Plant Science Bulletin archive

Issue: 2022-v68-1Actions

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Make Your Plans to Attend—In Person or Virtually! 






 Targeted plant collection by undergrads 

& citizen scientists to understand plant 

distribution...p. 24

   Registration and Abstract Submission Now Open!

Welcome to new APPS Editor-in-Chief, 

Briana Gross...p. 4

Discovering the microscopic world of live 

tree bark...p. 12

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                                                  Spring 2022 Volume 68 Number 1



Editorial Committee 

Volume 68

James McDaniel


Botany Department

University of Wisconsin Madison

Madison, WI  53706

Seana K. Walsh


National Tropical Botanical Garden

Kalāheo, HI 96741


Spring 2022 is upon us. Writing for posterity, I feel I must note a few 

world events. Since our Fall issue, the United States has endured a 

spike in COVID cases. Fortunately, reported case numbers have fallen 

dramatically since and, in Omaha at least, we are seeing some of our 

lowest numbers in a year. Anxiety over the virus and the presence (or 

absence) of safety protocol continue to affect many of us. Just over 

three weeks ago, Russia invaded Ukraine. I’ve heard from both Russian 

and Ukrainian colleagues expressing anger and dismay over this turn 

of events. We at PSB send our deepest sympathies to our readers directly affected by violence 

either there, or anywhere else in the world. 

We have several articles and special features in this issue that I hope you will enjoy. We welcome 

a new Editor-in-Chief of APPS, and you can read about Briana Gross’ vision for that journal. 

We also say goodbye to a large cohort of Botanists we have recently lost in our In Memoriam

section. Please take a moment to read about their extraordinary lives and careers.  

Excitement is building over Botany 2022. This will be the first hybrid meeting in BSA history. 

I am looking forward to seeing many of you in-person in Anchorage. 


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BSA Welcomes Briana Gross as New 

APPS Editor-in-Chief..................................................................4

Clade Biology, Phylogenetic Biology, and Systematics...............................................................................7


Discovering the Microscopic World of Live Tree Bark  ............................................................................12

Filling in the Gaps: Targeted Plant  Collection by Undergraduates and Citizen 

        Scientists to Better Understand Plant Distribution............................................................................24

The Future of Botany: Educating for a Diverse and Inclusive 21st-Century Workforce........32


PlantingScience Digging Deeper Research Published............................................................................42

Update on PlantingScience .....................................................................................................................................42

Life Discovery Conference 2021..........................................................................................................................45

Updated Teaching Resources................................................................................................................................45


Roundup of Student Opportunities......................................................................................................................46


In Memoriam Sherwin Carlquist (1930–2021).............................................................................................66

In Memoriam Jack Lee Carter (1929-2020)..................................................................................................67

In Memoriam Alan Graham (1934–2021)......................................................................................................70

In Memoriam  William Louis Stern (1926–2021)........................................................................................73

In Memoriam Ronald L. Stuckey (1938–2022)............................................................................................77

In Memoriam Leonard Thien  (1938–2021) .................................................................................................81


2021 Gift Membership Drive Results and Drawing Winner...................................................................85

Introducing Botany360: The BSA Community Event Calendar .........................................................86

BSA Award  Opportunities.......................................................................................................................................87

Did You Know? ...............................................................................................................................................................87

BOOK REVIEWS..................................................................................................................................................


BSA YEAR IN REVIEW ........................................................................................


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Briana Gross recently took on the role of Editor-

in-Chief of Applications in Plant Sciences

(APPS), the BSA’s first fully Open Access 

journal, publishing newly developed, innovative 

tools, protocols, and resources in all areas of the 

plant sciences. We spoke with Dr. Gross about 

her vision for the journal.

What inspired you to apply to be Editor-in-

Chief at APPS

I was lucky to be nominated by one of my 

mentors, Susan Kephart. I had seen the 

advertisements for the Editor-in-Chief 

position and considered applying, but I 

didn’t really dig in until being nominated. 

Once I gave myself time to think about it, I 

realized how excited I was about APPS and 

remembered how much I enjoy editorial work. 

This was also an ideal time in my career to take 

on this role, so I felt ready to commit. I am 

relaying the fact that I was nominated because 

I think it’s important for me (and others) to 

acknowledge the power of nominating others 

for positions that we think they are qualified 

for, and I hope that I can “pay it forward” in 

the future.

How would you characterize your editorial 


At an immediate, personal level, I want the 

authors, reviewers, and readers who interact 

with APPS to leave with a positive impression 

of the journal, even when decisions might not 

go in an author’s favor. At a broader level, it 

is the responsibility of the Editor-in-Chief to 

be mindful of the direction of the journal and 

plan strategically for its success in cooperation 

with the editorial board and editorial staff. 

My objective in this capacity is to work to 

communicate our intentions transparently 

and create an environment where all our 

community members feel heard while still 

moving APPS forward. 

Many organizations, including the BSA, have 

made it a priority to expand opportunities 

for people in underrepresented groups. How 

do you envision supporting and expanding 

diversity and inclusion in APPS? How do 

you view the opportunities and challenges 

of heading up an Open Access journal, while 

furthering diversity, equity, and inclusion?

BSA Welcomes Briana Gross 

as New 



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Thanks to the work of previous Editor-in-

Chief Dr. Theresa Culley, the editorial board, 

and the editorial staff, APPS already has a 

good start toward expanding opportunities 

for publication through increasing the 

representation among its editors. However, 

there is still room for us to expand by reaching 

out to minority-serving institutions in the 

United States and to botanical societies around 

the world. These efforts will not bear fruit 

immediately, but it is time to plant the seeds 

now and cultivate these relationships so that 

authors from these groups know that APPS is 

a supportive publication venue. Publishing an 

Open Access journal is a double-edged sword. 

We make our publications available to anyone 

with internet access, but this comes at a cost 

to authors that is not always backed by their 

institutions or funding sponsors. Thus, we can 

expand opportunities through making science 

a common commodity, but we have to find a 

way to back that cost. My long-term objective 

is to develop a comprehensive backstop of 

funding sources to help cover the publication 

costs for articles that are appropriate for APPS

to help fill this gap.    

As APPS approaches its 10-year publication 

anniversary, this is a time to reflect on 

achievements while looking to the future.  

What do you see as strengths of the journal 

and goals for the next 10 years? 

APPS has so many strengths: the quality of 

the publications in APPS is high and it has 

continued to increase over the years, it has a 

great reputation in the botanical community 

as a reliable resource for new protocols and 

software, and it integrates across the diversity 

of fields of plant science. In the next 10 

years, I want to see APPS as the destination 

for authors and readers interested in plant 

genomics (both resources and software) and 

the continually evolving catch-all of “big 

data” in botany, ranging from herbarium 

digitization to ecological modeling for plant 

communities. Beyond the subject matter that 

we cover, which will inevitably evolve in the 

next decade, my goal is for APPS to increase 

its profile in the botanical community so that 

we are the destination of choice for any new 

methods in plant science. As a young journal, 

we have enormous potential, and I know 

that we have capacity and ability to facilitate 

excellent experiences for authors, editors, and 

readers as we grow.  

APPS is proud to be a Society journal. How 

do you think APPS can best serve members 

of the BSA community (and beyond), 

and why do you think it’s important for 

BSA members to support their Society 


APPS can serve its members by being mindful 

and responsive to their needs, while also 

making sure that the journal continues to 

grow its impact factor and feature high-quality 

publications. I hope that I can learn more 

about what our members want and how we 

can provide this every year going forward. We 

also strive to give authors a great experience 

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when they send their work to us. On the flip 

side, we depend on our members to send us 

their work and to promote APPS to colleagues 

who might not be aware of us yet. We are all 

part of a team, and as a member-owned Society 

we all benefit from small actions that support 

our publications. If each of our members 

thought of APPS as the primary target for 

the new method they cooked up in their labs, 

we would be happy to see those submissions 

and I think that the ultimate publications will 

benefit from the excellent reputation of the 


What are you most looking forward to as 


There are many different things that I like 

about writing and editing, and serving as 

Editor-in-Chief will be enjoyable for those 

reasons. However, one of the main things 

that I look forward to is working with smart, 

talented botanists who care about their work 

and have great ideas for the field and for 

APPS. Working with enthusiastic, intelligent 

colleagues is one of the best things we can 

experience in our professional careers, and I 

think that serving as Editor-in-Chief for APPS is 

a place where I can experience this to the fullest. 



The BSA's Early Career Advisory Board (ECAB) is a group of early-career botanists that engages 

with and advises the editors of the American Journal of BotanyApplications in Plant Sciences

and the Plant Science Bulletin in a number of ways, including recommending timely topics for 

review papers, identifying papers in pre-print archives that may be appropriate to publish in 

our journals, and advising on issues of importance to the publications team. 

We had a tremendous response to our recent call for students and postdocs to join the ECAB, 

and we are grateful to all who applied. We are pleased to officially welcome the new group!

Row 1: Ajith Ashokan, Liming Cai, Mario Blanco-Sánchez, Urooj Fatima, Ana Flores

Row 2: Jorge Flores, Catalina Flores-Galván, Shelly Gaynor, Huasheng Huang, Luiz Rezende

To learn more about the 2022-2024 ECAB Members, see

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In his incoming BSA presidential address at 

Botany 2021, Michael introduced the phrase 

“clade biology.” The idea was to draw attention 

to an approach that the two of us have been 

thinking needs more attention, and which we 

think differs importantly from the area now 

widely referred to as “phylogenetic biology.” 

How do these two differ? Clade biologists 

are those among us who obsess over some 

particular group of organisms, wanting to 

know as much about them as possible. They are 

fascinated to learn any little thing about these 

organisms, no matter how inconsequential 

this may seem to others. They tend to work on 

their organisms for a long time (often over an 

entire career), and come at them from multiple 

angles (functional morphology, development, 

ecology, biogeography, etc.). Of course, their 

work tends to be organized phylogenetically, 

Clade Biology, Phylogenetic 

Biology, and Systematics

and their knowledge of relationships may 

eventually yield species delimitations and 

a phylogenetic classification system, but in 

our view these are natural outcomes of clade 

biology, not its primary objectives. Clade 

biologists tend naturally to build teams of 

collaborators, drawing in other disciplines as 

they take deep dives into one aspect or another 

of the biology of their organisms. If a clade 

biologist has the good fortune of training 

students, their students might become 

engaged in some dimension of the research 

and might then take that along to their own 

labs, in which case teams can expand through 

multiple labs and academic generations. Over 

the years, the group of organisms might ascend 

to the level of a “model clade.” Like model 

species (think Arabidopsis thaliana), these can 

then serve as vehicles for testing hypotheses of 

all sorts, taking full advantage of the wealth of 

accumulated knowledge. But in this case, they 

are mostly used to test hypotheses concerning 

patterns and processes at the level of whole 


Phylogenetic biologists, in our view, take 

a different approach to understanding 

clade-level phenomena. They tend to take a 

hypothesis-testing approach from the outset, 

focusing on a particular question rather than 

on a particular clade, such as the evolution of 

dioecy or shifts in the rate of diversification. 

They often assemble very large phylogenetic 

By Michael J. Donoghue & Erika J. Edwards

Department of Ecology & Evolutionary 

Biology, Yale University, PO Box 208106, 

     New Haven, CT 06520, USA

Address of the Incoming BSA president 

Michael Donoghue, with Erika Edwards

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trees (e.g., harvesting data from sources 

such as GenBank), with multiple instances 

of dioecy, for example, scattered throughout. 

Alternatively, they may assemble and compare 

phylogenetic trees of multiple individual 

clades that include dioecious species. In many 

cases, data on the trait (or traits) under study 

are gathered not from nature but from surveys 

of the literature, or perhaps from specialized 

trait databases. The many other details of the 

organisms under study—the ones that would 

fascinate the clade biologist—are mostly 

viewed as (or assumed to be) irrelevant to the 

particular phenomenon under investigation. 

Phylogenetic biologists also have a tendency 

to move from one problem to another during 

their careers, switching from one group of 

organisms to another as appropriate. That 

is to say, they are not so deeply committed 

to working on one group of organisms for 

a long time. They collaborate with clade 

biologists and experts from other disciplines, 

as necessary, but these alliances change as 

they move from one suite of traits or clade to 

another. And, to the extent that their studies 

involve students, the threads that pass from 

one generation to the next tend to revolve 

around particular methodologies. 

Are you a clade biologist or a phylogenetic 

biologist? Or course, you don’t have to be 

either one—there are plenty of other things to 

be—and you could certainly be both. We have 

purposefully set these out as two exclusive 

categories, but in actuality there’s a continuum 

between them. It’s also quite possible to be a 

clade biologist who occasionally ventures 

into phylogenetic biology. We think we’ve 

done this during our own careers. It’s less 

possible, we think, to go the other direction 

because, almost by definition, it’s hard to 

dabble in clade biology, or at least to do it very 

effectively, without pretty complete devotion 

to a particular clade, or possibly a few different 

clades over the course of a lifetime. 

Where is “systematics” in all of this? We 

suspect that many BSA members identify 

as systematists, although this may be less so 

among younger members—at least, in our 

recent experience, postdocs and graduate 

students don’t identify as strongly with 

systematics as they used to. To be sure, they 

are happy to publish in journals with the word 

systematics in the title, such as Systematic 

Biology, but they don’t really see themselves as 


Traditional systematics doesn’t map very 

neatly onto phylogenetic biology, as we delimit 

this here, although we suspect that some who 

identify as systematists would also consider 

themselves to be (at least partly) phylogenetic 

biologists. Systematics comes much closer, 

we think, to clade biology, especially in as 

much as training in systematics often begins 

with the choice of a group of organisms on 

which to become the world’s expert. On the 

other hand, we suspect that our definition 

of clade biology will seem overly broad to 

many systematists in the sense that it doesn’t 

specifically highlight species delimitation 

and classification, which have long been the 

bread and butter of systematics. In our view, 

species delimitation and naming are critical 

elements of clade biology, but our definition 

puts a greater emphasis on understanding 

the complete biology of the organisms in 

question (including work at the intersection of 

molecular biology, development, physiology, 

ecology, etc.), whether or not this knowledge 

bears very directly on species delimitation 

or classification (although, naturally, it very 

often will). 

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If one did wish to equate systematic biology 

with clade biology (i.e., if these were viewed 

as one and the same; Box 1, option 1), which 

name would we chose for this field? One 

might argue that we don’t need a new term—

we should just stick with systematics for this 

field. On the other hand, we think that clade 

biology has a distinct advantage in that it 

refers unambiguously to the object of study: 

clades. In this sense it is comparable to terms 

such as “population biology,” “cell biology,” 

etc., where the object of study is clearly 

named. “Systematics” is ambiguous on this 

score, as “system” itself is pretty vague and 

all-encompassing. So, if we had to choose, we 

think that clade biology would be the better 


Another possibility would be to make a 

hierarchy out of these disciplines (Box 1, 

options 2 and 3). But does clade biology 

naturally encompass phylogenetic biology, or 

vice versa? We think not. As for “systematics,” 

we see two possibilities. One would be to use 

it to signify the subdiscipline within clade 

biology focused squarely on species discovery 

and classification. Another possibility, which 

we prefer, would be to retain systematics for 

the more inclusive field that encompasses both 

clade biology and phylogenetic biology. In 

any of these cases, we want to emphasize that 

we see both clade biology and phylogenetic 

biology as totally worthwhile and necessary 

endeavors. There’s no better or worse here—

just alternative approaches to studying clade-

level phenomena. Which way you lean just 

depends on what you find most satisfying. 

Of course, it’s perfectly okay to not worry 

at all about where you fit into this schema, 

and to chart your own path. And, in doing 

so, you might find yourself flirting with 

other somewhat ill-defined terms, such as 

“integrative biology” or “comparative biology.” 

We won’t tackle these here, except to note that 

integrative biology aligns pretty well in some 

respects with clade biology, although some 

who identify with this term are not so focused 

on individual clades. Likewise, comparative 

biology aligns in some respects with 

phylogenetic biology in our sense of the word. 

It’s a confusing landscape of terminology, to 

be sure. 

Our main point here is that it’s worth 

recognizing clade biology as a distinct 

endeavor, with its own peculiar and enduring 

scientific value. To illustrate this, we’ll 

briefly highlight the work of our recently 

deceased zoological colleague, David Wake. 

 Box 1. Where does “systematics” fit in? Of these three options, we prefer number 3. 

1. Clade Biology (= Systematic Biology)

    Phylogenetic Biology

2. Clade Biology

Systematic Biology (species delimitation, classification) 

    Phylogenetic Biology 

3. Systematic Biology

Clade Biology

Phylogenetic Biology 

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Dave, along with his spouse and colleague, 

Marvalee, both of UC Berkeley, devoted their 

careers to understanding amphibians, but 

especially salamanders, and especially lungless 

salamanders (Plethodontidae). If you haven’t 

followed this work, you should look into it, 

and you’ll find one discovery after another 

grounded in their deep commitment to, and 

knowledge of, these organisms, built up over 

more than five decades (Griesemer, 2013). 

James Hanken (quoted in Sanders, 2021), 

long the Director of Harvard’s Museum of 

Comparative Zoology, described Dave Wake 

in these words: 

“He chose a particular lineage of organisms—

in this case, the family Plethodontidae—

and pursued it in all respects in order to 

understand how the group diversified and 

why it did the way it did. It was molecules 

to morphology to ecology to behavior to 

development, overlaid by taxonomy—his was 

a deliberate conviction that in order to really 

understand the evolution of organisms, you 

have to focus on a particular group and get to 

know it extremely well.”

This captures perfectly the way that we’re 

thinking about clade biology: complete 

immersion in a group of organisms, studied 

from every possible angle. Add to this a team-

building mentality and lots of enthusiasm 

and you’re in for a lifetime of pleasure and 

discovery. And the beauty of such a long-

term commitment is that it leads naturally 

to discoveries of very broad significance. As 

Michael Nachman (quoted in Sanders, 2021), 

Director of the UC Berkeley Museum of 

Vertebrate Zoology, put it: “Salamanders were 

his love and passion, but he was really a deep 

thinker who used salamanders as an entry 

way to thinking about the biggest questions in 

evolutionary biology.”

