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Next Generation Pteridology

13th Smithsonian Botanical Symposium

12th Symposium of the International Organization of Plant Biosystematists

1-5 June 2015 in Washington D.C.

National Museum of Natural History &
United States Botanic Garden

With support from:

  • United States Botanic Garden
  • Journal of Systematics and Evolution
  • International Organization of Plant Biosystematists
  • International Assocation of Plant Taxonomy
  • Cuatrecasas Family Foundation
  • National Museum of Natural History
  • Smithsonian Institution, Department of Botany


Smithsonian Botanical Symposium

United States Botanical Garden



National Museum of Natural History



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For details, click here.

  • Biogeographic patterns and processes of speciation and hybridization in spore-bearing plants (organized by Tom A. Ranker and Paul G. Wolf)
  • Evolution and development in ferns and lycophytes: case studies and perspectives (organized by Alejandra Vasco and Barbara Ambrose)
  • Future challenges of fern and lycophyte ecology: a call for conservation and collaboration in the next generation (organized by Klaus Mehltreter and James E. Watkins Jr.)
  • Genomics and transcriptomics of ferns and lycophytes (organized by Joshua P. Der and Emily B. Sessa)
  • The integration of ecological and phylogenetic approaches in pteridology (organized by Michael Sundue, James E. Watkins Jr., and Michael Kessler)


  • An introduction to next-generation sequencing and bioinformatics (organized by Mike Barker)
  • Digital species identification tools (organized by Hanna Tuomisto, Glenda Cárdenas, Jefferson Prado, Samuli Lehtonen, and Gabriela Zuquim)
  • Field ecology of ferns: a call for new standard methods and opportunities for collaboration among pteridologists (organized by Klaus Mehltreter and Joanne Sharpe)

Tentative Schedule

For planning purposes, a tentative schedule is provided below. Although we do not anticipate substantial deviations from this outline, changes are possible. Additional details will be provided as they become available.

Monday, 1 June

  • Opening symposium (8:30AM-5:30PM)
  • Reception and poster session (6:15PM)

Tuesday, 2 June

  • Colloquia and contributed talks (8:30AM-5:30PM)

Wednesday, 3 June

  • Colloquia and contributed talks (8:30AM-5:30PM)

Thursday, 4 June

  • Colloquia and contributed talks (8:30AM-5:30PM)
  • Conference dinner (6:15PM)

Friday, 5 June

  • Workshops (8:00AM-12:00PM)
  • Field trip (12:30PM-7:30PM)


Coming soon.


The past decade has seen remarkable advances in our understanding of fern and lycophyte biology. New sources of data have emerged and novel methods for analyzing these data are being developed. At the same time, many traditional approaches have been revitalized as their unique and specific contributions are more fully realized. With a recent influx of students and early career researchers, the international pteridological community continues to grow. Through more widespread and far-reaching collaborations, the pace of scientific discovery is accelerating, new parts of the globe are being included, and the conservation of these important species in a rapidly changing world is being investigated. This conference aims to bring together the world's pteridologists to celebrate the progress to date and to forecast developments still on the horizon.



The National Museum of Natural History is located on the National Mall at the intersection of 10th St and Constitution Ave NW in Washington, DC 20560.

The United States Botanic Garden is also located on the National Mall, at 100 Maryland Ave SW in Washington, DC 20001.

For maps, directions, and additional information, visit the NMNH, USBG, or NPS websites.


Metrorail, Washington's subway system, and Metrobus link the city with nearby communities in Maryland and Virginia. The closest subway stations to the National Museum of Natural History are Federal Triangle and Smithsonian (both on the Blue, Orange, and Silver lines). The closest subway station to the United States Botanic Garden is Federal Center SW (also on the Blue, Orange, and Silver lines). For a Metrorail map and more information, visit the Metro website.

Washington is served by three major airports: Reagan National (DCA), which is most convenient for domestic travelers; Dulles International (IAD); and Baltimore/Washington International (BWI). DCA is served directly by Metrorail. IAD and BWI can both be accessed via public transportation, but are not directly served by Metrorail.

Parking is not available at the museum. There are several private parking garages in the vicinity.


There are many options in the Washington area. In general, prices decrease with distance from the National Mall (city center). However, it is important to factor in the cost and time required to travel between a particular option and the conference venues on the National Mall. It is recommended that you prioritize options within walking distance to a Metrorail stop or the conference venues.

For hotels, the popular online booking sites for travelers should provide you with a range of possibilities. As always, reading reviews can be helpful. Please keep in mind that Washington is a popular tourist destination; for the greatest number of options and best prices, book early. Please note that there is not an official conference hotel.

For those interested in a more affordable, but less private option, dormitory housing will be offered at the Catholic University of America (CUA). Located on Metrorail's Red line, CUA is an easy 15-minute ride to or from the city center. Air-conditioned double rooms (single-sex and sharing a common hall bathroom) will be available for $40.50 per person per night (plus tax). Roommate requests will be honored provided both roommates make the request. A limited number of single rooms will also be available for $46.25 per person per night (plus tax; again sharing a common hall bathroom). Linens will be provided for an additional one-time fee of $25 (conference attendees are welcome to bring their own linens and avoid this fee). Pillows are not provided by CUA, but we are exploring another option to make them available. To make arrangements to stay at CUA, click here.

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