New plant named for BFREE co-Founders, BFREE employee receives prestigious internship, BFREE goes to DC and more.

New Species of Plant Named for BFREE Co-founders, the Marlins

Curator of North American Botany,
The New York Botanical Garden

The Marlins have a new plant species named in their honor! In the current issue of Kew Bulletin, co-authors Wesley Knapp, Wayt Thomas and I pay tribute to the Marlins and their accomplishments by naming Rhynchospora marliniana. We felt it especially appropriate to honor the Marlins and their contributions by naming a species that is widespread and common in Belize.

We are pleased to name Rhynchospora marliniana in honor of Jacob, Kelly, Sofia, Shaman, and Hyla Marlin. The Marlins are leading advocates for the conservation of biological diversity in Belize. Their founding of the Belize Foundation for Research and Environmental Education (BFREE), and their development of what is now an active and important biological field station are especially notable among their many achievements.

Adding prestige to the Marlins’ recognition is the place of publication of Rhynchospora marliniana. Kew Bulletin is the flagship scientific journal of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, England, and one of the leading international journals of systematic botany in the world.

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Congratulations, Gato!


Liberato "Gato" Pop has been accepted to a Banding Internship for 6 months in Oregon. He is going with the Klamath Bird Observatory and will be getting his bird banding certification and hopes to also receive certification to train others in banding. Gato heard about this internship through William Garcia, another BFREE birder who did the same internship a few years ago. William has taught Gato much about banding and training already and this program will be the final step for Gato to get his certification.

After the training is over Gato will return to BFREE, teach others about banding, and become involved in the birding community. He hopes to continue to do more work with birds throughout the Americas. The process for applying for this internship is very rigorous and Gato is privileged to have gotten this opportunity. He thanks everyone who assisted him and gave him recommendations and gives a special thanks to Judy, Jake, Jamie, and William.

Gato, we wish you the best of luck and hope you have a great time!


J and E Kimball Crawford
Edward and Ruth Cogen
Myra and Larry Promisel
Richard Creighton and Jane Ottenberg
Jean Arnold
Donald and Carol Borut
Ruth Goldman
Judith and Stanley Rapoport
Vibeke Olson and Jamie Rotenberg
Nan Aron
Stan Shulman
David and Judith Falk
Steve and Linda Weitz
Joseph and Merna Guttentag
Patricia Wald

Jamie Rotenberg, UNC Wilmington professor and BFREE’s “lead bird guy,” and US for BFREE staff, Jacob Marlin and Heather Barrett, visited Washington, DC in February to meet with representatives from the Department of the Interior to further discuss the purchase of BFREE land in Belize for protection of migratory bird habitat. More info on this and other exciting developments coming soon!
During US for BFREE’s visit to Washington, DC, David and Jackie Marlin hosted two wine and cheese gatherings in their home. BFREE representatives shared field station news and stories with those who attended.

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