Clade biology, done well, starts with some 

organism-of-interest problem, but works its 

way out to questions and answers in realms 

that were never anticipated. Wake, for 

example, was at the epicenter of the formation 

of the field of evolutionary developmental 

biology, and of the study of parallel and 

convergent evolution, and of speciation (e.g., 

“ring species” in Ensatina). He also alerted 

the world to the global decline of amphibian 

populations. All of this flowed naturally from 

his deep knowledge of salamanders. 

One last thought concerns the career choices 

faced by students and early-career scientists, 

who may consider a long-term commitment 

to a clade—with uncertain outcomes—to be 

too risky in this day and age. We certainly 

understand this worry but would offer the 

following advice. If you are passionate about 

a group of organisms, keep that passion alive 

even as you pursue other things that might 

lead to more immediate accomplishments. 

We think you’ll find that the deep knowledge 

that you accumulate will provide you with a 

special lens through which to view biological 

phenomena of all sorts, and will serve as an 

unending source of fresh ideas. Get to know 

a group of organisms “extremely well,” we’re 

certain you won’t regret it! 

Our overall conclusion is that clade biology 

is a highly productive way of knowing, 

which provides a necessary compliment to 

other approaches, including what we have 

distinguished here as phylogenetic biology. We 

are confident that we won’t lose this approach 

so long as at least some people continue to 

obsess over particular groups of organisms, 

which seems inevitable. However, what we 

must do is to properly value, encourage, 

and support this approach, and consciously 

improve it not just for or own happiness but 

for the betterment of science at large.  

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We are very grateful to the BSA for the 

opportunity to present these views, and to 

the many students and colleagues who have 

discussed these topics with us over the years. 


Griesemer, J. 2013. Integration of approaches 

in David Wake’s model-taxon research plat-

form for evolutionary morphology. Studies in 

History and Philosophy of Biological and 

Biomedical Sciences 44: 525–536. 
Sanders, R. 2021. David Wake, a prominent 

herpetologist who warned of amphibian de-

clines, is dead at 84. Berkeley News, May 

4, 2021. Website: https://news.berkeley.




Are you registered for Botany 2022

Plants at the Extreme?

Don't miss out on the amazing field trips, workshops, scientific sessions, compelling 

speakers and all the social and networking  events - just like in the past!  

As a bonus, it will be a hybrid conference, which means everything that is recorded at 

the conference will be available to view and review for a year after the conference on the 

online platform.

Register now!  Conference information including hotels and dorms can be found at:

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Patricia (Trish) A. Smith, now retired, was 

a seventh-grade Life Science teacher at 

Warrensburg RVI Middle School (WMS), at 

Warrensburg, MO during 2004–2007. Her 

expertise in finding grant funds supported 

her laboratory classroom activities with 

extramural funding. These grant funds came 

from the Missouri Department of Elementary 

and Secondary Education and local private 

organizations.  She shared her classroom 

Discovering the Microscopic World 

of Live Tree Bark 

A Model Instructional Experience for Students and Teachers

Using a Virtual iAdventure, Teacher Preparation Guide, 

Student Worksheets, and Moist Chamber Cultures

   By Harold W. Keller and Ashley Bordelon


Botanical Research Institute of Texas, 

 1700 University Drive, Fort Worth, Texas 76107 

and laboratory experiences on how live 

animals and trees were integrated into her 

laboratory activities in presentations given 

nationally and in Missouri (Figure 1). Her 

connections to the University of Central 

Missouri (UCM) led her to explore a possible 

National Science Foundation-Research 

Experience for Teachers (NSF-RET) grant 

Figure 1. Trish Smith in her classroom labora-

tory wetting moist chamber tree bark cultures.  

Note labeled plastic Petri dishes with moist 

chamber tree bark ready for observation. 

(Photo by H.W. Keller.) 


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as a supplement to the iAdventures that was 

already part of her synergistic laboratory 

experiences. The intent of the NSF-RET was 

to provide funds for professional development 

targeted for teachers K–12 on the cutting edge 

of science, to strengthen partnerships between 

institutions of higher learning and local school 

districts. She consulted in 2004 with then 

NSF grant-holder, and Principal Investigator, 

Harold W. Keller at UCM, who had an NSF 

grant titled “Biodiversity and Ecology of Tree 

Canopy Biota in the Great Smoky Mountains 

National Park.” The objectives of this tree 

canopy biodiversity research project were 

chronicled in previous publications and will 

not be repeated here (Keller, 2004, 2005, 2019; 

Smith and Keller, 2004; Kilgore et al., 2008). 

This partnership appeared to be a good fit 

for an NSF grant proposal to the Division of 

Environmental Biology, Biodiversity Surveys 

and Inventories Program. 

Prospective applicants for RET grants must 

prepare a cooperative grant proposal after first 

consulting with the appropriate NSF Program 

Officer. This grant proposal application 

included a three-page descriptive narrative, a 

two-page teacher curriculum vitae, a prepared 

budget, and justification for up to a limit of 

$10,000.  This RET supplemental funding 

application was submitted electronically 

through the grant-holder’s university by NSF 


Current application instructions are included 

in opportunity announcement NSF18-089. 

Some of these details have changed (for 

example, teacher budget costs are now up to 

$15,000). The following quotation represents 

in part current NSF priorities: “Another goal 

of the RET supplement activity is to build 

collaborative relationships between K-12 

science educators and the NSF research 

community. BIO is particularly interested in 

encouraging its researchers to build mutually 

rewarding partnerships with teachers at urban 

or rural schools and those in school districts 

with limited resources.”









This activity was part of the virtual field 

tree canopy experience in the Great Smoky 

Mountains National Park (GSMNP - 

iAdventure) during 2004. The field collection 

of live tree trunk bark samples of Eastern Red 

Cedar (Juniperus virginiana) trees took place 

at Pertle Springs, the land laboratory for UCM 

(see Teacher Preparation Guide and Student 

Worksheets below). Seventh-grade life science 

students from WMS were bused to Pertle 

Springs where they collected live tree bark 

samples and prepared moist chamber bark 

cultures in the classroom laboratory. Many life 

forms, including myxomycetes, were observed 

during laboratory class sessions.

The iAdventure live link with all its web 

content was removed from the Warrensburg 

Middle School site when Trish and Stan 

Smith retired. However, the papers, images 

and documents and original Uniform 

Resource Locator were preserved by the 

authors. In September 2021, Jason Best, 

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the Director of Biodiversity Informatics at 

the Botanical Research Institute of Texas 

(BRIT), was able to revive the original website 

through GitHub (

GSMNP_iAdventure). Interested persons can 

now access and experience the full content 

of the iAdventure in GSMNP, as well as the 

Teacher Information Page that has Student 

Worksheets related to the collection of field 

samples. The intent is to extend the benefits 

of these field experiences for students and 

teachers worldwide through this linked 

inquiry-based iAdventure available as an 

interactive web-based activity. Additionally, 

historical snapshots of the iAdventure site 

can be accessed through at:*/http://







In the summer of 2004, Trish and Stan Smith 

arrived at GSMNP, pitched a tent, and recorded 

daily activities of the tree canopy research 

team as part of the iAdventure. Exploring Life 

in the Forest Canopy highlights and tracks the 

activities of five undergraduate UCM students 

(Amber, Ashley, Cheryl, Erin, and Tommy) as 

they participate in the tree-climbing school 

at Pertle Springs and the field experience 

climbing giant trees in the GSMNP collecting 

tree trunk bark samples. On the iAdventure 

website, visitors can explore topical headings 

such as Research Objectives; GSMNP All Taxa 

Biodiversity Inventory, with geographical area 

description;  Field Trip Organization Pre-trip 

Planning; Knott Clinic; Tree Climbing School; 

Meet Charly Pottorff, professional arborist; 

Figure 2.  Summary of resources provided for teachers on the Teacher 

Information Page, iAdventure website.

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meet Dr. Steve Wilson, entomologist world 

authority on plant hoppers; meet Dr. Joe Ely, 

biometrician and plant ecologist; Field Work

climbing trees and collecting bark samples, 

as well as preparing and raising insect flight 

intercept canopy traps; Life at the Research 

Station; about Trish and Stan Smith; and 

Stories from the Field, about the discovery of a 

new tree canopy myxomycete species, Diachea 

arboricola, by Melissa Skrabal, among others.

The Teacher Information Page has a list of 

resources needed, as well as a list of questions 

for students about their observations of the 

iAdventure. It also includes links to worksheets 

that provide more detailed information about 

how to prepare for the field trip, as well as 

information about lichens, myxomycetes, and 

insects (Figure 2). Some examples included a 

List of Field Tasks; Supply List; Tree Tags; Field 

Task Instruction Sheets: Meadow Sweepers; 

Canopy Catchers; Barking up the Right 

Tree; Myxo-O-Masters; Red Cedar Database 

Sheet; Lichen Log; Tree Sleuths; Entomology 

Worksheet; Insect Identification Key; Moist 

Chamber Laboratory Supplies (used for 

preparation of moist chamber cultures); Bark 

pH Procedure Document; Examination of Moist 

Chamber Cultures Labsheet; and Key to the 

Myxomycete Orders, among others. Lectures 

describing the illustrated myxomycete life 

cycle, color images of myxomycete fruiting 

bodies using Smart Board presentations, 

and question-and-answer sessions enabled 

students to interact with the presenter. 

References were available for student reading 

and picture keying of myxomycete fruiting 

bodies observed in moist chamber cultures 

(Keller and Braun, 1999). 

The two main student activities are nested 

under the Title Page (Tier One) and 

iAdventure (Tier Two) (Figure 3). The Tier 1 

Figure 3. Snapshot of the ‘Site Map’ of the 

iAdventure website

iAdventure website allows worldwide access to 

the tree canopy field experiences in GSMNP 

and the parallel field research at Pertle 

Springs. This was a problem-solving activity 

that helped students determine the direction 

and outcome of a content-rich storyline 

using resources available on the internet, 

particularly resources providing real-world 

data and primary documents. Participating 

students should experience the three phases of 

research emphasized in the original GSMNP 

NSF grant: the Adventure Phase (tree climbing 

using ropes and collecting bark samples 

for moist chamber cultures (Kilgore et al., 

2008); the Laboratory Phase (sample sorting 

and preparation of moist chamber cultures); 

and the Publication Phase (poster and oral 

platform presentations for local, regional, and 

national scientific meetings). 

The Tier 2 site emphasizes the collection of 

live tree trunk bark of Eastern Red Cedar, 

American Elm (Ulmus americana), and 

White Oak (Quercus alba) at Pertle Springs. 

Students were divided into four groups and 

then subdivided into task groups of one or 

two students (Figures 4 and 5).  UCM faculty 

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Figure 4.  Two seventh-grade WMS students 

collecting trunk bark samples from a live East-

ern Red Cedar tree at Pertle Springs. Note tree 

tag number, collecting gear, and students enjoy-

ing this field experience. (Photo by H.W. Keller.)

and students from the Biology Department, 

along with student parents, assisted with field 

collections. Six groups of 20 WMS students 

were transported to Pertle Springs for one-

hour field trips on September 28 and 29, 

2004, for a total of 240 students. Safety of the 

seventh-grade WMS students was a priority. 

Therefore, they did not climb trees, use knives, 

or shoot slick lines with the Big Shot… much 

Figure 5. Author and student measuring tree 

trunk diameter of Eastern Red Cedar tree 

at Pertle Springs.  Note student on ground 

recording tree data. (Photo by T. Smith.) 

to their dismay! Tree bark samples were 

used to prepare moist chamber cultures so 

students could observe a miniature ecosystem 

composed of myxomycetes, fungi, lichens, 

mosses, liverworts, green algae, cyanobacterial 

algae, myxobacteria, tardigrades, insects, and 

nematodes, among others. This is only an 

overview of the two tiers; more information is 

available on the website.

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Steve Wilson at UCM was in charge of the 

aerial installation of the Sante insect flight 

intercept tree canopy traps at GSMNP, Big Oak 

Tree State Park, and Pertle Springs (Figure 6). 

Students assisted in raising the fine-meshed 

canopy traps with two open pyramid structures 

(9 feet high by 4 feet wide) with a top and 

bottom 500-mL collector bottle (killing jar) 

filled with 70% isopropyl alcohol. This canopy 

trap was tethered to a horizontal branch at 50 

to 60 feet for five days. Top canopy collection 

bottles tended to trap insects that hit the trap 

then climbed upward such as leafhoppers, tree 

hoppers and planthoppers, and moths; flies 

and beetles tended to hit the trap and drop 

downward into the bottom bottle (Wilson et 

al., 2003). Students also collected from ground 

sites using sweep nets. The collected insect 

specimens were used to perfect the taxonomic 

keys and create a basis for understanding 

diversity and adaptation.    .








General credit for the use of moist chamber 

bark cultures from living trees goes back to the 

early 1930s, when tiny species of myxomycetes 

new to science were discovered by graduate 

student Henry C. Gilbert working under 

the supervision of Professor Dr. George W. 

Martin at the University of Iowa Mycological 

Laboratory (Gilbert and Martin, 1933; Gilbert, 

1934). Since then, many papers and books 

have described preparations of moist chamber 

cultures that may differ in methodology but 

involve wetting field collections of bark from 

living trees (Keller, 2004; Keller et al., 2004; 

Everhart et al., 2009; Scarborough et al., 2009; 

Snell and Keller, 2003), herbaceous plants 

(Kilgore et al., 2009), and decaying wood 

or leaves from ground sites, usually at times 

when myxomycete fruiting bodies are not 

present (Keller et al., 2008). This technique 

gives the observer the opportunity to create 

a self-contained moist environment where 

the myxomycete plasmodium and developing 

fruiting body stages are present, although they 

are not always seen in the field.  

Seventh-grade WMS life science students field-

collected live tree trunk bark from Eastern Red 

Cedar trees at Pertle Springs (Figures 4 and 5). 

This is a short 10-minute bus trip from WMS 

to a series of trees that line the paved roadway 

at the entrance of the area (Scarborough et al., 

2009). This tree species was targeted because it 

Figure 6.  Flight intercept tree canopy insect 

trap installed in a tree at Pertle Springs. (Photo 

by H.W. Keller.)

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has the highest species diversity of life forms, 

which provided students with the best chance 

of success observing moist chamber bark 

cultures (Keller and Braun 1999; Keller and 

Marshall, 2019; Scarborough et al., 2009; Perry 

et al., 2020). Two-student team members were 

briefed on the safe collection of tree trunk bark 

following instructions on Data Worksheets 

that recorded species of tree, overall estimated 

size of the tree (height and diameter; Figure 

5), characteristics of bark surface, presence 

of other life forms (for example, lichens), and 

height on tree where the bark sample was 


Bark samples collected in paper bags were 

transported to the WMS class laboratory, 

where students prepared moist chamber 

cultures in oversized sterile plastic Petri dishes 

(150 × 25 mm) that were lined with sterile 

filter paper. About six pieces of bark sample 

covering the bottom of the dish were arranged 

without overlapping. Thirty mL of sterile 

deionized water was added around the bark, 

avoiding directly wetting the bark surface 

areas. These moist chamber bark cultures 

were allowed to soak for 24 hours, and any 

excess water was decanted during the next 

laboratory period. Observations were made 

during normal laboratory class sessions twice 

a week for approximately four weeks. Students 

recorded pH values using litmus color-coded 

papers and observed life forms over this 

period using the naked eye and 20 to 50× 

power dissecting microscopes (Figures 7–9).

Angela Scarborough (senior undergraduate 

student, Figure 8) and Courtney Kilgore 

(master’s degree graduate student, Figure 9) 

from UCM served as mentors for the seventh-

grade students, helping them locate and 

identify life forms in the moist chamber bark 

cultures. They were also available to answer 

questions about their tree canopy–climbing 

experiences in the GSMNP. 

Figure 7. Two WMS students scan moist 

chamber bark cultures with dissecting 

microscope. (Photo by H.W. Keller.)

Figure 8Undergraduate UCM student Angela 

Scarborough assisting WMS students search 

for life forms in moist chamber bark culture. 

(Photo by H.W. Keller.)

Figure 9.  UCM graduate student Courtney 

Kilgore scanning moist chamber cultures using 

a dissecting microscope. Two WMS students 

on the left, and Harold Keller on the right. Note 

the red shirts worn by the UCM tree canopy 

research team highlighting the iridescent 

myxomycete sporangium Diachea arboricola, 

a tree canopy species new to science. (Photo by 

T. Smith.)

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In 2021, the first moist chamber culture 

instructional video, How to Create a Moist 

Chamber Culture to View the Biodiversity 

Growing on Live Tree Bark, was made available 

by Ashley Bordelon, Herbarium Digitization 

Coordinator, of BRIT’s Urban Ecology 

Program. A PDF with accompanying written 

instructions is also available and can be 

found at

projects/urban-ecology-program/ with the 

title: Preparation of Moist Chamber Tree Bark 

Cultures: A Beginner's Primer for Use at Home

by Ashley Bordelon and Harold W. Keller (Fort 

Worth Botanic Garden  Botanical Research 

Institute of Texas). 

