Javier Francisco Ortega's main research interest is plant systematics with a focus on using molecular methods to establish phylogenetic relationships among taxa. However, he also uses "traditional" tools to address questions in this area; they include electron microscopy, morphometrics, anatomy, secondary metabolism products, nomenclature, and biogeography. He has an interest in conservation; therefore many of his projects focus on threatened species. Many of these projects use molecular
As an educator and plant researcher, he believes firmly that scientists have strong responsibilities to the community and the environment. Fairchild has solid links with my university (Florida International University, FIU). The Garden hosts and supports his graduate students and provides them with great opportunities for their research results to be shared with the general public, Garden members, and school students and teachers. The education activities of his laboratory are rooted in our community. He teaches undergraduate courses both in FIU and in the Garden.