002

Teaching at Florida International University

Currently, in Spring 2015, Dr. Javier Francisco-Ortega and will be teaching the graduate course, Plant Molecular Systematics, held at the Science Village. The course has both a lecture and lab component where students conduct their own projects using plants from the garden and the molecular lab.

Last updated: Oct. 29, 2014