Fernando Omar Zuloaga

Fernando Omar Zuloaga

Fellow: Awarded 1989

Field of Study: Plant Sciences

Competition: Latin America & Caribbean

Fernando Zuloaga is the Director of the Instituto de Botánica Darwinion in San Isidro, Argentina, and a member of the scientific editorial board for its journal Darwiniana; Fellow of CONICET; and Senior Researcher at the museum of and Professor of Phytogeography at the Universidad Nacional de La Plata (UNLP), the institution where he earned his Licenciado in botany (1974) and Ph.D. in natural sciences (1978).

Mr. Zuloaga specializes in the taxonomy of both the family Poaceae (true grasses) and Argentine flora. With support from CONICET, he has travelled to the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., to further his research on the biosistematics of South American Paniceas (1982-83) and taxonomy of the tribe Olyreae (Poaceae: Bambusoideae) (1986). He has also worked extensively at the Missouri Botanical Gardens, supported by Fellowships from the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation (1990-91) and the Guggenheim Foundation (1990); his collaboration with experts there continues.

He has published over twelve dozen articles and eight books on the systematics of vascular plants, especially of the family Poaceae, among them his three-part study “El Género Panicum en la República Argentina,” Darwiniana, I: 22 (1979), II: 23 (1981), III: 29 (1989); Classification of the outlying species of New World Panicum (Poaceae: Paniceae) (Smithsonian Institution Press, 1985); (with Osvaldo Morrone and A. Escobar), “Chromosome studies in American Panicoideae (Poaceae),” Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden, 93 (2006); and more recently the first of three volumes of the Catálogo de las Plantas Vasculares del Cono Sur (Argentina, Sur de Brasil, Paraguay y Uruguay) (Missouri Botanical Garden Press, 2008), which he wrote and edited with Osvaldo Morrone and Manuel J. Belgrano. For his checklist of the vascular plants of Argentina, one of his long-term projects, Mr. Zuloaga received the Premio “Conservar el Futuro” from the President of Argentina.

In 2002, he was named a member of the Academy of Sciences of Córdoba, and the following year he garnered the coveted Premio Konex from the Konex Foundation. He is also a member of the Botanical Society of Argentina, and was its President from 1992 to 1994; the American Society of Plant Taxonomists; the International Association of Plant Taxonomists; and the Botanical Society of America. His important work has earned him more than forty grants from CONICET in addition to support from the World Wildlife Fund, the National Geographic Society, the Smithsonian Institution, Fundación Antorchas, and the Mellon Foundation.