FILIPINO scientist and faculty of Far Eastern University (FEU) Rudolph Docot discovered a new plant species endemic to provinces of Agusan del Sur and Zamboanga del Sur in Mindanao and named it after University’s Chair Emeritus Dr. Lourdes R. Montinola.
Published in the Nordic Journal of Botany, the Plagiostachys lourdesiae was named in honor of the distinguished scholarly writer and educator. The scientist recognized the commitment of Dr. Montinola to the legacy of her father in developing quality education in the Philippines as well as dedication to preserving Philippine heritage, culture, and arts.
Docot discovered the Plagiostachys lourdesiae during a botanical exploration for the Plagiostachys species, a small genus of the family Zingiberaceae or commonly known as ginger.
The genus is unique because its flower head breaks through the leaf sheaths just above the ground, appearing lateral. The most closely related species to the Plagiostachys lourdesiae in terms of overall structure is the Plagiostachys escritorii which was discovered on Mt. Apo in 1915.
Encouraging scientific inquiry pursuits among its students and faculty, the FEU University Research Center supported Docot by making its laboratory facilities and equipment available for use during the entire process of the study and provided an additional research grant.
In 2018, a team composed of FEU research fellow Marcus Valdes and FEU alumni Jonathan Alejandro and Axel Arriola discovered and named a new coffee species, Discospermum reyesii, after the late FEU founder Dr. Nicanor Reyes Sr.