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Status of Pollinators in North America
California, Los Angeles. Dr. Thien’s research is on the pollination biology of ancient plants in the ANITA group—the first three branches of the flowering plant phylogenetic tree. Dr. Thien has published papers on the pollination mechanisms and population structure of Amborella (sister to the angiosperms). He also elucidated the pollination mechanisms and breeding systems of Illicium and Trimenia (the third branch of the angiosperm cladogram). In North America, Dr. Thien’s work includes mosquito pollination in orchids (Habenaria in northern Wisconsin and Canada), bee pollination of orchids in the bogs of northern Wisconsin, and beetle and fly pollination of magnolia in the southern United States and Mexico. In 1991, Dr. Thien was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for his work on pollination mechanisms in basal (ancient) angiosperms. Dr. Thien is working with a group of Chinese scientists on the pollination of Schisandra (ANITA group, third branch) in North America and Southeast Asia. The work involves pollination, construction of a DNA cladogram, and an analysis of all aspects of the breeding system.
F. Christian Thompson is a research entomologist at the Systematic Entomology Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and a scientist in the Department of Entomology at the Smithsonian Institution. He received his B.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His research is in the systematics of flower flies (Syrphidae). He also has expertise on other families of agricultural concern (Anthomyiidae, Asilidae, Braulidae, Phoridae, and Pipunculidae) and other groups important for biological control (Pipunculidae, Conopidae). His current research includes projects on the flower flies of Costa Rica, nearctic flower flies, and genera of flower flies.