Have you ever wondered what it is like to do botanical field work? How about field work in places where you are pretty sure no one who knew the plants has ever been before? Well, buckle up, because we are going to follow the best trail of all: The Trail of the Unknown. Tristan was honored to be invited to participate in botanical field work in 2017 by our very own Greg Starr to study – you guessed it – Agaves. And, for Tristan, who has spent over 30 years on scientific expeditions across the globe, this was his first botanical expedition.
Tristan will take you on his first trip with Greg to a potential study site for his agave research – a site secluded and difficult to reach: surely a site unknown botanically. And, of course, because Tristan’s primary botanical interest is cacti (though Greg’s influence is significantly making his interests shift a bit towards agaves), he was like a little kid in a candy shop the entire time. Cacti were around every corner…and under every foot! Tristan will show you the different plants he discovered along the way – ones he knew, ones he didn’t (but others did), and ones that…well…no one really knew! It truly was an Adventure in Discovery!
Born into a very "outdoorsy" family, Tristan was introduced to the natural World at a very young age. His initial interest was specific to South American birds, and subsequent education at Louisiana State University and the University of Kansas allowed him to accompany scientific expeditions to most South American countries, as well as China, the Philippines, and Equatorial Guinea. It was obvious early on in his travels that Tristan much preferred those locations with less humidity (western Peru, the pampas of Argentina, etc.), and this was a significant reason he moved with his husband to Arizona in 2001. Once arriving in Arizona, Tristan readily transitioned his scientific passions to cacti and succulents, and although Tristan has authored numerous scientific publications related to ornithology, he published his first paper on desert succulents in 2011 in the Cactus & Succulent Journal. As most people know, Tristan's botanical passions are primarily centered around South American columnar cacti and the species of ocotillo (Fouquieria). Additionally, he continues to accompany scientific expeditions to locations around the World hoping to again get to some desert-like locations! Tristan currently resides in Chandler, AZ and is a member of the Central Arizona Cactus and Succulent Society; he served on the Board of Directors for the society, and currently administers the Propagation Education Group (PEG), the Research Grant Program, and the Seed Depot for the society. Tristan also volunteers in the Horticulture, Research, and Education departments at the Desert Botanical Garden.
Please be sure to join everyone at this very special program. Have an excellent evening with friends, fun, books, raffle plants, free plants and lots of great refreshments. Don't miss this evening with Tristan!