Vice President Laurence Frabotta
A lifelong passion for all things nature was clear when, to a 3rd Grade prompt, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” our new BACPS Vice President, Laurence Frabotta replied, “An Ologist!” It was clear, Laurence was destined to become a scientist of some sort and like many grade schoolers, he killed his fair share of “death cube” Venus Flytraps.
As a college student with visions of becoming a physician, he moved from one job to another (waiter, salesman (shoes to wire products), theater and film production crew) and was caught by the research bug that allowed him explore a passion for reptiles. As a student at CSU Long Beach studying native California lizards and developing skills in phylogenetics and taxonomy, he kept a few African sundews along with dozens of cacti and succulents as a distraction.
Grad school and postdoctoral research led Laurence and his wife, Colleen (a BACPS member and fellow biologist) across the country to Texas, then NYC, Charlottesville, and eventually landing back in California after a 20-year hiatus. The move back to the climate of coastal California in 2019, awakened a passion for growing plants including carnivores – initially a few Drosera, VFTs, and Nepenthes, Laurence was introduced to BACPS by a member and promptly joined the Society.
In 2021, a neighbor gave him his first Ping leaf-pulls and that opened a floodgate. Laurence now focuses substantial attention to growing, breeding, and trading Mexican Pinguicula, curates a Mexican Ping hybrid/cultivar database, and plans to tackle the molecular phylogenetics of the problematic P moranensis species complex with students at San Francisco State University where he is a Senior Lecturer of Biology.
Laurence brings to BACPS regional and national nonprofit board experience, particularly in strategic planning, education, outreach, fundraising, and resource development.