Associate Professor of Biology Benjamin Grady quoted in article published by Forbes

Associate Professor of Biology Benjamin Grady was quoted in an article published April 30 by Forbes Australia. “This miner might change the future of the iPhone: But an endangered wildflower could stand in the way. It’s a green vs. green dilemma and there might be a solution,” highlights an environmental dilemma on Rhyolite Ridge in Nevada.

The area’s soil has high concentrations of lithium and boron and could potentially produce more than 100,000 tons of lithium a year — “enough to make billions of iPhone batteries and millions of electric cars,” the article states.

But it also is the area where the rare, six-inch-high desert wildflower Tiehm’s buckwheat (Eriogonum tiehmii) grows. While mining proponents seek a compromise, environmentalists support protecting the officially designated endangered wildflower.

Grady, president of the Eriogonum Society, is referenced as fearing that approving the mine will be a death sentence for Tiehm’s buckwheat, one of the most finicky of 250 known species in the genus. “There’s a reason why after countless generations of evolution it doesn’t grow anywhere else but in these specific conditions,” he says in the article.

The article was previously published in the American version of Forbes.


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