This video emphasizes the moist chamber 

culture technique using live tree trunk bark 

samples and store-bought low-cost supplies 

readily available at local stores for teachers, 

students, and hobbyists that may want to 

use this technique. Many teachers cannot 

afford the more expensive supplies used by 

the seventh-grade students supplied by an 

NSF grant–funded activity and the more 

reproducible protocols required by some 

publication formats. Nevertheless, this video 

was created for teachers and community 

enthusiasts based on live trees in their own 

backyards or nearby forested areas. Examples 

of myxomycete fruiting body development are 

highlighted in this video.  This moist chamber 

technique sometimes results in the discovery 

of species new to science, as well as rare 

species seldom or never collected in the field 

(Keller, 2004; Keller and Marshall, 2019; Perry 

et al., 2020). This can be an added incentive 

for beginners to share their discoveries with 

other myxomycetologists, mycologists, and 




Each fall for a four-year period (2004–2007), 

Keller met with six different seventh-grade life 

science classes (approximately 120 students) 

for a total of 18 hours. More than 500 WMS 

students were involved in this teaching activity 

over the course of 90 hours. On September 28 

and 29, 2004, six groups of 20 WMS students 

were transported to Pertle Springs for one-

hour field trips to collect trunk bark samples 

from living trees. During much of this time, 

Angela Scarborough and Courtney Kilgore 

also assisted students (Figures 8 and 9).

These activities were presented in popular 

media such as newspapers, television, websites, 

and exhibits. For example, UCM highlighted 

our research with a color image and short 

storyline on the front page of the university 

website. The Daily Star Journal ran two color 

images under the banner headline featuring 

Local Nature Lesson, that described the 

seventh-grade life science students collecting 

activities at Pertle Springs, and another front-

page article titled Junior Scientists at Work

showing a color photograph of students and 

Dr. Keller observing moist chamber cultures 

with a description of the RET-NSF Program.

Local interest in this RET-NSF funded project 

was noted in UCM News under the title Grant 

Provides Experience in Scientific Research.

Campus Today featured Trish Smith collecting 

bark samples, and another article More Than 

a Bug’s Life Fascinates, showed students 

collecting insects using flight intercept canopy 

traps at Pertle Springs. Television station 

KMOS, housed at UCM, sent film crews to 

shoot footage of WMS students at Pertle 

Springs that aired as a five-minute segment 

on  University Magazine. The RET-NSF 

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Figure 10. Tree canopy research team in GSMNP. Far left, Stan and Trish Smith; UCM 

undergraduate students Amber, Tommy, Ashley back row, bottom row Erin and Cheryl; far right, 

Steve Wilson. (Photo by H.W. Keller.)

poster (Keller et al., 2005) presented at the 

Fifth International Congress on Systematics 

and Ecology of Myxomycetes (ICSEM5) in 

Tlaxcala, Mexico, was displayed at WMS and 

also at the UCM Morris Science Building. 

One striking example of student observations 

was the surprise discovery of nematodes. 

These attention-getting nematodes, with their 

S-shaped wiggling and writhing movements in 

thin films of water, were frequently observed 

by students in moist chamber cultures from 

bark of living trees. Nematodes in some bark 

cultures were attached by their posterior ends, 

standing and waving in a behavioral pattern 

known as nictation. Nematode movements 

were also observed in the video of moist 

chamber bark cultures highlighted here by 

Ashley Bordelon.

Our efforts to involve seventh-grade students 

in the research objectives of this project was to 

transfer knowledge about how biodiversity is 

documented to the next generation of students. 

Websites and posters also disseminated field 

biology to a broader audience of students and 

teachers alike (Figure 10).    


 “Teaching has been an extremely rewarding 

job in many ways, but bringing the GSMNP 

research project into my seventh-grade life 

science classroom through the RET Program 

is one of my proudest moments,” Trish 

Smith said. The highest tribute or reward 

Keller could ever receive is the twinkle in 

the eyes and glow and smile on the faces of 

the seventh-grade life science students at 

WMS when they said that “it’s awesome” 

or “it’s cool” after observing a myxomycete 

sporangium or plasmodium. These students 

learned to picture key and recognize different 

myxomycete species, insect taxa, and general 

life forms of lichens, mostly crustose and 

foliose types. The aim of this activity was to 

assist and encourage students and teachers to 

experience field trips and laboratory exercises 

that will create excitement and interest in 

exploring, collecting, and discovering life 

forms often overlooked in nature. 

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Special thanks go to Trish Smith, who was 

responsible for preparing the iAdventure, 

Teacher Preparation Guide, Student 

Worksheets, and logistics for the student field 

experience at Pertle Springs and laboratory 

observations. Without her and Stan’s help, 

this activity would not have been possible. 

Ashley Bordelon used her creative talents 

to brainstorm the video content, organize 

the visual images, and narrate the moist 

chamber instructions. Dr. Joe Ely, ecologist 

and biometrician, and Dr. Steve Wilson, 

entomologist from UCM, were essential co-

investigators on this research project. Charly 

Pottorff, a professional arborist, taught UCM 

students the double rope climbing method and 

how to shoot the Big Shot at a climbing school 

at Pertle Springs. Many people contributed 

their volunteer expertise and we thank them 

all, including parents, faculty from the UCM 

Biology and Education Departments, the 

UCM student mentors and tree climbers, and 

investigators from other institutions. This 

student activity would not have been possible 

without the help of many people not named but 

who contributed time, effort, cooperation, and 

authorship on publications. Multiple grants 

provided financial assistance in part from the 

National Science Foundation, Discover Life in 

America, National Geographic Society, Sigma 

Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society, 

Missouri Department of Natural Resources, 

the U.S. Department of Education McNair 

Scholars Program, and the UCM Summer 

Undergraduate Research and Creative Projects 

Program. Photographic credits are given after 

each photograph, and image release forms 

were obtained from all WMS students. We 

trust that this spirit of discovery described 

here will lead others to explore, enjoy, learn, 

and share their results with others.      


Everhart, S. E., J. S. Ely, and H. W. Keller. 2009. 

Evaluation of tree canopy epiphytes and bark char-

acteristics associated with the presence of cortico-

lous myxomycetes. Botany 87: 509–517. [Techni-

cal, postgraduate level]
Gilbert, H. C, and G. W. Martin. 1933. Myxomy-

cetes found on the bark of living trees. University 

of Iowa Studies in Natural History. Papers on Iowa 

Fungi IV 15: 3–8. [Technical, college level]

Gilbert, H. C. 1934. Three new species of 

Myxomycetes. University of Iowa Studies in 

Natural History. Contributions from the Botanical 

Laboratories 16: 153–159. [Technical, college level]

Keller, H. W. 2004. Tree canopy biodiversity: 

student research experiences in Great Smoky 

Mountains National Park. Systematics and 

Geography of Plants 74: 47–65. [General audience, 


Keller, H. W. 2005. Undergraduate Research 

Field Experiences: Tree Canopy Biodiversity 

in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and 

Pertle Springs, Warrensburg, Missouri. Council 

on Undergraduate Research Quarterly 25: 162–

168.  [Invited Paper, for a non-technical, general 


Keller, H. W. 2019. Student team-based tree canopy 

biodiversity research in Great Smoky Mountains 

National Park. Plant Science Bulletin 65: 28–37. 

[General audience]

Keller, H. W. and K. L. Braun. 1999. Myxomycetes 

of Ohio: Their Systematics, Biology and Use in 

Teaching. Ohio Biological Survey Bulletin New 

Series Volume 13, Number 2. [High school and 

college level]

Keller, H. W., C. M. Kilgore, S. E. Everhart, G. J. 

Carmack, C. D. Crabtree, and A. R. Scarborough. 

2008. Myxomycete plasmodia and fruiting bodies: 

unusual occurrences and user-friendly study 

techniques.  Fungi 1: 24–37. [All age groups]

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Keller, H. W. and V. M. Marshall. 2019. A new 

iridescent corticolous myxomycete species (Licea: 

Liceaceae: Liceales) and crystals on American elm 

tree bark in Texas, U.S.A. Journal of the Botanical 

Research Institute of Texas 13: 367–386. [Technical, 

for university level graduate students and teachers]

Keller, H. W., M. Skrabal, U. H. Eliasson, and 

T. W. Gaither. 2004. Tree canopy biodiversity 

in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park: 

ecological and developmental observations of a 

new myxomycete species of Diachea. Mycologia

96: 537–547. [College level]

Keller, H. W., S. W. Wilson, and P. A. Smith. 2005. 

Research Experience for Teachers-National Science 

Foundation: Biodiversity Survey (Myxomycetes 

and Insects) of Pertle Springs, Warrensburg, 

Missouri, by 7th Grade Life Science Students. 

5th International Congress on Systematics and 

Ecology of Myxomycetes (ICSEM5). Tlaxcala, 

Mexico, Universidad Autonoma de Tlaxcala, 

pp. 47–48 (Abstract, Poster Presentation #35). 

[General audience]

Kilgore, C. M., H. W. Keller, and J. S. Ely.  2009. 

Aerial reproductive structures on vascular plants 

as a microhabitat for myxomycetes. Mycologia 101: 

303–317. [Technical, college, graduate student level. 

First study of myxomycetes on herbaceous prairie plants.]

Kilgore, C. M., H.  W. Keller, S. E. 

Everhart,  A. R.  Scarborough, K. L. Snell, M. 

S. Skrabal, C. Pottorff, and J. S. Ely. 2008. 

Research  and  student  experiences using the 

doubled rope climbing method. Journal of the 

Botanical Research Institute of Texas 2: 1309–1336. 

[High school and college level]

Perry, B. A., H. W. Keller, E. D. Forrester, and B. G. 

Stone. 2020. A new corticolous species of Mycena 

section viscipelles (Basidiomycota: Agaricales) 

from the bark of a living American elm tree in 

Texas, U.S.A. Journal of the Botanical Research 

Institute of Texas 14: 167–185. [College Level, 


Scarborough, A. R., H. W. Keller, and J. S. Ely. 2009. 

Species assemblages of tree canopy myxomycetes 

related to pH. Castanea 74: 93–104. [Technical 

for college students and teachers.  Description of 

GSMNP and Pertle Springs] 

Smith, P. A. and H. W. Keller. 2004. National 

Science Foundation Research Experience for 

Teachers (RET). Inoculum 55: 1–5. [All age groups]

Snell, K. L. and H. W. Keller. 2003. Vertical 

distribution and assemblages of corticolous 

myxomycetes on five tree species in the Great 

Smoky Mountains National Park. Mycologia 95: 

565–576. [Technical, college level. The first tree 

canopy study of cryptogams and myxomycetes using 

rope-climbing techniques in the USA.]  

Wilson, S. W., N. M. Svatos, and H. W. Keller. 

2003. Canopy insect biodiversity in a Missouri 

State Park. What’s Up? The Newsletter of the 

International Canopy Network 10: 4–5. [Technical, 

college level]



Alexopoulos, C. J. and J. Koevening. 1964. Slime 

molds and research. American Institute of Bio-

logical Sciences. Biological Sciences Curriculum 

Studies BSCS Pamphlet 13. Boston. D.C. Heath 

and Company. 36 p. [High school and college level, 

targeted for teachers]
Carson, M. K. 2003. Fungi. Newbridge Education-

al Publishing. 21 pp.; see pp. 16, 17 for myxomy-

cetes. [Elementary and middle school level, part of 

Ranger Rick Series] 
de Hann, M. 2005. The Adventures of Mike the 

Myxo. English Translation by Henry Becker. Bel-

gium KMAK. The Royal Antwerp Mycological So-

ciety. 14 p. [Elementary school level]
Keller, H. W. and T. E. Brooks. 1976. Corticolous 

Myxomycetes V: Observations on the genus Echi-

nostelium.  Mycologia 68: 1204–1220. [Technical, 

college level]

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Keller, H. W., and T. E. Brooks. 1977. Corticolous 

Myxomycetes VII: Contribution toward a mono-

graph of Licea, five new species. Mycologia 69: 

667–684. [Technical, college level]

Keller, H. W. and S. E. Everhart. 2006. Myxo



tes (True Slime Molds): Educational Sources for 

Students and Teachers – Part I.  Inoculum 57: 1–2. 

and part II. Inoculum 57: 4–5. [All age groups


Keller, H. W. and S. E. Everhart. 2010. Importance 

of Myxomycetes in biological research and 

teaching.  Fungi 3: 29–43. [All age groups, 

targeted for teachers. This is the most cited article 

on myxomycetes, first posted June 2016 on the 

University of Nebraska Digital Commons and as of 

February 2022 with 4,290 downloads, running at 

more than 100 hits per month.]

Lloyd, S. J. 2014. Where the slime mould 

creeps: the fascinating world of myxomycetes. 

Tympanocryptis Press, Tasmania, Australia. 102 

p. [Spectacular photography, text written for all age 

groups. On pp. 40 and 41, two Slime Mould Rounds 

are set to music.]

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By Stephen R. Stern


, Nora S. Oviatt


, and Grace E. Gardner



 Department of Biological Sciences, Colorado Mesa University, 1260 Kennedy Ave, 

Grand Junction, CO 81501, USA


 Undergraduate students at Colorado Mesa University that conducted the study


 Author for correspondence:


Research experiences benefit undergraduates and 

citizen scientists alike, and new resources allow for new 

research opportunities. With the expansion of online 

databases, current understanding of plant distributions 

is better than it has ever been. Database resources 

also show gaps in species distribution and allow rapid 

identification of areas that are under-collected. Targeted 

collecting of common but often overlooked plant 

species is an excellent way to engage undergraduates 

and citizen scientists. Here we provide an example 

of targeted plant collecting by undergraduates that 

resulted in 118 collections made over four days in Ouray 

County, Colorado. These collections resulted in 34 new 

country records not listed in the Flora of Colorado and 

15 new county records not listed on SEINet.

Filling in the Gaps: Targeted Plant 

Collection by Undergraduates and 

Citizen Scientists to Better 

Understand Plant Distribution

Key words

citizen science, Colorado, flora, species 

distribution, undergraduate

Course-based Undergraduate Research 

Experiences (CUREs) and outreach to the public 

through citizen-science projects have become 

increasingly common (AAAS, 2011; Dolan, 

2016). Applications like iNaturalist have 

millions of users around the globe, showing 

that there is a strong interest in participating 

in science ( Research can 

help form beneficial collaborations between 

amateurs and professionals, increase scientific 

communication and engagement, and help 

prepare the next generation of scientists. In 

the botanical sciences, a variety of methods 

has been used to engage high school students 

(Ragostra et al., 2020), undergraduates (Ward 

et al., 2014; Mitchell et al., 2017), and citizen 

scientists (Boho et al., 2020). 

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One area ripe for research by amateurs 

is utilizing online database resources. 


Online databases, such as SEINet (www. and the USDA PLANTS 

database (

java/), as well as traditional floras, allow 

unprecedented access to plant distributions. 

Mapping tools on online databases allow 

users to rapidly assess plant distributions 

and visualize areas that are likely habitat 

for plant species but currently do not have 

specimen records. Impetus for this study 

began with observation of distribution maps 

in the Flora of Colorado (Ackerfield, 2015) 

where it was noted that Ouray County was 

often a gap in species distribution maps. 

Further investigation using online databases 

showed that although Ouray County has been 

moderately well collected compared to other 

areas in western Colorado, many common 

species have not been collected in this county.

Targeted collecting not only increases 

understanding of species distribution, but 

also benefits amateur botanists. While many 

scientists use online databases, these resources 

are often unknown or underutilized by the 

general public. Training amateur botanists 

to use online resources and technical keys, 

to plan and implement a plant collecting trip, 

and to process and curate specimens in the 

herbarium, broadens interest in botany and 

trains the next generation of botanists. Not 

only are valuable data collected and made 

available to scientists via databases such as 

SEINet, but these studies also help to form 

collaborations between scientists and plant 

enthusiasts. The goals of this study were to (1) 

collect specimens to fill in the gaps of species 

distribution in Ouray County, Colorado, (2) 

engage undergraduates in plant collecting, 

and (3) provide a model for other scientists 

working with undergraduate or citizen 




This study was conducted as part of a summer 

undergraduate research project led by Dr. 

Stephen Stern supervising undergraduate 

students Nora Oviatt and Grace Gardner. All 

aspects of the project were performed by the 

two undergraduate students. To become more 

familiar with the area prior to collecting, the 

Flora of Colorado (Ackerfield, 2015) was 

used to compile a list of plants that had not 

previously been collected in Ouray County. 

Emphasis was given to plants that were present 

in two or more neighboring counties on maps 

in the Flora and therefore likely to be present in 

Ouray County. The list included plant family, 

common name, scientific name, elevation 

range, and flowering time. This list was then 

used to identify collecting sites, including 

a wide range of habitats and elevations, to 

maximize species diversity. Collection sites 

included pinyon-juniper forests, subalpine 

meadows, riparian areas, parking lots, and 

other disturbed areas to include common and 

invasive species (Figure 1). 

Collections were made in Ouray County, 

Colorado on July 14-17, 2020 by Nora Oviatt 

and Grace Gardner, two undergraduates at 

Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, 

Colorado. Areas collected included a variety 

of habitats, elevation ranges, and moisture 

gradients (Figure 2). Plants were collected if 

they were known to be missing from Ouray 

County or if their identity was unknown. 

Plant specimens were pressed and locality 

information including GPS coordinates and 

elevation was collected, along with habitat 

and plant characteristic data. 

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After collecting, the undergraduates identified 

unknown plants using the Flora of Colorado 

(Ackerfield, 2015). Plant specimens were 

mounted onto herbarium paper with a label 

including all specimen data and deposited 

in the Walter A. Kelley Herbarium at 

Colorado Mesa University. Specimen data 

were entered in the Intermountain Region 

Herbarium Network database (https:// Collections 

were compared with distribution maps in 

the Flora of Colorado (Ackerfield, 2015) 

and SEINet (

portal/) to identify collections that were new 

county records.


Over the course of four days of collecting in 

Ouray County, 118 collections representing 

99 species were made from a variety of 

localities and habitats (Figures 1 and 2). 

These species represent both native and 

introduced, naturalized species. The goal 

of this project was to provide herbarium 

specimens to increase understanding of plant 

distribution. Herbarium specimens collected 

for this project represent 34 new county 

records for Ouray County (Table 1) when 

compared to distribution maps in the Flora 

of Colorado (Ackerfield, 2015). Collections 

Figure 1. Diversity of Habitats in Ouray County. (A) Nora Oviatt by the Uncompahgre River. 

