International Carnivorous Plant Society
New ICPS Conservation Director
The ICPS welcomes Alex Eilts as our Director of Conservation, Research, and Education
One of the best things about the ICPS is that in addition to being a society of hobbyists who love growing carnivorous plants, the passion for these plants is extended to their conservation. Few plant societies make an active role in the conservation of the focal species a priority. This is one of the things I love most about the ICPS. And, so many members echo this deep commitment to conservation. I’m looking forward to helping further this mission as the Director of Conservation, Research, and Education.
During my doctoral work at the University of Arizona, I was able to explore my concern for conservation as I studied exotic species invasions. Currently, I am at the University of Minnesota, where I work with the plant diversity collection at the College of Biological Sciences Conservatory growing plants for researchers and use in classrooms. I’m also fortunate enough to have opportunities to speak to the broader public about carnivorous plants, where I never miss a chance to highlight the threats many of them face in their native habitats.
I’ve been growing carnivorous plants on and off for much of my life, frequent moves getting in the way of long-term efforts. Happily, I am now able to grow a range of carnivorous plants totaling around 100 species. I grow a bit of everything, though much of my cultivation effort centers around Drosera species. Locally, I was able to help start the Upper Midwest Carnivorous Plant Society to help link hobbyists in the region together.
As the Director of Conservation, Research, and Education I hope to help ensure the money spent will achieve maximum benefit for carnivorous plants, their conservation, and our understanding of them. I’m looking forward to the ICPS formalizing the granting process, updating our conservation statement, and creating materials that can be used in classrooms. The ICPS has a bright future, and I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to participate in steering the path forward.
-- Alex Eilts