Javier Francisco-Orgtega


Professor, Department of Biological Sciences
Florida International University

Plant systematics – focus on using molecular tools to establish phylogenetic relationships among taxa. Also uses “traditional” tools to address systematic questions; including: electron microscopy, morphometrics, anatomy, natural products (micromolecules), nomenclature, and ecogeographical approaches.

Conservation – many projects focus on threatened (sensu IUCN) species. These projects use molecular markers  tailored either for population genetics (microsatellites) or for phylogenetics (nucleotide sequences).

History of plant exploration – Rooted in David Fairchild’s strong tradition and commitment to plant exploration, studies have a strong field component  The vast majority concern plants endemic to tropical and subtropical islands, and are conducted in close collaboration with colleagues working on these islands.

Studies make extensive use of the unique living collections of tropical plants found at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. All studies are made in collaboration with colleagues from USA and other countries.


  • Cycad biodiversity, phylogenetics, and conservation
  • Palm biodiversity, phylogenetics, and conservation
  • Conservation and biodiversity of plants from tropical and subtropical islands
  • History of botany and plant exploration

Please visit the following link to view Dr. Francisco-Ortega’s current projects



  • Oleas NH, Meerow AW, Feeley KJ, Gebelein J, and Francisco-Ortega J. 2014. Using species distribution models as a tool to discover new records of Phaedranassa brevifolia Meerow, 1987 (Liliopsida: Amaryllidaceae) in Northern Ecuador. Check List. 10(3):689-691.

Javier Francisco-Ortega
11200 SW 8th St, OE 242
Miami, FL 33199





FIU International Center for Tropical Botany