(B) Top of Courthouse Mountain. (C) Nora Oviatt in meadow by lower Blue Lake. (D) Pinyon-

Juniper habitat at the Ridgeway Area Trails. (E) Grace Gardner collecting in roadside habitat 

along Ouray County Road 10. (F) Grace Gardner on Courthouse Mountain Trail.

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were also compared with SEINet (https://, a regularly 

updated database. Based on SEINet search 

results in July 2021, the collections made in 

this study represent 15 new county records for 

Ouray County, Colorado (Table 1). 


While much of the flora of the United States 

is well-represented in herbaria, there are 

significant gaps in understanding species 

distributions. As the results show, a four-day 

collecting trip by two undergraduates yielded 

numerous new county records, indicating 

that this research is beneficial in building 

knowledge of species distributions. The 

discrepancy in the number of new records 

when comparing the distribution maps in 

the Flora of Colorado versus SEINet can be 

attributed to the fact that SEINet is continually 

being updated. Databasing projects, such as 

the NSF-funded databasing project focused 

on plants of the Southern Rockies (https://; Tripp et al., 

2017), have added many new records since 

the publication of the Flora of Colorado. 

Despite this influx of new databased records, 

many areas still lack sufficient representation 

by herbarium specimens. 

Of the 118 collections, 34 represented 

new county records based on the Flora of 

Colorado and 18 represented new county 

records based on SEINet (Table 1). In Ouray 

County, some species were expected, such as 

Convolvulus arvensis (field bindweed) that is 

represented in all surrounding counties but 

was lacking in Ouray County in the Flora 

of Colorado distribution maps. Centaurea 

stoebe (spotted knapweed) is listed as a class 

B noxious weed in Ouray County (https:// but 

had not previously been collected and was 

not represented on SEINet or in the Flora of 

Figure 2. Map of Colorado with Ouray County highlighted in red (right) with zoomed in map of 

Ouray County including the towns of Ridgeway and Ouray showing collection sites (left). Red 

points represent collections sites. Between 1 and 31 collections were made at each site.

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PSB 68 (1) 2022


Colorado. This work also expanded the known 

range of species, such as Mimulus tillingii 

(subalpine monkeyflower) and documented 

previously unknown populations.

This study focused on an under-collected area 

of western Colorado. Ouray County (542 mi


is represented on SEINet by 6885 collections. 

Many other significant gaps remain in the Flora 

of Colorado. For example, in northeastern 

Colorado, Sedgwick County (549 mi


) has 

913 collections on SEINet, Philips County 

(688 mi


) has 628 collections on SEINet, and 

Crowley County (800 mi


) has 459 collections 

on SEINet. Similar collection projects in 

these counties would add many new species 

records to SEINet and the Flora of Colorado. 

In Colorado, it appears that areas further from 

population centers and universities generally 

have fewer plant collections. However, even 

urban areas can be under-collected, such as 

Broomfield County (33 mi


), which only has 

12 collection records on SEINet. This trend is 

likely similar in other areas, and mapping tools 

on sites like SEINet or the USDA PLANTS 

database can provide localities for similar 

projects in other states. 

In addition to increasing scientific 

understanding, this research is a useful 

teaching tool for undergraduates and citizen 

scientists. The planning, collection, and 

specimen preparation described above was 

led by undergraduates. Students had to plan 

an “expedition,” determine logistics, research 

distributions using databases, collect plants in 

the field, identify plants, prepare specimens, 

and database specimens. While there was 

guidance from a professor, the implementation 

of all aspects was done independently by 

students. Although this project was a trail run, 

occurred outside of a class, and only included 

two undergraduates, all of the components of 

the project could easily be incorporated into 

a plant identification or plant systematics 

course and would make an excellent CURE. 

This could also be implemented as a project 

for native plant enthusiasts where interested 

participants have many of the skills but may 

not know how they can contribute to the 

scientific community. The Colorado Native 

Plant Society ( frequently has 

“bioblitz” events, but independent, guided 

collecting in targeted areas would allow 

enthusiasts to conduct investigations on their 

own schedule, would allow more flexibility, 

and would encourage revisiting sites to collect 

plants throughout the growing season. 

While targeted collecting can be largely 

independent, there are some logistics that 

require oversight. The undergraduates 

involved in the project were well-versed in 

plant identification and collecting methods 

but found the planning and implementation 

of their own collecting trip to be the most 

difficult, but also most rewarding, aspect of 

the project. For supervisors, knowing the 

abilities of students and adjusting the level 

of supervision accordingly is crucial. For 

example, some students may have more 

difficulty with plant identification and need 

additional help in this area. This study only 

included two undergraduates, so as the group 

size increases there would likely be more 

challenges managing larger cohorts. However, 

this also provides a great opportunity for group 

work. Collecting must follow state and federal 

restrictions, with care taken to avoid private 

property, protected areas, and protected 

plants. Arrangements should be made for 

herbaria to receive specimens, and there 

should be oversight during the databasing 

process. In lieu of making collections, amateur 

botanists could make observations along with 

photographic evidence (as is done with the 

iNaturalist app). While this reduces specimen 

preparation, it presents challenges for correct 

identification and makes verification much 

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more difficult. With either collections or 

observations, amateur botanists may need 

assistance identifying difficult taxa. Each 

of these steps requires oversight but can be 

“teachable moments” to help train the next 

generation of botanists. Coupling the passion 

and enthusiasm of amateur botanists with the 

oversight and guidance of professional can 

greatly benefit both.  


The authors thank Colorado Mesa University 

for support and herbarium space; the 

Saccomanno Higher Education foundation for 

their support of Grace Gardner through the 

Saccomanno Internship Program in Biological 

Research and the Grand Junction Field Office 

of the Bureau of Land Management; Jennifer 

Ackerfield for her excellent Flora of Colorado 

that spurred this research; and Dr. Mackenzie 

Taylor and two anonymous reviewers for their 

suggestions to improve this manuscript.



Dr. Stephen Stern supervised the planning and 

implementation of this research and prepared 

the manuscript. Undergraduates Nora Oviatt 

and Grace Gardner conducted fieldwork, 

identified and prepared plant specimens, 

databased specimens, and reviewed the 



All specimen data are available online through 

the SEINet portal at


Ackerfield, J. 2015. Flora of Colorado. Botanical 

Research Institute of Texas.
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ence (AAAS). 2011. Vision and Change: A call to 

action, Final Report, Washington DC.
Boho, D., M. Rzanny, J. Wäldchen, F. Nitsche, A. 

Deggelmann, H. C. Wittich, M. Seeland, and P. 

Mäder. 2020. Flora Capture: a citizen science appli-

cation for collecting structured plant observations. 

BMC Bioinformatics 21: 576. 
Dolan, E. L. 2016. Course-based undergraduate re-

search experiences: Current knowledge and future 

directions. Washington DC: National Research 

Mitchell, N., M. Triska, A. Liberatore, L. Ashcroft, 

R. Weatherill, and N. Longnecker. 2017. Benefits 

and challenges of incorporating citizen science 

into university education. PLoS One 12: e0186285.
Ragosta, S., D. Potter, and H. Bartosh. 2020. Broad-

ening Student Perceptions of Science through Par-

ticipatory Data Collection and Research-education 

partnerships: A case study in California’s Central 

Valley. The American Biology Teacher 82: 8.
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TCN: Using herbarium data to document plant 

niches in the high peaks and high plains of the 

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CBE-Life Sciences Education 13: 387–396.

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The National Science Foundation–funded 

conference grant “The Future of Botany: 

Educating for a Diverse and Inclusive 21st 

Century Workforce” (NSF DBI-1929435, $64K, 

Adams & Krakos, 2019–2021) has ended after 

supporting three years of Botany conference 

activities related to strategic efforts to broaden 

participation and teach inclusively. Originally 

a single-year award, BSA received a no-cost 

extension to continue to provide support for 

activities and participation by community 

college/tribal college and university (CC/

TCU) faculty and undergraduates at the 2020 

and 2021 virtual Botany conferences. The 

project had three main goals: 

1. To support CC/TCU faculty to attend and 

participate in the Botany conference to help 

more effectively recruit, retain, and support a 

diverse and inclusive next generation of plant 


2. To support additional undergraduate 

students primarily from CC/TCU institutions 

to attend and participate in the Botany 

conference as part of the existing PLANTS 

mentoring program for students from 

underrepresented minority groups. 

3. To develop, deliver, and promote diversity 

and inclusion programming at the Botany 

conference for all attendees.

The Future of Botany: 

Educating for a Diverse and 

Inclusive 21st-Century Workforce

By Kyra N. Krakos, Catrina Adams, Matt Haberkorn, Adolfina Koroch, 

Sonali Saha, Karen Wellner, and Daniel Wright

The grant supported a coordinated Diversity 

and Inclusion (D&I) initiative starting at 

Botany 2019 by integrating several new 

sponsored activities with ongoing DEI and 

Education activities (including the NSF-

supported PLANTS Botany conference 

mentoring program and programming 

developed by the BSA’s DEI committee, 

Education Committee and Teaching Section). 

The co-PIs, Catrina Adams and Kyra Krakos, 

worked with an advisory board including 

Ann Sakai, Muriel Poston, Mike Barker, Jim 

Cohen, Chris Martine, and Anna Monfils to 

create a set of activities centered around D&I 

needs of Botany, and to recruit participating 

speakers, students, and faculty. 

This article is a summary of the activities and 

impact of the grant, enhanced with personal 

experiences and insights shared by five co-

authors: Matt Haberkorn (Phoenix College, 

AZ); Adolfina Koroch (Borough of Manhattan 

Community College, NY); Sonali Saha (Miami 

Dade College, FL); Karen Wellner (Chandler-

Gilbert Community College, AZ); and Daniel 

Wright (Pima Community College, AZ), who 

were faculty participants in the initiative over 

several years. 

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The grant sponsored some new programming 

at Botany 2019 in Tucson, AZ open to all 

conference attendees including: 

1. A Special Session titled “Educating for a 

Diverse and Inclusive Community in Botany 

for the 21st Century,” featuring talks by 

invited speakers Teresa Newberry (“The Role 

of Tribal Colleges in Promoting a Diverse 

and Inclusive Community in Botany”), 

Anthony DePass (“Increasing Diversity in 

STEM: Bridging Practice and Scholarship”), 

Monica Gaughan (“The Ecological Fallacy 

and Why Botanists Still Need to Understand 

Student Demographics”), and Pamela Soltis 

(“Engaging a Diverse Biodiversity Workforce 

through Natural History Collections”), and 

including a moderated discussion between 

the audience and speakers;

2. A workshop on inquiry-based learning in 

plant science led by Gordon Uno and Marsh 

Sundberg, with an emphasis on exchanging 

best practices and ideas on methods for 

engaging students with diverse backgrounds 

in learning science using plants; and 

3. A special contributed paper section in the 

Teaching Section with a specific emphasis 

on inclusive pedagogical practices in various 

institutional settings. All of these activities 

took place at Botany 2019 meetings in 

Tucson, AZ. 

In 2019, the grant was able to support 13 

CC/TCU faculty to attend Botany and 

participate in the Initiative’s activities. In 

addition to attending the activities open to 

all Botany attendees, participants attended an 

orientation/meet-and-greet to allow others 

from the BSA community to welcome and get 

to know the grant participants, as well as to 

introduce the conference activities and answer 

any questions. The participants also attended 

a working dinner to process and discuss 

what they’d learned and to discuss options 

for continued participation and networking 

beyond the Botany conference. 

Post-conference, CC/TCU faculty participants 

were asked to respond to a prompt about 

what they gained from participating in the 

conference. New perspectives on teaching 

were mentioned by several faculty. Several 

faculty mentioned that the workshop led by 

Uno and Sundberg was a highlight for them. 

One wrote, “The workshop on broadening 

pathways changed my whole perspective 

on teaching, so now I focus on making my 

classes more equitable, not just inclusive, 

understanding that students all start in 

different places.” Another responded, “The 

2019 Botany meeting provided me with a 

significant amount of teaching processes, 

activities as well as accessible research 

questions that can be covered in a typical 

community college a result, we 

have seen students interest and engagement 

increase in some of our course-based 

research programs...I attribute this to making 

research-based course projects accessible, 

understandable, and multidisciplinary for our 

students.” A third contributed an anecdote 

about how a workshop activity sparked a 

redesign of a food web activity for students 

that led to a highlighted activity during a “Free 

College for a Day” event showcasing learning 

highlights for prospective students. 

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The grant also supported eight additional 

undergraduates from underrepresented 

minority groups to participate in the 

longstanding PLANTS mentoring program 

(supported by NSF DEB-1137471, $100K, 

Sakai & Hirsch 2011-2016 and NSF DEB-

1549708, $106K, Sakai & Monfils 2015-2021) 

as PLANTS Scholars in 2019, along with 

four PLANTS alumni recruited to serve as 

near-peer mentors for these students. The 

PLANTS student experience kicked off with 

an early morning meeting for past and current 

PLANTS Scholars, followed by field trips 

and a workshop on Applying to Graduate 

School led by PLANTS co-PI Anna Monfils 

and a career panel discussion. A meeting of 

PLANTS Scholars with their peer and senior 

mentors followed. Scholars and Mentors 

were provided with materials to facilitate 

meaningful interactions and information 

exchange, including some suggested questions 

to seed the conversation. Throughout the 

Botany conference, each group consisting 

of the Scholar and Mentors met daily to 

organize activities, plan to attend specific talks 

together, and discuss talks post-attendance. 

Scholars attended the Diversity Luncheon, 

which in 2019 was led by Tom Antonio from 

the Institute of American Indian Arts. A final 

working lunch was held the last day for a 

meeting wrap-up and review of the program. 





BOTANY 2020 & 2021 


In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, 

Botany 2020 and 2021 moved to a virtual 

platform. We applied for and received a no-

cost extension from NSF in order to continue 

the Diversity and Inclusion Initiative, to build 

on the positive outcomes of the first year, and 

to ensure that the new networks among CC/

TCU faculty being built would be retained. The 

virtual format provided a unique opportunity 

to expand the reach of the initiative. In the 

virtual years, the remaining funding could go 

further in extending participant support. The 

extended grant provided registration funds for 

seven of the previous faculty grant awardees to 

return to the conference with preference given 

to those who would be presenting a paper or 

poster. In addition, four of the undergraduate 

PLANTS students were funded to return and 

participate in some of the PLANTS activities 

with the 2020 cohort to share their experiences, 

although they did not receive faculty and peer 

mentoring for a second year. 

Programming at the Botany 2020 conference 

organized and promoted as part of this 

grant’s Diversity and Inclusion Initiative and 

open to all attendees included a workshop 

“Teaching Online Botany Laboratory for 

Non-Majors,” a themed paper session 

“Education and Outreach III: Diversity 

and Inclusion in Botany,” and a roundtable 

discussion “Creating an Inclusive Experience 

in the Classroom and Across the Discipline 

of Botany: Perspectives from Community 

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College Faculty.” Additional conference-

wide D&I programming recommended to 

participants included a “Diversity, Equity and 

Inclusion Listening and Discussion Session,” 

the Diversity in Plant Biology Special Session 

“Diversity and Inclusion in the Sciences: 

Relationships and Reciprocity” given by Beth 

Leonard, University of Alaska Anchorage, and 

the plenary address “What Have We Learned? 

Lessons and strategies from the Chaos” by 

Brian Dewsbury, University of Rhode Island. 

In 2021, five of the existing faculty cohort 

were funded to return and we also were able 

to offer participation to seven new faculty 

participants drawn from CC/TCU and other 

minority serving institutions (MSIs). Faculty 

who were accepted to participate were invited 

to bring up to 5 of their undergraduate 

students to attend the conference, and 18 

undergraduate students took advantage of the 

offer to participate with their faculty. 

Initiative events open to all attendees followed 

the same pattern as in 2020, including 

a workshop “Challenges and Successes 

of Research at Primarily Undergraduate 

Institutions: Jumpstarting Your 2021-2022 

Research Program,” a themed paper session 

“Education and Outreach I: Botany for 

Diverse Audiences and Under-Resourced 

Communities,” and a roundtable discussion, 

“Educating for a Diverse and Inclusive 

Community in Botany for the 21st Century.” 

Additional D&I conference programming 

recommended to participants included the 

Belonging in Botany: Perspectives on DEI 

Lecture “Race and Science: from Collectors 

to Allies” given by David Asai, Howard 

Hughes Medical Institute, and the plenary 

address “From Seeds of Change to a Harvest 

of Discovery” by Beronda Montgomery, 

Michigan State University. 

In 2021, the roundtable discussion was 

particularly robust, with participants 

sharing their best practices and solutions 

to challenges. Key points included the 

importance of paying attention to climate 

in the classroom for greater inclusivity, 

being mindful of student group work norms 

and group composition, and establishing 

student cohorts through intentional activities 

designed to increase a sense of belonging 

and community. Encouraging research at 

the undergraduate level including CURES 

and modeling best practices of collaborative 

science during research was also mentioned. 

Challenges included a lack of botany research 

opportunities for interested undergraduate 

students compared to in the medical field or 

biotechnology (or a lack of awareness of these 

opportunities by CC/TCU faculty), increasing 

pressure to closely tie course offerings at 

community colleges to available jobs on 

graduation and the decreasing prevalence of 

botany course availability as well as increased 

need to “market” the importance of plant 

science classes to students and administrators. 

Several faculty mentioned how useful it is 

or could be to have connections with faculty 

at nearby 4-year institutions who could 

support transferring CC students interested 

in botany careers, and suggested this as a 

place where BSA may be able to help. Many 

participants mentioned the lack of time, 

mental resources, or funds available to CC 

faculty and other faculty who work with 

diverse student populations, as well as often 

feeling disconnected from peers and lacking 

support from peers in their discipline(s). A 

helpful wish list of future possible workshops 

was proposed by participants, including 

interactive activities to implement in the 

classroom (as was offered by D&I in 2019), 

a repeat of the Online Botany Laboratory 

workshop (offered by D&I in 2021), as well 

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PSB 68 (1) 2022


as new ideas for workshops similar to those 

offered by the University of British Columbia’s 

Kindness Project, workshops focusing on 

new technologies for classroom and research 

in undergraduate institutions, as well as 

workshops on gender identity and pronouns 

and on traditional ecological knowledge. Final 

thoughts on making use of exemplary programs 

and models from other disciplines were also 

shared along with existing resources that 

participants had found useful or interesting. 

