It’s National Volunteer Week and we are celebrating our amazing volunteers! Today’s Volunteer Spotlight is Jeff Frelinger. Jeff volunteers in our Seed Bank and Laboratory, located at our Botanical Research Center in Kalaheo, Kauai.
Big congratulations to Jeff Frelinger for his receipt of the President’s Volunteer Service Award! This award honors individuals whose service positively impacts their community and inspires those around them to take action, too. Jeff uses his time and talent to help save and restore our Native Hawaiian ecosystems. Thanks for being exceptional, Jeff!
Specializing in molecular immunology, Dr. Jeffry Frelinger is no stranger to the laboratory. Jeff earned his Ph.D. in immunology from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor. Over Jeff’s distinguished career, he has raised multiple millions of dollars in grant funding and published over 280 books, book chapters, and journal articles, including in Science and Nature. Along the way, he even worked and published on coronaviruses in mice. Among Jeff’s numerous awards is his most recent – the American Association of Immunologists Distinguished Fellow award in which he was in the inaugural group and is in good company with Nobel Laureates as his fellow awardees.
Jeff now splits his time between volunteering in the NTBG Seed Lab and running his research Lab at the University of Arizona, where he is developing a vaccine for the fungal infection known as Valley Fever. In the NTBG Seed Lab, Jeff is tremendous help where he treats his volunteering equal to his professional responsibilities and is perfectly happy doing “undergraduate work,” yet can counsel Seed Lab Manager Dustin on higher level ideas. Jeff also provides the best banter in the Seed Lab! The unique combination of these skill sets makes Jeff a marvelous asset, and we are lucky to have him.
Thanks for all you do, Jeff!
In alignment with the Global Strategy For Plant Conservation, the Hawaii Strategy for Plant Conservation, and the National Seed Strategy, we are investigating methods to preserve and protect Hawaiian species of conservation importance ex situ in the Seed Bank and Laboratory.
Our emphasis is determining seed and pollen storage behavior, seed longevity, and aging kinetics, seed-borne pathogen abatement, and seed dormancy and dormancy alleviation of native Hawaiian plant species of conservation importance. Our research aims to understand how seeds respond to desiccation and subfreezing temperatures, identifying regeneration intervals, and determining optimal seed propagation techniques.