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Science & Conservation

Dustin Wolkis

Scientific Curator of Seed Conservation

Scientific Curator of Seed Conservation, Dustin Wolkis is responsible for curating NTBGs seed bank and conducting seed conservation research. Dustin holds an MSc in Plant Biology and Conservation from Arizona State University and is currently pursuing a PhD degree at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, focused on changing the seed banking paradigm using Hawaiian lobeliads as a model system. Dustin is also Deputy Chair of the IUCN SSC Seed Conservation Specialist Group.

Alina WoodMSc

Alina Wood, a graduate of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa with an M.S. in Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences, is driven by a deep commitment to conservation. Her fascination with the resilience of seeds has led her to explore the intricate world of botanical conservation. With hands-on experience gained through volunteering and working in both organic agriculture and botanic gardens, Alina understands the importance of nurturing and protecting plant life. Now, she’s keen to delve deeper into seed banking, eager to make a meaningful contribution to safeguarding our planet’s biodiversity.

The work of NTBG’s seed bank and lab to help conserve Hawaii’s rare plants for the future is regularly featured in the media. Browse some examples below and our own webpages for more information.

Banking on Pollen

The Bulletin, NTBG, Summer 2023

The ability to store or bank pollen creates the opportunity for conservation practitioners to make controlled crosses between individual plants.

Oh, hi! Seeds of endangered ‘ōhai discovered after three decades

Oryx Blog, November 2023

When a jar of 30-year-old seeds were found in the NTBG herbarium, we were naturally curious as to whether the seeds were still viable.

At this conservation conference, saving the planet means saving seeds

The Conversation, Hawaii Public Radio, June 2023

Listen to Dustin Wolkis discuss seed banking and the Hawaii Conservation Conference interviewed by Host Catherine Cruz.

Hawaiis versteckte Paradiese

Originally Aired on Terra X, December 2022

This German documentary presents people who are dedicated to caring for Hawaii’s unique flora and fauna.

Lipid Thermal Fingerprinting of Hawaiian Seeds with Curious Storage Behavior

Samara E-Newsletter, September, 2022

Please scroll down to “Stories from the field and lab” to read the article on Lipid Thermal Fingerprinting of Hawaiian Seeds with Curious Storage Behavior.

Seed Conservation and Storage Behavior in the
Hawaiian Islands.

Samara E-Newsletter, Fall 2017.

This article is located on page 7 of the newsletter.

Determining storage behavior has important implications for seed conservation. The intermediate category includes…

Inside The Hawaiian Seed Bank. Figuring Out How To Store The Rarest Seeds On Earth.

The Verge Photo Essay, June 2017.

The seed bank, on the Hawaiian island of Kaua’i, is housed alongside NTBG’s collection of 80,000…

Save The Ohia – Save The Birds.

Kauai Traveller Magazine, Fall 2019.

Hawaiians have always revered the yohiya lehua for its exquisite beauty. The beloved tree is a namesake for two lovers, who according to one legend…

Collecting Seeds to Save Hawaii’s Native Forest.

Nightingale, Journal Of Data Visualization Society, April 2020.

A fungus is killing the Islands’ most important tree, and conservationists and citizens alike are collecting seeds to save the species…

Keep Cool, Stay Dry And You May Live Long.

The Bulletin, NTBG, Autumn 2019.

In the summer of 1989 NTBG’s future Breadfruit Institute Director Dr. Diane Ragone collected seeds from the critically endangered papala (Charpentiera densiflora), at Kahanu Garden on Maui…

Seed Saver.

Scholastic SuperScience Earth Day 2020 Cool Stem Jobs, April 2020.

Seed Conservation And Storage Behavior In The Hawaiian Islands.

Samara, Kew Millennium Seed Bank Newsletter, 2017.

Our Collections

To learn more about our collections browse these pages. Some of our underlying databases are public. Access to the herbarium and library collections in the Juliet Rice Wichman Botanical Research Center for scientific or education purposes can be arranged. See contact information under each collection.

Public tours of NTBGs five gardens can be booked online. The Behind the Scenes tour, South Shore Kauai includes the nursery and botanical research center.

Our Areas of Focus

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