Some excellent ideas on how to support 

each other were shared: “We talk about the 

importance of cohorts for our students...what 

about for ourselves?” The discussion of this 

need led to plans for implementing a kind of 

virtual support system to extend connections 

beyond the Botany conference. Part of these 

plans may be fulfilled through the Teaching 

Section and Education Committee’s plans to 

schedule year-round events as part of BSA’s 

new Botany360 initiative. 


The coordinated emphasis on D&I 

throughout the Botany 2019, 2020, and 2021 

conferences, including activities associated 

with this Diversity and Inclusion Initiative 

(pedagogy workshops, targeted contributed 

paper sessions on teaching with equity and 

inclusion, roundtable discussions including 

D&I participating faculty), is an important 

way to share pedagogical knowledge, 

scientific knowledge, and culturally sensitive 

practices in the plant sciences across the BSA 

and Botany conference communities. These 

combined activities were intended to stimulate 

members and conference participants to 

think strategically about how to broaden 

participation and to be more inclusive in how 

they teach and work. The project also enabled 

both faculty and students from under-

resourced groups to attend Botany, with an 

opportunity to promote the development of a 

set of best practices to support outreach and 

mentoring of diverse students in the plant 


PLANTS Scholars supported by this grant 

were able to experience the excitement of 

basic research, gain greater appreciation 

of the critical importance and application 

of the botanical sciences in their lives, and 

understand the job opportunities in these 

areas, thus broadening their career options. By 

supporting additional students to participate 

in the longstanding PLANTS mentoring 

program, we were able to introduce more 

students who are making critical decisions 

about their careers to the breadth of disciplines 

within plant sciences. Including CC and TCU 

students meant including PLANTS Scholars 

who are earlier in their undergraduate careers 

than typically accepted. These students 

have more time to use what they learn from 

the Botany experience and their mentors 

to consider whether graduate school is 

something they’d like to pursue as part of their 

career pathways. This can lead them to make 

more informed choices as an undergraduate 

to better prepare them for whatever career 

pathway they choose. 

Feedback and evaluation surveys for PLANTS 

Scholars are anonymous, so it’s not possible 

to pull out responses of the eight Scholars 

specifically sponsored by this grant.  However, 

feedback from the Scholars as a whole speaks 

to the impact of the program for these students. 

The most common response to the question 

about the best part of the program was the 

mentors, and some students were especially 

appreciative that their two mentors could offer 

different perspectives to them. Some notable 

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quotes from the free-response questions 

included: “This conference has shown me 

HOW COOL plants are and the many ways you 

can study them.” “This program affirmed my 

dedication to plant science: It was a wonderful 

diverse community which was welcoming and 

kind and encouraging; I am glad to be a part 

of it and continue to be a part of it.” This idea 

of feeling welcome occurred in other quotes, 

for example: “going into BOTANY 2019 I felt 

lost and like I didn’t really have a place within 

the scientific community…The PLANTS 

program made me feel like I do have a place 

or at least can make a place for myself. It made 

me realize that I want to pursue a PhD and 

push myself to achieve my goals.”

Techniques for engaging students from 

underrepresented minority groups, for 

adapting to online teaching during the 

pandemic, and for training students in critical 

thinking, data literacy, and other science skills 

covered during the meeting will translate 

beyond botany to other classes participating 

faculty will teach. The focus on techniques 

for engaging non-majors with plant science 

is likely to impact many students who do not 

intend to focus their future careers on botany, 

but will go on to pursue other disciplines in 

and outside of STEM and will benefit from 

an introduction to the importance of plants 

and science in their everyday lives as well as 

practical experience with scientific thinking 

and making sense of data.  

Many faculty participants mentioned how 

useful they found the programming. One 

wrote, “Everything I’ve participated in has been 

helpful to me and my students. I’ve learned 

lots of new ideas and techniques to use in my 

classes, and my students have benefited from 

participating in the scientific community as 

peers.” Another participant shared, “Honestly, 

I reached another level in terms of initiating 

class-based activities, research projects, 

service hours opportunities that enable 

students to learn about different aspects of 

plants: how they grow, structure-function 

relationships and the services they provide.” A 

third wrote, “...I think I was able to come up 

with more spontaneous critical questions after 

attending the teaching workshops. Students 

enjoyed those dynamic conversations.” As 

one faculty participant stated, “The initiative 

provides a gateway to establish oneself as an 

educator who can influence students’ lives and 

careers in multiple ways.” Another mentioned 

his own growth in knowledge about plant 

sciences, “I was able to interact with scientists 

and educators who really desire to work with 

undergraduates. My biggest benefit was to see 

the very broad research in botany. As a non-

botanist myself, I was just amazed at the types 

of research and I know that my students would 

be too.”

Several participant co-authors have shared 

specific contributions to plant science 

education they’ve been able to make inspired 

by their participation in this initiative. Karen 

Wellner (Chandler-Gilbert Community 

College, AZ) credits the program for inspiring 

her to contribute to the Plant Science Bulletin 

(“Botany with Spirit: Cornell Rural School 

Leaflets and Gardening”) and to develop a 

teaching project based on the Saguaro cactus 

on her campus that she presented at the 

BSA co-sponsored Life Discovery – Doing 

Science Education conference held in Estes 

Park, Colorado in October 2021. Sonali Saha 

(Miami Dade College, FL) writes: “The decline 

in community college enrollment across the 

United States has worsened since the pandemic. 

Faculty scrambled to restructure and make 

their content accessible online and help 

with college retention and enrollment.  Any 

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PSB 68 (1) 2022


implementation of innovative programming, 

techniques, and research initiatives had to 

be cast aside to cater to more basic needs 

such as availability of laptops. Amidst these 

challenging times, the workshops, roundtable 

discussions and focus groups organized by 

the Diversity and Inclusion Initiative, and 

the listening ear provided by the initiative 

were extraordinarily significant in boosting 

enthusiasm. It honestly catapulted me into 

implementing innovation. I opened a small 

field laboratory at the premises of our college 

arboretum with a grant I received and with 

additional funding from the college so the 

students could be outdoors and continue to get 

learning and research experiences in botany. 

In this short time, ‘Viva Florida Garden and 

Laboratory’ has been a success beyond our 

imagination: enhancing student participation, 

learning, and fostering student research.”





Many of the activities of this initiative will 

continue as part of the BSA’s newly awarded 

“Preparing Leaders and Nurturing Tomorrow’s 

Scientists: Botany and Beyond (PLANTS III)” 

grant (NSF DEB-2138730, $1.25M, Monfils, 

Poston & Adams, 2021–2026). The overall goals 

of Botany and Beyond are to engage, support, 

and sustain a diverse community of emerging 

scientists, foster inclusive practices across the 

BSA and botanical sciences, increase plant 

awareness, and advance research and training 

for a more diverse, inclusive, and accessible 

21st-century botanical science workforce. The 

new grant will take a three-pronged approach 

to achieving these goals. The Botany and 

Beyond grant includes funding to continue 

the successful PLANTS pathway program 

that provides mentoring and career support 

to historically excluded undergraduate 

students (PLANTS III) attending the annual 

Botany conference. Along with continued 

updates, assessment, and new support 

programming for PLANTS, the Botany and 

Beyond funding will support CC/TCU/

MSI faculty travel, professional development 

and engagement at Botany meetings in ways 

that build on the work and outcomes of this 

D&I initiative. The Botany and Beyond grant 

will also support a new initiative to provide 

opportunities for early degree students and 

their faculty to explore botany and other 

biodiversity careers through an annual place-

based science identity workshop held prior 

to each year’s Botany meeting in the region 

of the upcoming conference. These hands-on 

workshop experiences will expose the students 

and faculty to careers, opportunities, and 

resources spanning the breadth of botanical 

and biodiversity careers. 







Faculty from CC/TCU/MSI who were 

supported to attend reported feeling more 

connected to the larger botany community, 

finding support from peers and new resources 

to take back to their own institutions. Several 

participants have volunteered for leadership 

roles in the BSA (Charles Bush: undergraduate 

student representative, BSA Diversity, Equity 

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and Inclusion Committee; Karen Wellner, 

member BSA Education Committee; Sean 

Whitcomb, member Advisory Committee, 

Botany and Beyond grant), enabling their 

important perspectives to shape the future of 

the Society and Society initiatives. As one focus 

group participant stated, “I’ve always been a 

passive member of scientific societies, but I 

feel much more motivated and encouraged 

to get involved in BSA because of the work 

you’ve done.”

Science will not thrive unless it is equally 

accessible to students from all backgrounds, 

including those from groups that are 

historically excluded. Access involves 

knowledge about the discipline, understanding 

the culture of science, feeling welcome as a 

participant in scientific endeavors and as a 

member of the scientific community, and 

understanding job opportunities in the area. 

This program directly encourages URM 

students to become part of the scientific 

community. The faculty professional 

development offered by this project and 

inclusion of CC/TCU faculty in the Botany 

conference ensure that faculty who instruct 

URM students can do so using best practices 

for supporting outreach and mentoring of 

diverse students in the plant sciences, and that 

faculty from CC/TCU who might otherwise 

feel isolated from the botanical research 

community are resourced to participate 

fully and to make connections within that 

community. A participant wrote, “Personally, 

the biggest benefit to me was connecting 

and networking with the members, and 

learning of resources and opportunities to 

teach and foster interest in plants to a diverse 

audience attending a community college.” 

Another spoke to the welcoming nature of the 

conference: “It is a great opportunity to grow, 

to meet new colleagues, to network, to get and 

share ideas and possible collaborations. The 

environment is welcoming and dynamic.” 

D&I initiatives like these supporting diverse 

students as well as faculty from CC/TCU/

MSI (where many diverse students begin their 

science careers) bring important perspectives 

to our Society’s activities and leadership. 

Making D&I events and resources broadly 

available at the Botany conference and in other 

venues is an important step towards engaging 

the entire Botany community in efforts to 

encourage the diversity of plant scientists 

within the BSA and the plant sciences as a 

whole. It’s critically important to honor the 

voices and perspectives of these students and 

faculty to continue to foster a welcoming, 

inclusive environment at our conferences, and 

to live up to the aspirations of our Society’s 

mission and goals. 


Thanks are due to all the D&I program 

participants, advisory board members, 

speakers, as well as the PLANTS program 

leaders, administrators, and mentors and to 

the Botany conference planning team and 

staff who helped to make this grant successful. 

This material is based upon work supported by 

the National Science Foundation under Grant 

DBI-1929435. Any opinions, findings, and 

conclusions or recommendations expressed 

in this material are those of the author(s) 

and do not necessarily reflect the views of the 

National Science Foundation.

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PSB 68 (1) 2022


60 years ago:

“Dr. Sherwin Carlquist has recently received a grant from the National Science Foundation 

which will enable him to pursue his studies on the genus Scaevola (Goodeniaceae). Because 

this genus is most widespread in Pacific regions, Dr. Carlquist expects to depart in June and 

spend most of his forthcoming sabbatical year surveying the plants of this genus on the islands 

of the Pacific Ocean. Dr. Carlquist is Associate Professor of Botany in the Claremont Graduate 

School, and a staff member of the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in Claremont, California.

Announcements  PSB 8(1): 11.

Editor’s note:  An in memoriam for Dr. Carlquist can be found on p. 66. Sixty years ago, the 

Editor-in-Chief of Plant Science Bulletin was William L. Stern (see p. 73).

50 years ago:

William T. Gillis writes the lead article about the Fairchild Tropical Garden.

“Have you ever heard of a garden that sponsors the region’s largest white elephant sale, grows 

no annual plants, sometimes has to plant trees with a stick of dynamite, and invites the public 

to walk on the grass? The Fairchild Tropical Garden near Miami, Florida, is such a garden.”

Gillis, William T. Continental America’s Tropical Garden. PSB 18(1): 2-4

40 years ago:

C. K. Sheng writes the lead article about the history of plants and Botanic Gardens in China

“Upon the founding of the People’s Republic, plant introduction developed into an organized 

and scientific enterprise. Since 1954, ten major botanic gardens in different climates and 

vegetational regions were established under the sponsorship of Academia Sinica. A Commission 

of Botanic Gardens was established under the Academy and, according to the Rules of Botanic 

Gardens (1978), five functions should be performed:

1.  The exploitation of wild plant resources, introduction of indigenous and exotic economic 

plants, breeding of new varieties so as to enrich the resources of cultivated plants.

2.  To study the new techniques and methods on plant introduction and acclimatization, so as 

to improve the productivity, quality or tolerance of introduced plants.

3.  To summarize the principles regulating the growth, development, adaptability, economic 

characteristics and variation of introduced plants.

4.  Extensive collection of plant resources, especially those of rare, threatened and endangered 

species, followed by studies on their evolution, taxonomy, preservation and utilization.

5.  To mold a botanical garden with both pleasing landscapes and scientific displays, to make the 

garden an important place to study modern botany and to popularize botanic knowledge in the public.”

Sheng, C.K. Plant Introduction and Botanic Gardens in China.  PSB 28(1): 25-28




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By Dr. Catrina Adams

Education Director

Jennifer Hartley,

Education Programs 


The Education team is pleased to announce 

the formal publication of the results of our 

Digging Deeper research partnership (Taylor 

et al., 2022). Initiated in 2016, this large-scale 

research study showed the effectiveness of 

the PlantingScience Power of Sunlight theme 

for increasing students’ content knowledge 

around photosynthesis/cellular respiration 

and in improving their attitudes about 

scientists. For a summary of the research 

and our findings, see our press release at:



Between mask mandates, vaccination 

requirements, and students readjusting to a 

school day routine after a year spent learning 

from home, teachers have had a lot to juggle 

this school year. Nonetheless, they returned to 

PlantingScience Digging Deeper 

Research Published

PlantingScience! During the Fall 2021 session, 

we had groups from 24 schools, comprising 

1018 students—the highest participation rate 

we have experienced since 2018. The groups 

used a wide variety of themes this session as 

well; factors affecting seed germination (The 

Wonder of Seeds) was the most popular, but 

groups also studied Brassica and Arabidopsis 

genetics, tree ecology, plant tissues, and 

photosynthesis. Combined with our unusually 

large Spring 2021 session, PlantingScience 

has shown considerable growth over previous 

years, even prior to the pandemic.

Our Spring 2022 session began on February 

14.  This session is somewhat smaller, but as 

we look ahead to the upcoming F2 research 

planned for 2023, we are working with our 

platform developer to make important 

programming updates and improvements. We 

are excited about the days to come and proud 

to facilitate the amazing partnership that 

makes this incredible mentoring opportunity 

available to teachers and students.

Please join us as a mentor! We are particularly 

short on mentors who are comfortable 

mentoring for our Pollen and Pollination, 

Agronomy Feeds the World, and Power of 

Sunlight (photosynthesis and respiration) 

themes right now. Learn more about these 

and other investigation themes here: https://

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PSB 68 (1) 2022


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PSB 68(1) 2022




The question of whether conferences will 

ever be the same after the pandemic has been 

on the minds of every conference organizer 

since the global shutdown in 2020. This was 

no less true for the team organizing the 2021 

Life Discovery Conference, which was held 

in Estes Park, Colorado this past September. 

Organized by the Ecological Society of 

America in partnership with the BSA and 

the Society for the Study of Evolution, the 

Life Discovery Conference brings together 

life science educators from high schools, 

community colleges, and universities to 

discuss best practices in biology education. 

The 2021 conference’s theme was “Pushing 

Past Barriers: Ecological Science for All,” and 

it sought to focus on ways to underscore the 

relevance of ecological and biological science 

to all students, regardless of life situation, 

cultural background, or career trajectory. 

Sessions addressed technology tools to 

facilitate communication and accessibility, 

citizen science opportunities to engage 

students in data collection and analysis, and 

use of the “4DEE” (Four-Dimensional Ecology 

Education) framework to guide pedagogical 

approaches at all levels, including both majors 

and non-majors in higher education settings. 

The conference was held in-person as 

scheduled!  For many it was the first face-to-

face conference we had attended in nearly 

two years. As you might expect, strict safety 

protocols were implemented. Seventy-five 

educators attended, representing a range 

of university, community college, and high 

school. Many thanks to all who attended, to 

the organizing committee, to the YMCA of 

the Rockies for hosting, and to the University 

of Colorado for its sponsorship!  

Organization of the 2023 Life Discovery 

Conference is underway.  If you are interested 

in attending this exciting life science education-

focused conference, visit

ldc/ for the most updated information.



Be sure to check out our recently updated 

Teaching Resources page at https://botany.


Originally created to provide support to 

those teaching plant-related topics during 

the pandemic, this page has been revised 

and reorganized to provide an updated list of 

available resources to teachers and instructors 

at all levels. The list includes video collections, 

interactive websites, blogs, articles, and more!

If you have favorite web resources that you 

feel should be added to this page, contact 

Jennifer Hartley at We 

will continue to update this list regularly.


Taylor, J., A. Westbrook, C. Adams, J. 

Creasap-Gee, J. K. Spybrook, S. M. Kowalski, 

A. L. Gardner, and M. Bloom 2022. The 

effect of participation in a student-scientist 

partnership-based online plant science 

mentoring community on high school 

students’ science achievement and attitudes 

about scientists. Journal of Research in 

Science Teaching. 59: 423–457.  https://doi.


