David Lorence


Director of Science and Conservation

National Tropical Botanical Garden

Dr. David Lorence occupies the B. Evans Chair of Botany and came to the National Tropical Botanical Garden in 1987. He is the Senior Research Botanist for the organization. Research specialties are systematic studies of tropical plants, floristics, and invasive plant species. His systematic research focuses on Pacific and neotropical members of the large and diverse Rubiaceae family, which includes coffee, quinine, and gardenias. He also studies the Monimiaceae family of the Malagasy region and tropical America.

Dr. Lorence’s floristic research includes a multi-institutional collaboration on a “Vascular Flora of the Marquesas Islands,” contributing partial treatment of the Rubiaceae for “Flora Mesoamericana,” and participating in a project to develop an annotated checklist of the plants of Pohnpei and Kosrae. His research on invasive species includes restoration efforts targeting Hawaiian dryland forest and exotic species invasion in Mauritius wet forest communities. He has carried out extensive fieldwork in Hawai`i, Samoa, the Marquesas, Micronesia, New Caledonia, Mexico, and the Malagasy region.

Dr. Lorence directs the research library and herbarium at headquarters, curates NTBG’s collections of Rubiaceae and of Zingiberales, and serves on the board of the Heliconia Society International.

He is editor of Allertonia, NTBG’s series of occasional papers.


  • Griffith, M. P. &  H. Lorence(editors). 2014. Honoring Beekman and Rumphius: Proceedings of the 2011 David Fairchild Medal for Plant Exploration Symposium. Allertonia 13: 1-81.
  • Laidlaw, W. G.  H. Lorence.2015. Gender and Breeding System of Kadua haupuensis (Rubiaceae). Research Gate open access publication, posted 23 July 2015, p. 1-27.
  • Lorence, D. H. The green giant: Heliconia solomonensisHeliconia Society International Bulletin20 (1): 6–7.
  • Lorence, D. H. C. Dietzsch & D. L. Kelly. 2015. Sommera cusucoana, a new species of Rubiaceae from Honduras. PhytoKeys. doi: I 10.3897
  • Lorence D. H. & L. Wagner. 2015. Heliotropium(Boraginaceae) in the Marquesas Islands (French Polynesia) with description of a new species. PhytoKeys 47: 49-57. doi: 10.3897/phytokeys.47.8767
  • Lorence, D. H., R. Aguraiuja& R. Wood. 2014. Taxonomic reassessment and conservation status of three Kaua`i species of Asplenium in the Diellia alliance. American Fern Journal 103: 166–174.
  • Lorence, D. H. K. R. Wood, S. P. Perlman& J-Y. Meyer. Flora and Vegetation of the Marquesas, and Threatened native flora of the Marquesas Islands (Southeastern Polynesia): proposed conservation status and critical areas for plant conservation (in press in: Ouvrage sur la biodiversité des Marquises. Papeete, Tahiti).
  • Martínez-Camilo, R., N. Martínez-Meléndez, M. Martínez-Meléndez, M. Á. Pérez-Farrera y  H. Lorence. Redescubrimiento de Eizia mexicana, una planta endémica de la familia Rubiaceae presumiblemente extinta, Botanical Sciences93(3): 679-682. DOI: 10.17129/botsci.242
  • Pynee, K. B. &  H. Lorence. 2014. First record and distribution of Heliotropium currassavicum L. (Boraginaceae) in the Mascarene Islands. Phelsuma22: 6–8.
  • Pynee, K. B.,  H. Lorence& Poojanraj Khurun. The sole endemic Amaranthaceae Aerva congesta Balf. f. ex Baker in the Mascarenes is in danger. (accepted in Journal of Endangered Taxa).
  • Taylor, C. M.,  H. Lorence, & B. E. Hammel. 2014. Rubiaceae: In B. E. Hammel, M. H. Grayum, C. Herrera y N. Zamores, eds. Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica. Vol. 7, Dicotiledóneas (Picramniaceae—Rutaceae). Missouri Botanical Garden Press, INBio, and Museo Nacional de Costa Rica, pp. 464—779. Lorence co-authored with Taylor and Hammel treatments of the following genera: Agouticarpa, Alibertia, Allenanthus, Amaioua, Appunia, Arachnothryx, Arcytophyllum, Bouvardia, Calycophyllum, Chiococca, Chomelia, Coffea, Cordiera, Deppea, Didymaea, Duroia, Galium, Genipa, Guettarda, Hamelia, Machaonia, Manettia, Morinda, Oldenlandia, Pittoniotis, Randia, Rogiera, Rondeletia, Sherardia, Simira, Sipanea, Sommera, & Stenostomum).
  • Wagner, W. L., R. Clark & D. H. Lorence. 2014. Revision of endemic Marquesas Islands Bidens(Asteraceae, Tribe Coreopsideae). Phytokeys 38: 37-67. doi: 10.3897/phytokeys.38.7609
  • Weller, S. G., K. Sakai, M. Clark, D. H. Lorence, T. Flynn,W. Kishida, N. Tangalin, & K. Wood. Interactions of Native and Alien Species in a diverse mesic forest in Hawai`i: A 15 Year Longitudinal Study. (accepted, in Biological Invasions).
  • Xin-Mao Zhou, C. J. Rothfels, Liang Zhang, Zhao-Rong He, T. Le Péchon, Hai He, Ngan Thi Lu,  Lorence, Xing-Jin He, Xin-Fen Gao, & Li-Bing Zhang. 2015. A large-scale phylogeny of the lycophyte genus Selaginella(Selaginellaceae: Lycopodiopsida) based on plastid and nuclear loci. Cladistics doi: 10.1111/cla.12136


FIU International Center for Tropical Botany