Wilnelia Recart

Wilnelia Recart, B.Sc.
Integrative Biology and Environmental Sciences
University of Puerto Rico - Río Piedras (2012)
e-mail: wilnelia.recart@gmail.com

Background

Hola! I live and work at the tropical paradise of Puerto Rico. I enjoy bird watching, photography, camping, hiking and collecting plants. In May 2012 I earned my B.Sc. in Integrative Biology with a minor in Environmental Sciences from the University of Puerto Rico. After graduation I have rejoined the UPRRP Herbarium. I am also conducting research in Dr. Ackerman's lab and searching for graduate school for August 2013. I have been working in the herbarium for quite some time now.

My duties in the herbarium have been pretty diverse; I work with our online specimen database, our website, advertisements for herbarium activities and sometimes moving our collection, mounting specimens and giving talks about what we do at the herbarium (if you are interested in our talks, feel free to contact us).


Previous Research Experience

As an undergrad I worked with a wide array of topics. My most important research was studying the effect of an exotic orchid on a native one through the presence of a native florivorous weevil in Puerto Rico. After understanding this relationship, which turned out to have a negative impact on to the native orchid, I worked with species distribution modeling to determine where this interaction could be occurring. This research was recently published in the journal Biological Invasions. I have also worked with bird ecology were I learned how to catch, tag and measure birds and with biodiversity in tropical river biofilms to understand how differences in nutrient availability affects this diversity. I have collaborated with Jaime Pagán and Gladys Nazario on ethnobotany topics. Also, with Curt Daehler with distribution modeling (under the USDA Faculty and Student Teams (FaST) program) and Mark Schwarzländer at University of Idaho with classic biological control for rush skeletonweed, Chondrilla juncea (under an Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program).


Research interests

My most general interest is in community ecology. Within this broad area, most of my interests are focused on invasive species biology and their interactions with native species and the environment. I am also interested in distribution modeling, plant taxonomy, herbivory and pollinator biology.

At the moment I am working with the invasion of Pinus caribaea var. hondurensis in Puerto Rico. We (JD Ackerman, F Falcón and J Lazcano) are working with MaxEnt, a species habitat modeling software, to better understand the pine invasion in the island.

Other research projects in which I am involved include:

  • Pollination biology of Arundina graminifolia, Bletia patula, and Oeceoclades maculata in Puerto Rico
  • A checklist of plants that Stethobaris polita (Curculionidae) consumes
  • A description and list of the medicinal plants of Puerto Rico

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or if you just want to talk about science.


Publications

Falcón W, JD Ackerman, W Recart, and C Daehler. Accepted. Biology and Impacts of Pacific Island Invasive Species. X. Iguana iguana, the green iguana (Squamata: Iguanidae). Pacific Science.

Recart W, JD Ackerman and AA Cuevas. 2012. There goes the neighborhood: apparent competition between invasive and native orchids mediated by a specialist florivorous weevil. Biological Invasions. Doi: 10.1007/s10530-012-0283-0

Ackerman JD, W Falcón and W Recart. 2011. New Records of Naturalized Orchids for the Hawaiian Islands. Records of the Hawaiian Biological Survey, Occasional Papers 110:1-4

A selection of my presentations

Recart W, AA Cuevas and JD Ackerman. 2011. There goes the neighborhood: apparent competition between invasive, and native orchids. 96th Ecological Society of America (ESA) Annual Meeting. Austin, Texas, USA. (Oral Presentation)

Recart W, M Schwarzländer, M Haverhals, A Weed, M Bennett and B Harmon. 2011. Can Chondrilla juncea resist biocontrol? The race between plant genotypes and rusts strains. CRISSP Summer 2011 REU Presentations. Moscow, Idaho, USA. (Oral Presentation)

Falcón, W, JD Ackerman, W Recart, and PJ Hernández-García. 2011. Hawai’i and Puerto Rico: A story of shared orchid weeds. Hawai’i Conservation Conference. O’ahu, HI. (Oral presentation, not present)

Falcón, W, W Recart, and JD Ackerman. 2011. Invasive green iguanas (Iguana iguana) on the march: Vulnerability of tropical islands. Tercer Simposio de Herpetología Puertorriqueña. Arecibo, PR. (Oral presentation, not present)

Recart W, JD Ackerman, W Falcón and P Hernandez. 2011. Conquering the islands one fruit at a time: Arundina graminifolia (Orchidaceae) visits Puerto Rico and Hawaii. 30th Puerto Rico Interdisciplinary Scientific Meeting. Bayamón, Puerto Rico. (Oral Presentation)

Recart W, S Burgos and A Ramírez. 2011. Exploring the microbial world: assessing benthic biofilms composition to the response of different nutrient conditions. ASLO Annual Meeting. San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Oral Presentation)

Recart W, AA Cuevas and JD Ackerman. 2010. There goes the neighborhood: Reproductive success of Bletia patula when Spathoglottis plicata moves in. 1er Encuentro de Estudiantes Investigadores. San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Oral Presentation)

Recart W, AA Cuevas, JD Ackerman, NP Flores-Saldaña and CM Zambrana-Torrelio. 2010. There goes the neighborhood: Reproductive success of Bletia patula when Spathoglottis plicata moves in. 95th Ecological Society of America (ESA) Annual Meeting. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. (Poster Presentation)

Recart W, AA Cuevas, JD Ackerman, NP Flores-Saldaña and CM Zambrana-Torrelio. 2010. Naturalized exotics affecting native plants in Puerto Rico: The weevils and orchid interaction. 29th Puerto Rico Interdisciplinary Scientific Meeting. Mayagüez, Puerto Rico. (Oral Presentation)