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By Imeña Valdes and Ioana Anghel

BSA Student Representatives

It’s that time of the semester where you start to 

compile every opportunity you want to apply 

to into one list. To make this easier for you, 

we have compiled a list of all the opportunities 

we know about. Even if the deadline of this 

application cycle is passed for this academic 

year, make sure to check by the end of this 

year for the next application cycle. Below, we 

have divided these into categories for easy 

browsing that include the following: BSA 

Grants and Awards, Fellowship, Research 

Awards, Broader Impacts, Short Courses and 

Workshops, Job Hunting, and ways that may 

help you to travel to Botany 2022. 

Roundup of Student Opportunities

Of course, all the grants and awards 

information will also be announced and 

reminded via the BSA social media, so make 

sure to follow us on Facebook (Botanical 

Society of America), Twitter (@Botanical_), 

and Instagram (@botanicalsocietyofamerica), 

and stay updated! Also feel free to reach out 

to your BSA student representatives, Imeña 

( and 

Ioana (, if you have 

questions about the listed opportunities, or 

any questions or comments about BSA.


Here we listed a number of grants and awards offered by BSA this year, and make sure to pay 

attention to the deadlines. All the BSA awards are open to its members and students of any 

career stage and any nationality are encouraged to apply.

Donald R. Kaplan Award in Comparative Morphology

Amount: $10,000

Deadline: April 1

Purpose: Research Funds

More Info:


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PSB 68(1) 2022


BSA Graduate Student Research Awards & the J. S. Karling Award

Amount: $1500

Deadline: April 1

Purpose: Research Funds

More Info:    

BSA Graduate Student Research Awards Given by Sections

Amount: $500

Deadline: April 1

Purpose: Research Funds

More Info:

BSA Undergraduate Student Research Awards

Amount: $500

Deadline: April 1

Purpose: Research Funds

More Info: 

BSA Young Botanist Award

Amount: NA

Deadline: April 1

Purpose: Recognition 

More Info:

American Association of University Women (AAUW) Dissertation Fellowship

Amount: $20,000

Deadline: November 1

Nationality/Affiliation requirement: Must be a female U.S. citizen, national, or permanent resident
Purpose: Dissertation Fellowships offset a scholar’s living expenses while she completes her 

dissertation. The fellowship must be used for the final year of writing the dissertation. Applicants 

must have completed all course work, passed all preliminary examinations, and received approval for 

their research proposals or plans by the preceding November.
More info:



Fellowships fund you during your graduate or postdoctoral work. Here we summarize some 

of the available fellowships that could be applicable to your graduate or postdoctoral work. 

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PSB 68 (1) 2022


American Association of University Women (AAUW) International Fellowship

Amount: $18,000 – $30,000

Deadline:  November 15

Nationality/Affiliation requirement: Have citizenship in a country other than the U.S. or possession of 

a nonimmigrant visa if residing in the U.S.
Purpose: International Fellowships are awarded for full-time study or research in the United States to 

women who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Both graduate and postgraduate studies at 

accredited U.S. institutions are supported.
More info:


Research Fellowships/Awards from the Arnold Arboretum

Amount: Up to $10,000

Deadline: February 1

Nationality/Affiliation requirement: Fellowships differ in requirements.

Purpose: Multiple awards and/or fellowships are offered for undergraduate and graduate students 

with topics that focus on Asian tropical forest biology and comparative biology of woody plants.

More info: 

Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships

Amount: $70,000 per year

Deadline: Unknown for 2022

Nationality/Affiliation requirement: Open to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.
Purpose: To promote research in Canada and Canadian scholars abroad.
More info:

Burroughs Wellcome Fund: Career Awards at the Scientific Interface

Amount: $500,000 over five years

Deadline: January 7

Nationality/Affiliation requirement: Open to U.S. and Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and 

temporary residents.

Purpose: To bridge advanced postdoctoral training and the first three years of faculty service. Research 

bridging computational and biological approaches; PhD typically in chem, physics, math, etc.

More info:


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PSB 68(1) 2022


Ford Foundation Fellowship Programs

Amount: $27,000 – $50,000 for 1–3 years

Deadline: 2023–2024 competition will open 


Nationality/Affiliation requirement: All U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, and U.S. permanent residents 

(holders of a Permanent Resident Card), as well as individuals granted deferred action status under 

the DACA Program.

Purpose: Three fellowship types are offered: Predoctoral, Dissertation, and Postdoctoral. The Ford 

Foundation seeks to increase the diversity of the nation’s college and university faculties.

More info:

Fulbright U.S. Student Program Study/Research Award

Amount: Variable

Deadline: 2023–2024 competition will open April

Nationality/Affiliation requirement: Must be citizens or nationals of the U.S. at the time of application; 

permanent residents are not eligible.
Purpose: Covers transportation and living expenses in the host country. Tuition and school-related 

fees covered in some countries.
More info:

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP)

Amount: $34,000 per year + tuition aid

Deadline: October

Nationality/Affiliation requirement: Must be a U.S. citizen, national, or permanent resident.

Purpose: Support outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported disciplines who are pursuing 

research-based Master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited U.S. institutions.
More info:

National Science Foundation: Earth Sciences Postdoctoral Fellowships

Amount: $90,000 per year

Deadline: October 2

Nationality/Affiliation requirement: Must be a U.S. citizen, national, or permanent resident.
Purpose: Earth science research including geobiology and paleobiology; current theme: “issues relating 

to scale.”
More info:

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Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biology (PRFB)

Amount: Varies 

Deadline: Varies 

Nationality/Affiliation requirement: All U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, and U.S. permanent residents.
Purpose: The Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) awards Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in 

Biology (PRFB) to recent recipients of the doctoral degree for research and training in selected areas 

supported by BIO and with special goals for human resource development in biology.  The fellowships 

encourage independence at an early stage of the research career to permit Fellows to pursue their research 

and training goals in the most appropriate research locations regardless of the availability of funding for 

the Fellows at that site.

More info:

Schlumberger Foundation Faculty for the Future Fellowship

Amount: Up to $50,000 per year

Deadline: 2023–2024 competition will open in 


Nationality/Affiliation requirement: Applicant has to be a woman from developing/emerging 


Purpose: The program’s long-term goal is to generate conditions that result in more women pursuing 

scientific careers by lowering the barriers women face when entering STEM disciplines, thus reducing 

the gender gap. Faculty for the Future Fellows are expected to return to their home countries after 

completion of their studies to contribute to economic, social, and technological advancement by 

strengthening the STEM teaching and research faculties of their home institutions.

More info:

Smithsonian Institution Fellowships

Amount: up to $40,000 for one year

Deadline: November

Nationality/Affiliation requirement: None

Purpose: To support research in residence at Smithsonian Institution facilities. All fields of study that are 

actively pursued by the museums and research organizations of the Smithsonian Institution are eligible.

More info:

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Switzer Fellowship

Amount: $15,000

Deadline: January 2023

Nationality/Affiliation requirement: U.S. citizen, permanent resident, Deferred Action for Childhood 

Arrivals (DACA) recipient, or a refugee or asylee according to the definition provided by the U.S. 

Department of Homeland Security; and be enrolled in an accredited graduate institution only in 

California or one of the six New England states (ME, NH, VT, MA, CT, RI).
Purpose: To support graduate students from diverse academic and personal backgrounds in New 

England and California whose studies and career goals are directed toward environmental improvement.
More info:

American Society of Plant Taxonomists Graduate Student Grants

Amount: Up to $1,500

Deadline: February 28

Nationality/Affiliation requirement: Must be a member of the Society.

Purpose: To fund Master’s and doctoral students to conduct fieldwork, herbarium studies, and/or 

laboratory research in any area of plant systematics.
More info: 

Awards from New England Botanical Club

Amount: Up to $3,000

Deadline: February 5

Nationality/Affiliation requirement: None.
Purpose: To encourage botanical research in the New England region.
More info: 


In addition to those we listed, check out local Societies (e.g., Florida Native Plant Society, 

Southern Appalachian Plant Society, Washington Native Plant Society Grant, Montana Native 

Plant Society Grant, Nevada Native Plant Society Margaret Williams Research Grant, Colorado 

Native Plant Society John W. Marr Research Grant, California Native Plant Society Educational 

Grants and Chapter Scholarships, Arctic Institute of NA Grants-in-Aid Program). Other labs 

have great databases too! Check out the Rothfels Lab database at https://rothfelslab.berkeley.

edu/resources/funding-sources/ (thanks, Thomas Murphy!) or the Northwestern University 

Plant Biology and Conservation Program grant opportunities database (https://plantbiology. Another great way to find more grant 

sources is to check out the CVs of botanists you admire and look up the grants and fellowships 

they have received. 

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Company of Biologists: Travelling Fellowships

Amount: Up to £2,500

Deadline: February. May, August, October, 

of each year

Nationality/Affiliation requirement: Award cannot be paid to those in areas that have sanctions, 

embargoes, or other political trade restrictions put in place by the United Nations, the EU or the UK.

Purpose: Lab visits to work with collaborators; research themes must be covered by Company of 

Biologists journals.
More info:

Evolutionary, Ecological, or Conservation Genomics (EECG) Research Award

Amount: Up to $6,000

Deadline: 2023–2024 competition will open in 


Nationality/Affiliation requirement: Must be a member of the society.

Purpose: Priority for funding will be given to proposals that address genome-scale questions, or 

ecological, evolutionary, and conservation genetics questions that are best addressed using genomic 

approaches in a hypothesis-testing framework. 
More info:

Garden Club of America Scholarship

Amount: $1,000 – $8,000

Deadline: Varies

Nationality/Affiliation requirement: U.S. citizens and permanent residents who are enrolled in a U.S.-

based institution.
Purpose: To encourage research focused on systematics, also projects of a more general or educational 

nature will be considered, provided that they include a strong systematics component. Offers a total of 

28 merit-based scholarships and fellowships in 12 areas related to conservation, ecology, horticulture, 

and pollinator research. 
More info:

Grants from the Wetland Foundation

Amount: Up to $2,000

Deadline: December 18 

Nationality/Affiliation requirement: Any student currently enrolled full-time at an academic institution 

in the U.S.
Purpose: To support wetland education and research.

More info:

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Herb Society of America Research Grant

Amount: $10,000

Deadline: January 31

Nationality/Affiliation requirement: Only U.S. residents may apply.
Purpose: This grant is for the research of the horticultural, scientific, and/or social use of herbs 

throughout history.
More info:

International Association for Plant Taxonomy Research Grant

Amount: Up to $2,000

Deadline: February 28

Nationality/Affiliation requirement: None
Purpose: To fund students and young investigators preferably for travel to institutions, laboratory 

investigations, or fieldwork.
More info:

Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration

Amount: Up to $5,000

Deadline: November

Nationality/Affiliation requirement: U.S. citizens and residents wishing to carry out research anywhere 

in the world. Foreign applicants must either be based at a U.S. institution or plan to carry out their 

work in the U. S. 
Purpose: To fund field exploration in various fields.
More info:

National Geographic Level I Grant

Amount: Up to $20,000

Deadline: April 13

Nationality/Affiliation requirement: None

Purpose: Support research, conservation, and exploration-related projects consistent with National 

Geographic’s existing grant programs.  In addition, this program provides increased funding 

opportunities for fieldwork in 18 Northeast and Southeast Asian countries.

More info: 

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P.E.O. Scholar Award

Amount: $20,000

Deadline: Between August 20 and November 20

Nationality/Affiliation requirement: Must be a citizen or legal permanent resident of the U. S. or 


Purpose: To encourage research focused on systematics, also projects of a more general or educational 

nature will be considered, provided that they include a strong systematics component.

More info: 

Botany in Action Fellowship at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

Amount: $5,000

Deadline: January 2023

Nationality/Affiliation requirement: Must be enrolled in a PhD program at a U.S. graduate institution 

(U.S. citizenship is not required)
Purpose: To support emerging plant-focused scientists through research grants and science 

communication training.
More info: 

Richard Evans Schultes Research Award

Amount: Up to $2,500

Deadline: March 30

Nationality/Affiliation requirement: Must be a member of the Society for Economic Botany
Purpose: To help defray the costs of field work on a topic related to economic botany for students who 

are members of the Society for Economic Botany.

More info:

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Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research

Amount: Up to $1,000

Deadline: March 15; October 1 

Nationality/Affiliation requirement: Preference will be given to members of the Society.

Purpose: To encourage close working relationships between students and mentors, this program 

promotes scientific excellence and achievement through hands-on learning.

More info: 

Society for Herbarium Curators Student Research Awards

Amount: $250 (undergrad) or $500 (grad)

Deadline: February 1

Nationality/Affiliation requirement: Must be a member of the Society.
Purpose: To provide funds for graduate or undergraduate students conducting research related to 

herbarium resources.
More info:

Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Grant-in-Aid of Research (GAIR)

Amount: Up to $1,000

Deadline: Fall 2022

Nationality/Affiliation requirement: Must be a member of the Society.

Purpose: For graduate students in support of their research in the fields of integrative and comparative 


More info:

Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Fellowship of 

Graduate Student Travel (FGST)

Amount: Up to $2,000

Deadline: Fall 2022

Nationality/Affiliation requirement: Must be a member of the Society.

Purpose: For graduate students for travel and other expenses at distant research laboratories, museums, 

or field sites.

More info:

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Society for the Study of Evolution Grants 

Amount: $2,500 – $3,500 

Deadline: Varies

Nationality/Affiliation requirement: Must be a member of the Society.
Purpose: This Society has a range of grants that service students pursuing evolutionary research.  
More info:


Society of Systematic Biologist Graduate Student Research Award

Amount: Up to $3,000

Deadline: Fall 2022

Nationality/Affiliation requirement: Must be a member of the Society.
Purpose: To assist graduate students conducting research in systematics.
More info:

The Councils of the Linnaean Society and the Systematics Association: 

Systematics Research Fund

Amount: £500 – £1,500

Deadline: Unknown for 2022

Nationality/Affiliation requirement: None
Purpose: To encourage research focused on systematics, also projects of a more general or educational 

nature will be considered, provided that they include a strong systematics component.
More info: 

Explorers Club Grants

Amount: Varies

Deadline: Varies

Nationality/Affiliation requirement: Varies based on grant.
Purpose: To encourage research focused on systematics, also projects of a more general or educational 

nature will be considered, provided that they include a strong systematics component.
More info: 

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The Mohamed Bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund

Amount: Up to $25,000

Deadline: February 28

Nationality/Affiliation requirement: Anyone directly involved in species conservation can apply to the 

Fund for a grant.
Purpose: To support conservationists based in all parts of the world dealing with plant and animal 

More info: 

Torrey Botanical Society Student Fellowship Award

Amount: Up to $2,500

Deadline: January 15

Nationality/Affiliation requirement: Must be a member of the Society.
Purpose: The Torrey Botanical Society supports student research in botanical research.
More info:



What is it?

A learning community where scientists provide online mentorship to student 

teams as they design and think through their own inquiry projects.

What you can do:

A learning community where scientists provide online mentorship to student 

teams as they design and think through their own inquiry projects.

More info: 

Science Olympiad

What is it?

Competitions are like academic track meets, consisting of a series of 23 team 

events in each division (middle school or high school). Each year, a portion 

of the events are rotated to reflect the ever-changing nature of genetics, earth 

science, chemistry, anatomy, physics, geology, mechanical engineering and 


What you can do:

Mentor local students in person on a variety of science and engineering–

oriented topics and skills, help organize and run competitions

More info: 


Sharing your passion for plants and science with a wide range of audiences will help develop 

speaking skills as well as help you reconnect with why you decided to go to grad school after all, 

and they can add weight to your CV and resume as well. This is only a short list, but there are 

many more opportunities you can look into (e.g., Girls Who Code, Girls Scouts, Boy Scouts).

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Local Arboretums, Parks, Museums, and Herbaria

What is it?

These institutions often depend on volunteers to donate their time and 

expertise to help people of all ages enjoy their collections and grounds. They 

may already have programs in place that allow you to lead tours or interact 

with visitors at special events, so that you can share your interests and passion.

What you can do:

Lead tours, help organize and run events.

More info:

Look up local parks/arboretums/museums/herbaria online, or inquire at 

visitors’ centers.


These are a great way to learn new research skills, which can also be added to your CV or re-

sume. Due to COVID-19, many have been canceled but please double-check the websites for 

info! We provide the names and website links for a few short courses and workshops that have 

received very good feedback from their past participants. 

• Summer Short Courses at the Arnold Arboretum (


• Tropical Plant Systematics (
• Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) Courses (

programs/; )

• Frontiers and Techniques in Plant Science (


• Annual Workshops hosted by (
• Annual Workshop in Evolutionary Biology in Guarda (


• The Bee Course ( 
• Tropical Field Biology (
• Jepson Herbarium at UC Berkeley Botanical Workshops (


• RADcamp Workshops (

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Internship Opportunities

Interning is important to gain experience, help you figure out what type of research or field you 

want a career in and network with those who are in it. This also doesn’t always have to be done in a 

volunteer format. There are many different paid internships to apply to for the summer, with many 

of the deadlines in December or early next year. Many botanical gardens, arboretums, and museums 

offer internship opportunities during the summer, or even throughout the year, so make sure to check 

the job opportunities of their websites. Here we have a few examples of sites that you can search for 


• Botanical Society of America: 
• Research experiences for undergraduates (REU):
• Internships offered by The Future Park Leaders of Emerging Change: https://www.futurepar-

• Internships offered by the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) research stations in Costa 


• Internship opportunities at the Smithsonian:


• Fall internship program offered by the National Tropical Botanical Garden:


• Summer internship offered at the Chicago Botanic Garden (REU):
• Internship offered at Montgomery Botanical Center:


• Conservation and Land Management Internship Program:
• Great Basin Institute AmeriCorps Internships:




Before you complete your degree, or if you are looking to switch jobs, it is important to consider 

your next step—whether it’s finding a PI and lab to work in for continuing your education, 

finding a postdoctoral research opportunity, or finding a job that suits your goals and skills. 

Finding out about jobs often happens through personal contacts, but there are great online 

resources as well.

