Anthony Gibson, a Junior Joliet College (JJC) student, has been awarded a research grant to study a native flora on the campus of the college. The Illinois Native Plant Society (INPS) awarded the grant. The Society took the services of eight professional reviewers to judge the applicants for the grant. The reviewers determined whether the applicants fulfilled the required grant criteria or not.
Gibson is researching the vascular plant life on the campus of the college. Biology professor Andrew Neil is assisting Gibson in the research. They are looking at finding the species and subspecies of the native flora present in the area. After this, they will investigate how the located species group with each other. Gibson has been working hard on his research.
Neill admired the efforts of Gibson related to this research. He said, “Anthony’s dedication to this project exceeds all expectations. He is continuously working on the project both at home and in the field.” For the identification of plants, Gibson has set up a botany lab at his home. He also performs specimen preparation in his lab.
Gibson appreciated the support he was getting from professor Neill. “His knowledge of plant biology and ecology has been a constant source of insight for the design and implementation of our methods,” said Gibson. His research will find out which locations of the campus have not been plowed or destroyed by uncovering the lost locations of the rare plant.
Gibson and Neill are using a survey method to locate the rare plants. They perform a survey every week to document each plant species they find. During this research, they have already located several lost species on the college campus. Gibson said, “The rare plant vascular plant we found was the walking fern of Asplenium rhyzophyllum.” Gibson will graduate from the college in science next spring.