About this site
Grant no's 279981, 279984 & 279970. Period, Nov./Dec. 2010 to Oct./Nov. 2013.
My favourite monocot is the Madagascan Star Orchid, Angraecum sesquipedale. When one of these flowers was sent to Charles Darwin, he noted that no insect then known had a tongue long enough to reach its nectar and thus pollinate it. However, Darwin confidently predicted that such a moth would one day be found. Although it took another 40 years, one was indeed discovered and named as Xanthopan morganii praedicta, in recognition of Darwin's prediction. This orchid thus symbolizes the link between the focus of the e-Monocot project and the moths that are the subject of my research.
Ian Kitching is a researcher at the Natural History Museum studying the phylogenetics and biology of Lepidoptera, with a particular focus on the hawkmoths (Sphingidae), and is a co-investigator on e-Monocot. He is part of the outreach team, which will proactively seek to engage external audiences in e-Monocot and he will also ensure that the systems developed are equally applicable to animal groups.