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Graduate/Post-Graduate Opportunities

These types of jobs are easily searchable on the “EvolDir” website under “PostDocs” and 

“GradStudentPositions”. Click the icon, and listings will pop up in a list from the newest to the 

oldest. This site shows positions from across the biological sciences, but it is a great option for plant 

evolutionary biologists. If you are interested in more of the ecology side of research, make sure to 

check out “ecolog.” Contact people from the university/college that you’re interested in to ask for 

more information.

• EvolDir:
• Ecolog:

Academic Teaching Positions

Check the BSA website: click on the “Careers/Jobs” tab, and you can select the “Post-doctoral, 

Fellowship, and Career Opportunities” link to see a current list of a variety of job postings. The BSA 

website is a great resource for one-stop shopping for careers and other opportunities in a variety of 

botanical sciences. Another good resource for finding jobs (including postdoctoral opportunities) can 

be found through AAAS, at the Science Careers site.

• Botanical Society of America:    
• AAAS Science Careers:

Government Positions and Non-Academic Jobs

Searches for government jobs can begin at and A good 

resource for non-academic jobs is the Conservation Job Board; this site allows you to search 

within various fields by state and is updated regularly. Networking sites like LinkedIn and 

ResearchGate will help you connect with and organize your professional contacts; be sure to 

keep your profile pages updated and polished!

• Government positions:
• Conservation Job Board:

Use your University!

Many academic institutions have offices that focus on helping alumni succeed after graduation. 

Check with your department or institution for resources on job announcements, workshops 

focused on personal development (such as CV/resume writing or getting a teaching certificate), 

and networking opportunities. Since Botany 2019, we have started to offer CV/resume reviewing 

booths for students to have their CV/resume viewed and commented on by professionals—

more information regarding the schedules for Botany 2022 will come out soon, so stay tuned!

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Use your University!

Check out your university’s and department’s funding for conference travel. Often universities have 

small internal grants for students (both undergraduate and graduate) to present at a conference. 

Due dates and amounts may vary by university. The Botany conference is always a great networking 

opportunity, making it an easy conference to justify attending. 

BSA Student Travel Awards Given by Sections

Amount: Variable

Deadline: April–May

Purpose: Travel to the conference

More info:

You can research your section leaders to ask about awards they are offering this year! BSA travel awards 

include: Pteridological Section & American Fern Society Student Travel Awards, Vernon I. Cheadle 

Student Travel Awards,  Developmental & Structural Section Student Travel Awards,  Ecological 

Section Student Travel Awards, Economic Botany Section Student Travel Award, and the Genetics 

Section Student Travel Awards, PUI Section Student Travel Awards, Bryological & Lichenological 

Section Travel Awards, and Phytochemical Section Student Travel Awards. Due to COVID-19, some 

of these awards have not been active. Double-check the website for updates!

BSA Student and PostDoc Travel Award

Amount: $500

Deadline: May 1

Purpose: Travel to the conference

More info



We would love to see you at Botany 2022!  We outlined funding opportunities to help you 

afford joining us in Alaska!


Both BSA and ASPT offer travel grants for Botany 2022. BSA travel grants are due May 1. ASPT 

has a travel grant lottery that is normally announced in March. 

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Botany 2022 Travel Grants for Presenters from Developing Nations

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: May 1

Purpose: Travel to the conference

More info:



Amount: Variable 

Deadline: May 1

Purpose: Cover costs of travel, registration, food, and accommodation at the conference.
More info:
If you have never been to Botany, check out the PLANTS grant through BSA. The goal of this program 

is to enhance diversity at the Botany conferences. If you receive this grant, the cost of the conference 

is fully covered, you get paired with a senior and peer mentor to help you navigate the conference, 

and you’ll be able to participate in networking and professional development opportunities. Check 

out more about the PLANTS program at the link above. BSA rep Imeña received this grant in 2015, 

so feel free to contact her if you have any questions!

Bio REU Travel Grant (Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory)

Amount: Up to $2,000

Deadline: At least 1 month prior to the 


Purpose: To present your REU research at a conference.
More info: Have you participated in an NSF-REU (National Science Foundation Research Experience 

for Undergraduate) within the three years? If so, you can request up to $2,000 to present your REU 

research at a conference through the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory Bio REU travel grant 

( You have to apply at least one month prior to the 

conference, and the total cost of the conference will be fully reimbursed after the conference. 


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PP Systems Travel Grant

Amount: Up to $1,000

Deadline: Unknown for 2022

Purpose: To present research using the CIRAS-3 Portable Photosynthesis System at a conference.

More info: Does your research utilize the CIRAS-3 Portable Photosynthesis System from PP Systems? 

And are you active on social media (“via your own lab blog, Twitter, etc.”)? 

If so, you could apply for up to $1,000 to attend a conference or workshop through PP Systems 

( BSA student member Rebekka Davis (University of Central Florida) 

received this grant to attend Botany 2019. See her video here (



Through BSA, there are many ways for students to have discounts on their registration. To have 

your registration reimbursed, you can volunteer with BSA at the conference. Keep a look out for 

emails from BSA soliciting volunteer sign-up; these emails will be sent closer to the conference dates. 

If you are part of the PlantingScience team, you can get half-off registration for the Botany 

conferences with a code that is distributed by the PlantingScience team. BSA Student Chapter 

members will also receive a small discount on registration; just make sure to select that you are 

a chapter member during registration. 

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• Ålund, M., N. Emery, B. J. Jarrett, et al. 

2020. Academic ecosystems must evolve 

to support a sustainable postdoc work-

force. Nature Ecology & Evolution 13: 1–5.

• Asai, D. 2020. Race Matters. Cell 181: 


• Baker, K., M. P. Eichhorn, and M. 

Griffiths. 2019. Decolonizing field ecol-

ogy. Biotropica 51: 288–292.

• Brown, N., and J. Leigh. 2020. Able-

ism in Academia: Theorising expe-

riences of disabilities and chronic 

illnesses in higher education. 

London: UCL Press. DOI: https://doi.


• Caviglia-Harris, J., K. E. Hodges, B. 

Helmuth, et al. 2021. The six dimensions 

of collective leadership that advance sus-

tainability objectives: rethinking what it 

means to be an academic leader. Ecology 

and Society 26: 9.

• Chaudhury, A. and S. Colla. 2021. Next 

steps on dismantling discrimination: 

Lessons from ecology and conservation 

science. Conservation Letters 14: e12774.

• Chaudhary, V. B., and A. A. Berhe. 2020. 

Ten simple rules for building an antiracist 

lab. PLOS Computational Biology 16: 



As we continue in our careers, we hope to see the academic culture shift to be healthier and 

more inclusive. Below are a few papers we think you should read if you hope to lead. We hope 

to continue to recommend “Papers to Read for Future Leaders” to BSA Student members, if you 

have papers you would like us to include, please share it with us via this google form: https://! Previously shared papers include:

• Claire Demery, A. J., and M. A. Pipkin. 

2021. Safe fieldwork strategies for at-

risk individuals, their supervisors and 

institutions. Nature Ecology & Evolution

5: 5–9.

• Cooper, K. M., A. J. J. Auerbach, 

J. D. Bader, et al. 2020. Fourteen 

recommendations to create a more 

inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ 

individuals in academic biology. CBE - 

Life Science Education 19:es6: 1–18. 

• Cronin, M. R., S. H. Alonzo, S. K. 

Adamczak, et al. 2021. Anti-racist 

interventions to transform ecology, 

evolution and conservation biology 

departments. Nature Ecology & Evolution

5: 1213–1223.

• Dewa, C. S., K. Nieuwenhuijsen, K. J. 

Holmes‐Sullivan, et al. 2020. Introduc-

ing plant biology graduate students to a 

culture of mental well‐being. Plant Direct

4: e00211.

• Ellis, E. C., N. Gauthier, K. K. Goldewijk, 

et al. 2021. People have shaped most of 

terrestrial nature for at least 12,000 years. 

PNAS 118: e2023483118.

• Emery, N. C., E. K. Bledsoe, A. O. Hasley, 

et al. 2020. Cultivating inclusive instruc-

tional and research environments in 

ecology and evolutionary science. Ecology 

and Evolution11: 1480–1491.

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• Gewin, V. 2021. How to include Indig-

enous researchers and their knowledge. 

Nature 589: 315–317. 

• Hamilton, P. R., J. A. Hulme, and E. D. 

Harrison. 2020. Experiences of higher 

education for students with chronic ill-

nesses. Disability & Society DOI:10.1080/


• Huyck, J. J., K. L. Anbuhl, B. N. Buran, et 

al. 2021. Supporting Equity and Inclusion 

of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Individuals 

in Professional Organizations. Frontiers in 

Education DOI:


• MacKenzie, C.M., S. Kuebbing, R. S. 

Barak, et al. 2019. We do not want to 

“cure plant blindness” we want to grow 

plant love. Plants, People, Planet 1: 139–


• Maestre, F. T. 2019. Ten simple rules 

towards healthier research labs. PLOS 

Computational Biology 15: e1006914.

• McDaniel, S. F. 2021. Bryophytes are not 

early diverging land plants. New Phytolo-

gist 230: 1300–1304. 

• McGill, B. M., M. J. Foster, A. N. Pruitt, et 

al. 2021. You are welcome here: A practi-

cal guide to diversity, equity, and inclu-

sion for undergraduates embarking on an 

ecological research experience. Ecology 

and Evolution 11: 3636-3645.

• Nocco, M. A., B. M. McGill, C. M. MacK-

enzie, et al. 2021. Mentorship, equity, 

and research productivity: lessons from 

a pandemic. Biological Conservation 255: 


• Parsley, K. M. 2020. Plant awareness dis-

parity: A case for renaming plant blind-

ness. Plants, People, Planet 2: 598–601.

• Poodry, C. A. and D. Asai. 2018. Ques-

tioning Assumptions. CBE - Life Sciences 

Education 17: es7, 1-4. 

• Schell, C. J., C. Guy, D. S. Shelton, et al. 

2020. Recreating Wakanda by promoting 

Black excellence in ecology and evolution. 

Nature Ecology & Evolution 4: 1285–1287.

• Simoneschi, D. 2021. We need to improve 

the welfare of life science trainees. PNAS

118: e2024143118.

• Tseng, M., R. W. El-Sabaawi, M. B. Kan-

tar, et al. Strategies and support for Black, 

Indigenous, and people of colour in 

ecology and evolutionary biology. Nature 

Ecology & Evolution 4: 1288–1290.

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Dr. Sherwin Carlquist, known internationally 

for his lifetime of scholarly works in botanical 

science and photographic art, and by several 

generations of colleagues, students, and friends, 

died December 1, 2021 at the age of 91 at his 

home in Santa Barbara. A long-term member 

of BSA (65 years), plant anatomist at the 

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, professor 

at Pomona College and Claremont Graduate 

School, research botanist at the Santa Barbara 

Botanic Garden, and avid field researcher, 

he spent half a century traveling the world 

on National Science Foundation, National 

Geographic, and other grants and the force 

of his curiosity to author numerous seminal 

books on island biology, plant anatomy, and 

wood anatomy, as well as roughly 340 papers 

in peer-reviewed journals. More remarkable 


than the quantity are his conceptual advances, 

with many ideas in wood anatomy and island 

biology explored for the first time. 

Included among his pioneering advances are: 

the founding of “ecological” wood anatomy, 

the study of wood as reflecting function in the 

context of climate and habit; ideas regarding 

how small variations in developmental 

programs can lead to functional diversity 

(tracheid and fiber dimorphism, the functional 

interrelationship between axial parenchyma 

and imperforate tracheary elements); 

recognition of the functional importance of 

diversity in imperforate tracheary elements 

(tracheids, fiber-tracheids, libriform fibers, 

and vasicentric and vascular tracheids); the 

hypothesis that wider conduits are more 

vulnerable to drought-induced embolism 

than narrow ones; the hypothesis that the 

closest continental relatives of the Hawaiian 

silversword radiation are the tarweeds of 

California; pit membrane remnants in 

Sherwin mentoring high-school students in the 

scanning electron microscope laboratory at the 

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. Each student 

published a peer-reviewed scientific paper.

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perforation plates of ferns and primitive 

dicotyledons; bordered pits in ray cells and 

axial parenchyma; successive cambia; monocot 

and gymnosperm xylem; evolution of vessels 

in Gnetales; and the functional significance of 

scalariform plates.  More information about 

his research, publications, and field work is 

available at his website

A Californian genus of Asteraceae, Carlquistia, 

is named for him, along with a species in 

the genus Stylidium, a hybrid Huperzia 

(Lycopodiaceae), and a fossil species of 

Nuphar. A genus of fossil wood, believed to be 

the oldest in South America, Carlquistioxylon

also commemorates him.

Sherwin viewed his legacy as inspiring 

people to build on his work and go beyond it, 

following their own inspiration and insights.  

He taught so many to risk being an outsider, 

to think critically, access courage, and find 

enormity in the everyday. He believed it was 

essential to choose things to care for, and know 

why they’re worth it. His lifelong body of work 

will continue to speak for itself in both science 

and art, which is how he would have wanted it.

-By Dana Campagna, Mark Olson, and Ed 






Long before the terrorist attacks of 9/11, one 

could walk onto the campus of the National 

Institutes of Health (NIH), in Bethesda, 

Maryland, from almost anywhere. There was 

no fence and no requirement to pass through 

security. So it was that I (J.D.M.) walked onto 

the campus with Jack Lee Carter on a spring 

morning in 1977—my first visit to NIH and 

my first meeting with the kind and gentle 

man who would become a long-time friend 

and colleague. We were on campus to attend a 

planning meeting for a new project on genetics 

education, being directed by the Biological 

Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS). Jack, 

ever the botanist and teacher, wanted to show 

me the campus flora, and so we arrived early 

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and wandered around admiring the many 

beautiful native plants and the flower gardens, 

tended by a clearly devoted grounds crew. 

Jack, of course, knew what we were looking 

at. I did not, but I enjoyed the walk and the 

lesson, as Jack identified virtually every plant 

we encountered. 

Our self-guided tour of the NIH campus was 

far from the only time Jack and I wandered 

around together. Some months later I joined 

the BSCS staff—in Boulder, Colorado—

where I was expected to put my new degree 

in genetic counseling to work in the service 

of the organization’s burgeoning initiatives in 

human genetics education. Jack, by then on 

the biology faculty at Colorado College (CC), 

in Colorado Springs, was a regular visitor to 

BSCS, having been on the staff there for a 

couple of years in the mid-1960s. BSCS is one 

of those places whose mission ensures that you 

never really get away, even if you leave, and Jack 

continued to work on BSCS projects for many 

years. He knew the staff and administration 

very well and was well acquainted with the 

history and operation of the organization, 

including its approach to biology education, 

which still, after 63 years, emphasizes inquiry-

based instruction. Jack’s regular visits to BSCS 

gave us a chance to spend more time together, 

on the job and off. 

At the time we met, Jack was serving as the 

president of the National Association of 

Biology Teachers (NABT) and had served for 

four years as editor of the association’s journal, 

The American Biology Teacher. In 1984, he 

received NABT’s Honorary Membership, the 

association’s highest honor.

 Jack’s professional preparation prepared him 

well for leadership in the science-education 

community. The first in his family to attend 

college, Jack began his undergraduate work at 

Baker University in Baldwin, Kansas, in 1946–

1947 and continued at Kansas State Teacher’s 

College (now Emporia State University) in 

Emporia, Kansas, where he received his B.S. 

Jack was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1950 

and served two years in Virginia during the 

Korean War, teaching the basics of chemical 

warfare to officers. He was realistic about 

his good fortune in escaping combat, telling 

friends and family that his college degree kept 

him from “getting his butt shot off in Korea.” 

In 1951, Jack married his long-time Kansas 

sweetheart, Martha Shelton. After completing 

his M.S. at Emporia, he went on to earn a Ph.D. 

in botany at the University of Iowa in 1960, and 

began his teaching career at Simpson College 

in Indianola, Iowa. It was here that Jack began 

bending the minds of his students toward 

botany and plants. Tom Croat, the prolific 

plant collector from the Missouri Botanical 

Garden, was one of the first undergraduates 

to come under Jack’s spell.  After several years 

at Simpson, Jack, Martha, and their young 

children returned to Emporia, where he 

taught at Emporia State until 1965. Jack then 

moved to BSCS for two years before taking a 

faculty position at CC, where he remained for 

22 years, teaching botany and directing the 

herbarium, which now bears his name.  

Jack was as committed to teaching as he 

was to botany. His classes at CC embraced 

the inquiry-driven strategies promoted by 

BSCS, and he collaborated with faculty in the 

education department to develop and improve 

instructional strategies in biology. CC’s well-

known block plan, where students take one 

course at a time, allowed for extended field 

trips where students could observe and collect 

native plants from Colorado, New Mexico, 

and Arizona. 

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In 1982, BSCS relocated from Boulder to 

the CC campus, with two transplanted staff 

(including me) and Jack as half-time director. 

For a variety of fiscal and political reasons, 

this transition was a bit dicey, and there 

was some question about the organization’s 

survival. Jack’s ability as an administrator 

and his visibility in the science-education 

community, combined with the generosity of 

the CC administration and faculty, helped to 

guide BSCS through this difficult period. It is 

not an overstatement to say that BSCS might 

not have survived this rocky stretch were it 

not for Jack’s leadership, connections, and 

political savvy.

I served as BSCS’s associate director during 

Jack’s three-year tenure at the helm, and we 

spent hours together working on matters 

of budget, organizational policy, personnel, 

and educational philosophy. For BSCS, that 

philosophy has always included a rigorous 

defense of the teaching of evolution, and 

Jack was an able advocate, continuing the 

organization’s steadfast resistance to never-

ending creationist attacks on its educational 


Our many hours together included extensive 

travel on BSCS business—trips that allowed 

us to develop a personal relationship built on 

mutual interests and a compatible worldview. 

Jack loved to discuss politics, and his 

sympathies were decidedly liberal, likely owing 

to his family origins. He was born in Kansas 

City, Kansas, on 23 January 1929 into a family 

with strong Democratic political affiliations. 

