Malli Rao

Along with the recent news about the new magnolias in our Rio Zunac Reserve comes some related but very sad news. My friend Malli Rao, a well-known orchid enthusiast and ardent conservationist, died earlier this month. He was a Distinguished Scientist at DuPont, where he played a key role in developing environmentally-safe alternatives to replace freon as a refrigerant worldwide. Malli was the father of the Rio Zunac Reserve–it was his initial very large donation to EcoMinga in 2006 that allowed us to purchase the first properties there. He and his wife Vera Lee continued to support my work, often inviting me to speak at US orchid society meetings, and always offering me the warm hospitality of their home, which doubles as a regional bird rescue center and is full of crippled but lovingly-cared-for birds. Their kindness, openness, and personal love of nature always made a deep impression on me. I will name an orchid species in his memory. Malli, your many friends will miss you very much.

Lou Jost

One thought on “Malli Rao

  1. Lou, we are sorry to hear that your friend died but what a wonderful way to pay a tribute to someone that has been so supportive of your work by naming an orchid species in his memory. Mónica y Juan

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