Joe Davitt serves San Diego Zoo Global as a Research Assistant in Plant Conservation. As the Schlum Charitable Trust Fellow, Joe works as a part of the Native Plant Seed Bank in an effort to conserve the genetic diversity of native plants from throughout San Diego County. His work entails identifying plants and monitoring phenology in the field to facilitate collection of ripe seed for long-term storage, experimentation, and restoration programs.
Part of Joe’s work involves supporting the California Plant Rescue Initiative, a collaboration involving botanical gardens throughout California and the Center for Plant Conservation. The goal of the initiative is to protect and conserve and wild species and populations of rare California natives through long-term seed banking and field work. The project requires him to work with local governments and agencies to locate populations of rare and endangered native plant species, collect seeds, and clean and process the seeds in preparation for long-term storage.
Joe earned his bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of San Diego, with a focus on plant genetics and systematics. He has always shown great interest and passion for native plants and is excited to be making a direct contribution to their conservation.