Orchid Recovery Program

Ghost Hunters :: Illinois College is paving the way in ghost orchid research and recovery
Currently, Illinois College students, under the direction of Lawrence Zettler, professor of biology, are conducting orchid research and conservation at the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge located in South Florida for nearly a decade. Each summer, two IC students stay at the refuge and conduct research. This time around seniors Justin Mably and Shannon Skarha are working toward a  a long-term monitoring system to keep track of the ever fluctuating "ghost orchid" population. The students are working with Ernesto Mujica of Cuba’s Ministry of Science ECOVIDA Research Center. Mujica implemented a similar monitoring system in Cuba.

Our Mission

The Mission of the Orchid Recovery Program at Illinois College is to integrate undergraduate student learning with the conservation of the world’s rarest orchids. The Program seeks to instill in its students an appreciation for our planet’s natural resources, and provide the basic tools for lifelong learning, stewardship, and service.

Photo: Route 3 Films
Photo: Emily Massey

The Lab

Our laboratory is housed in room 132 of the Parker Science building, built in 2002. The lab is equipped with a sterile hood, microscopes, orchid library, computers, and personal desk space for two undergraduate students. Seedlings grown in vitro on Petri plates are cultivated in our building’s Sterile Room and/or in a climate-controlled growth chamber. Deflasked (ex vitro) seedlings are then transferred to the Parker Science greenhouse on the roof of the building, prior to reintroduction in natural habitats.

Photo: Chris Young
Photo: Chris Young

Photo: Chris Young

  • Apply Now
  • Visit Campus
  • Deposit Now
search login