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Villanova University’s Center for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Stewardship Exhibitor in 2022 Philadelphia Flower Show

A sketch of the CBEST exhibit for the Philadelphia Flower Show

This year at the Philadelphia Flower Show, Villanova University’s Center for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Stewardship (CBEST) invites visitors to step into their research sites—woodlands giving way to sunny open meadows, dissipating into marshes and bogs. The CBEST exhibit, “Blooming Biodiversity,” will be on display at the 2022 Philadelphia Flower Show “In Full Bloom” from June 11 – 19 in FDR Park.

For the scientists of CBEST, nature is their research lab, and their exhibit aims to show visitors a glimpse of the science in the world around them. The exhibit focuses on biodiversity—featuring trees, shrubs and herbs native to Pennsylvania—and its importance to the resiliency and health of habitats in a changing world. The Villanova scientists have also placed scientific tools used in their research in the exhibit itself. Visitors can spot, among other things, a precipitation collector used to evaluate rainwater chemistry, automated bird feeders used to tease apart bird behaviors, and a marsh organ used to study the impact of sea level rise on wetland systems.

A team of Villanova students and researchers designed and implemented the exhibit, while Villanova's grounds crew provided trees and shrubs and implementation assistance. The John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, The Villanova Center for Resilient Water Systems and Longwood Gardens’ Associate Director of Conservation Peter Zale, PhD provided wetland vegetation and informational support. All plants from the exhibit will return to Villanova’s campus where they will be incorporated into educational displays, including a bog garden and native plant pollinator friendly gardens.

Learn more about the exhibit.

About Villanova University’s Center for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Stewardship (CBEST): The Center promotes research in biodiversity and ecosystem science with a focus on understanding ongoing changes in ecosystems, their component organisms, and the benefits they provide to society. Housed within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, led by a team of scientists at the forefront of their fields, and reinforced by the contributions of graduate and undergraduate researchers, CBEST integrates science with action, working with a diverse community of experts in locations around the world to preserve biodiversity, manage complicated ecosystems and combat the challenges posed by an uncertain future.

About Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences:  Since its founding in 1842, Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has cultivated knowledge, understanding and intellectual courage for a purposeful life in a challenging and changing world. With more than 40 majors across the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, it is the oldest and largest of Villanova’s colleges, serving more than 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students each year. The College is committed to a teacher-scholar model, offering outstanding undergraduate and graduate research opportunities and a rigorous core curriculum that prepares students to become critical thinkers, strong communicators and ethical leaders with a truly global perspective.