His grandfather was a U.S. marshal, sheriff 

of Wyandotte County, and a state senator. 

His father worked for the Santa Fe Railroad, 

and his mother was a homemaker. If Jack’s 

political preferences ran to the left, they were 

more than anything pragmatic, and he could 

not abide positions or policies that were not 

rooted in sound logic, irrespective of their 

party of origin.

Jack’s advice and counsel remained immensely 

important as I assumed the BSCS directorship 

in 1985 and he returned to full-time status 

at CC. His knowledge of national trends 

in science education and his familiarity 

with campus politics were central to BSCS’s 

renewed growth in its new location. I think 

Jack was happy to be relieved of the extra 

administrative burden at BSCS and delighted 

to be back with his students on collecting trips 

to the Southwest.

Jack’s formal departure from BSCS did not, 

however, mean the end of our wandering 

around together. In addition to a shared 

political outlook, Jack and I shared a love of ice 

hockey, baseball, and beer—indulgences that 

we continued to pursue together for another 

15 years, often with our spouses.

I left BSCS and Colorado in 1999 to return 

to the East Coast and did not see Jack often 

enough thereafter, though we did keep in 

touch. I’m reminded of Jack each time a 

new issue of the New York Review of Books

shows up in my mailbox. It was one of his 

favorite periodicals, and he gave me my first 

subscription in the early 1980s. I’ve never let 

it lapse.

In addition to his active leadership in BSCS 

and NABT, Jack maintained a long-time 

membership in the Botanical Society of 

America and was active in ensuring the 

Society maintained a focus on plant education.  

Jack represented the Society on the CUEBS 

Biology Methods Advisory Group in the late 

1960s (CUEBS gave rise to both AIBS and 

BSCS).  I (M.D.S.) first met Jack at the 1990 

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annual meeting where he was a panelist on 

a symposium recounting CUEBS successes, 

and failures. This led to his appointment 

as a member of the section committee for 

Education and Teaching that authored the 

report for the BSA’s Botany for the Next 

Millennium (1995).  It was his good words 

and encouragement that led me to accept a 

position at Emporia State. 

Throughout his retirement Jack maintained 

his interest in botanical education through 

leadership of both the New Mexico and 

Colorado Native Plant Societies and publishing 

statewide field guides: Trees and Shrubs of 

Colorado; Trees and Shrubs of New Mexico; 

Common Southwestern Native Plants: an 

Identification Guide; and Gymnosperms of 

New Mexico: a Field Guide.

Jack was always a gentleman whose kind 

words and wisdom helped shape our world 

and whose friendship will be sorely missed.  

—Joseph D. McInerney, Marshall D. Sundberg, 

and Gordon E. Uno

Joseph D. McInerney was on the staff of the Biological 

Sciences Curriculum Study for 22 years and was 

its director from 1985 to 1999. He was president 

of the National Association of Biology Teachers in 

1991. He retired as executive vice president of the 

American Society of Human Genetics in 2017.

Marshall D. Sundberg, Roe R. Cross Professor of 

Botany, Emporia State University.  Distinguished 

Fellow, BSA.

Gordon E. Uno, David Ross Boyd Professor of 

Botany, University of Oklahoma.  Past President, 

BSA and NABT.  




Alan Graham, Emeritus Professor of Botany 

and Geology at Kent State University and 

Curator of Paleobotany at the Missouri 

Botanical Garden, an incredibly productive 

scholar, highly awarded teacher and researcher, 

effective mentor, wide-ranging author, and 

a gentleman in the finest sense of the word, 

passed away at the age of 87 on July 8, 2021. 

He is survived by Shirley Graham, his wife 

and colleague of 61 years; his son Andrew and 

daughter-in-law Julia; daughter Alison; son 

Bruce; and granddaughter Kenzie Graham.

In 1520, grammarian Robert Whittington of 

Oxford College described Sir Thomas More as 

“a man for all seasons.” That phrase can have 

multiple meanings in the case of someone like 

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More, but common usage today suggests a 

person who, by preparation, personality, and 

character, has the ability to address the wide 

range of complex issues of a place and time. 

This certainly applies to Alan, whose place 

spanned the Americas, with a pioneering 

focus on Latin America, over a span of time 

from the Late Cretaceous through the entire 


This wide-ranging personal journey began at 

the University of Texas where Alan earned his 

Bachelor’s degree with support from a full tennis 

scholarship. From there he moved on to the 

University of Michigan to study paleobotany 

under the direction of Chester Arnold. His 

PhD research involved a detailed study of fossil 

material in the Michigan collections from 

two Oregon Neogene sites: Succor Creek and 

Trout Creek. The standard of the day would 

have mandated a revision of the systematics 

of the two megafossil floras, along with 

observations of the implications with respect 

to paleogeography and paleoecology. Alan 

worked the megafossils of the two assemblages 

but added a prescient twist: the study of fossil 

pollen and spores derived from processing the 

rock matrix bearing the fossil leaves and other 

megafossil remains. Analysis of fossil pollen 

had evolved into a standard approach in the 

study of post-glacial sediments, particularly 

in north-temperate sites, but its primary 

application in older rocks was largely limited 

to providing data on the age and environments 

associated with petroleum exploration and 

field development (stratigraphic palynology). 

Trout Creek samples failed to yield useful 

pollen and spores, but many of the Succor 

Creek matrix samples were characterized by 

a rich fossil pollen/spore record. This led to 

the recognition of a number of new taxa in the 

Succor Creek assemblage and a broadening 

of the geographic and ecological implications 

of the flora. This broadening of the scope of 

data in research on ancient assemblages would 

characterize virtually all of Alan’s later work.

Alan Graham and Enrique Martinez, Vera-

cruz, Mexico, 1967

It was during his time at Michigan that Alan 

met, courted, and married another PhD 

candidate in Botany, marking the start of a 

61-year collaboration in life and science. With 

their newly-minted PhDs in hand, Alan and 

Shirley moved on to a one-year post-doc at 

Harvard University prior to moving on to 

permanent faculty positions at Kent State 

University in Ohio. From the outset, Alan was 

admired for the high quality of his teaching 

and research, his mentoring of both graduate 

and undergraduate students, and his ability 

to secure NSF grant support. His teaching 

reached far beyond the classroom and lecture 

hall, where, spread over 12 summer field 

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sessions, he led “Biological Field Studies 

in Mexico and the American West,” a life-

changing encounter with the biodiversity 

and ecology of western North America. His 

exemplary teaching skills were clearly evident 

early in his career, when, in 1971, the Student 

Advisory Council of the Kent State University 

College of Arts and Sciences presented 

him with an Outstanding Teacher Award. 

In 1997 his university honored him with a 

Distinguished Scholar Award in recognition 

of his excellence and balance in teaching and 


In his poem, “The Road Not Taken,” Robert 

Frost ends with a life-changing choice:

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I ---

I took the road less traveled by,

and that has made all the difference.” 

Alan Graham’s “road less traveled” was 

stunning in its scope, encompassing nothing 

less than the Cenozoic history of the 

American Neotropics, a region characterized 

by what is arguably the richest floristic 

diversity and ecological complexity on the 

planet. The consequences of the less-traveled 

road would be over 200 published papers, 

a pollen collection of over 35,000 reference 

slides of extant taxa, and paleobotanical 

and palynological collections sampling the 

paleodiversity and ancient plant associations 

across the New World tropics. Fundamental 

studies in paleobotany, bolstered by new 

insights on regional historical geology and 

geochronology, the incorporation of new 

insights into previously unknown climatic 

drivers, sea level changes, and a developing 

understanding of the role of land bridges—

which both promoted and filtered the 

movement of plant taxa across vast areas of 

ancient landscapes—expanded Alan’s vision 

from a regional to a continental perspective. 

His academic career ended with his retirement 

early in the new millennium, but he was far 

from finished with his life’s work. He and 

Shirley moved on to curator positions at the 

Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis for 

what was to be a virtual second career lasting 

19 years until his passing. 

The fruits of his continental-scale synthesis 

are to be found in several major awarded 

books:  A Natural History of the New World: 

The Ecology and Evolution of Plants in the 

Americas  (University of Chicago Press, 

2010);  Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic History 

of Latin American Vegetation and Terrestrial 

Paleoenvironments (Missouri Botanical 

Garden Press, 2010); and Land Bridges: 

Ancient Environments, Plant Migrations 

and New World Connections (University of 

Chicago Press, 2017).
Given the quality, scope, and recognition of 

his professional work, it was inevitable that 

awards should follow:


Distinguished Merit and Fellow Award

Botanical Society of America

Asa Gray Award

American Society of Plant Taxonomists


Paleobotanical Section Award

Botanical Society of America


A Festschift for Alan Graham 

in His 80



Missouri Botanical Garden


Jose Cuatrecasas Medal for Excellence in 

Tropical Botany

The Smithsonian Institution

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Alan Graham was truly “A Man for All Seasons,” 

an exemplar of a life well-lived, and he will be 

missed. He leaves an indelible personal legacy, 

as well as the specimens and writings that are 

part of the fabric of his professional persona. 

That said, his best and most significant legacy 

can be found in his impact on his family, 

generations of students who passed through 

his classroom, the worldwide network of 

professionals whose work he has influenced, 

including his lasting impact in the American 

Tropics—his collaborators, students, those he 

has mentored and those he has inspired. Each 

of these individuals, to varying degrees, will 

continue to carry on and expand on the solid 

base of exemplary scholarship he has helped 

to create.

—Ralph E. Taggart, PhD, Emeritus Profes-

sor of Plant Biology and Geological Sciences, 

Michigan State University




Bill Stern with Entada fruit, Panama, 1957

Bill Stern, one of the world’s eminent wood 

anatomists and orchid scientists, passed away 

in Gainesville, Florida, at the age of 95 on 

November 1, 2021. He was a member of the 

“Greatest Generation”—those who grew up 

during the Depression and served in World 

War II. When the war ended, they were “mature 

beyond their years, tempered by what they had 

been through, disciplined by their military 

training and sacrifices” (Brokaw, 1998). Bill 

instilled the values he learned during wartime 

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in his students and collaborators alike—values 

such as selflessness and honor. In his quest 

for knowledge, there was never a margin for 

error or reason for injustice of any kind. At the 

same time, he had a profound sense of humor 

that allowed him to make lifelong friends and 

survive numerous physical ailments until the 

end, including malaria and Covid-19 before 

vaccines became available.

Bill was born on September 10, 1926, in 

Paterson, NJ. In 1944, a few months after he 

graduated from Paterson Central High School, 

he enlisted in the U.S. Navy at the age of 17 and 

served in Guam as a medical technician in the 

tuberculosis ward and fashioned false teeth. 

If he was allowed one indiscretion before his 

honorable discharge in 1946, it was to save up 

for the almost obligatory sailor’s tattoo. Upon 

his return, he used the GI Bill to finance his 

studies at the National Farm School (now 

known as Delaware Valley University) in 

Doylestown, PA, before enrolling in Rutgers 

University and graduating summa cum laude

with a B.S. in botany and minor in zoology 

in 1950. While studying in New Brunswick, 

he met secretary Flory Tanis on a blind date; 

their marriage in September 1949 would last 

for almost 50 years until her death in February 

1999. He then undertook graduate studies at 

the University of Illinois, receiving his master’s 

degree in botany (1951) after only one year 

and his doctorate in botany with minors in 

invertebrate zoology and paleobotany three 

years later. His dissertation was devoted to 

wood anatomy of Lauraceae. Bill customarily 

wore a suit as a teaching assistant and still a 

coat and tie on other school days. How times 

have changed!

After beginning his first professional posts 

as instructor and assistant professor in 

wood anatomy as well as curator of the S. J. 

Record Memorial Collection of Woods at Yale 

University School of Forestry, he and Flory 

started a family, first their daughter Susan 

and then son Paul. While there, Bill taught 

courses in plant and wood anatomy and edited 

Tropical Woods for seven years (1953–1960). 

Fieldwork for research took him to the Florida 

Keys and Panama, supported by five different 

NSF grants from 1955 through 1961.

Bill Stern, grad student, University of Illinois, 

In 1960 he accepted an offer from the 

Department of Botany at the Smithsonian 

Institution as Curator of the Division of Woods, 

which became the Division of Plant Anatomy 

in 1963. He later served as Acting Chairman 

and then Chairman of the department 

from 1964 through June 1967, overseeing a 

faculty of 16. His research continued with 

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more fieldwork in Panama, Hawaii, Oregon, 

Jamaica, Dominica, and Luzon and Mindanao 

in the Philippines (where the family lived for 

a year); that led to the publication of several 

papers such as one in Science on the fossil 

forests of Ocú, Panama, with close friend and 

colleague, Dick Eyde (Stern and Eyde, 1963). 

In this era, he somehow managed to find 

the time to serve as Editor of Plant Science 

Bulletin (1962–1965) and Associate Editor of 

BioScience (1963–1966) and Economic Botany 


Bill left the Smithsonian in 1967 (but 

remained Research Associate) to accept a 

professorship at the University of Maryland, 

where he worked until 1979. Freedom from 

most administrative duties as department 

chairman left more time for research, editing 

professional journals, and more involvement 

on the national scene. His anatomical work 

focused on woody Saxifragaceae. Among 

his more ambitious projects were Index 

Xylariorum (institutional wood collections 

of the world), a treatment of Saxifragales for 

Encyclopedia Britannica, and the textbook 

Humanistic Botany with Oswald Tippo, his 

former advisor at the University of Illinois. 

Tippo later became Professor and Chancellor 

of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst 

and served as editor of the American Journal 

of Botany (1951–1953) and President of the 

BSA (1955). Bill was a founder and editor of 

Biotropica (1969–1972) and following that the 

editor of Memoirs of the Torrey Botanical Club

(1972–1975). Toward the end of his tenure at 

Maryland, he served as Program Director of 

Systematic Biology at the National Science 

Foundation in Washington, DC. 

Beginning when he gave Flory a Cattleya plant 

for Mother’s Day in 1973, he became intrigued 

by orchids. Back then orchids were not the 

disposable commodity that they are today, and 

so Bill needed to research how to keep that 

plant alive. What a mistake: one orchid became 

two, two became three, and soon he and 

son Paul were building a lean-to greenhouse 

against their townhouse in Silver Spring, MD. 

Systematic anatomy of Orchidaceae would 

become his principal academic focus in the 

last phase of his long career.

In 1979 the Department of Botany at the 

University of Florida was seeking a Chair. 

Bill applied, interviewed, accepted the offer, 

and moved with Flory to Gainesville. He 

remained Chair from September 1979 until 

August 1985. Part of his goal was to attract 

well-known orchid scientists and, with the 

Florida Museum of Natural History across 

the courtyard from his office in Bartram Hall, 

the University of Florida became a center for 

orchid studies in the United States. He was 

instrumental in helping Norris Williams, 

who specialized in orchid pollination and 

systematics, secure a position in the Museum 

and move to UF in 1981 with two of Norris’s 

students from Florida State University: 

Mark Whitten (1954–2019) and me. Mark 

settled into the Museum and I into Bill’s lab 

as postdoctoral research associates. Over the 

years Bill collaborated on projects involving 

developmental and systematic anatomy of 

orchids; the culmination of the vegetative 

work was volume 10 of the Anatomy of the 

Monocotyledons series published by Oxford 

University Press in 2014, 12 years after he was 

named Emeritus Professor of Botany.

Bill and Walter Judd team-taught an ongoing 

tropical botany course at Fairchild Tropical 

Garden in Coral Gables, Florida, in its early 

years. According to Judd (now Emeritus 

Professor), the course opened his eyes to 

tropical angiosperm diversity and made a 

positive impact on the students involved: 

“None of that could have happened without 

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Bill’s administrative work and encouragement. 

Funding for summer field courses in biology 

is difficult to acquire—and Bill’s support of the 

course (as a departmental offering) was critical 

in its long-term success.” One of their shared 

doctoral students at UF was Barbara Carlsward, 

now Professor of Biological Sciences at Eastern 

Illinois University, who wrote that Bill “was a 

friend and valuable colleague who inspired his 

students to become more than they thought 

possible. He encouraged and challenged me 

both personally and academically like no one 

else I’ve ever known.”

He maintained a strong service record with 

the BSA throughout his career, including 

election as President (1985–1986). He received 

the BSA Certificate of Merit in 1987 and 

another one in 1995 “honoring service and 

outstanding scholarship for the advancement 

of the botanical sciences.” He also served as 

President of the American Society of Plant 

Taxonomists in 1981 and on the Board 

of Directors of the American Institute of 

Biological Sciences (1987–1989). One of his 

most valued honors was election as Fellow 

of the Linnean Society of London. It was at 

the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, that he met 

classical scholar and author of Botanical Latin

William T. Stearn (1911–2001); he chuckled 

when signing his correspondence to Stearn as 

“William Louis Stern, the later homonym.”

Bill’s selflessness and generosity persisted 

throughout his long life and professional 

career. When Jack Putz, newly hired as a plant 

ecologist in the Department of Botany at UF in 

December 1982, arrived in Gainesville for the 

first time, Bill and Flory were out of town but 

had left their car for him in the airport parking 

lot with the keys to their house. A few years 

earlier at the University of Maryland, Bill had 

a student who was too nervous to stand up in 

front of a class or take his oral PhD exam. Bill 

found a therapist for this student—and paid 

for it. If someone needed help, he was always 

there to solve the problem. That was Bill Stern, 

everyone’s dad and role model.

I thank Walter Judd, Jack Putz, Barbara 

Carlsward, James Ackerman, and most of all 

Susan Stern Fennell and Paul Stern for their 

reminiscences in preparing this tribute. 


Brokaw, T. 1998. The greatest generation. Ran-

dom House, New York.
Stern, W. L. 2014. Anatomy of the monocoty-

ledons X. Orchidaceae (M. Gregory, and D. F. 

Cutler, eds.). Oxford University Press.
Stern, W. L. and Eyde, R. H. 1963. Fossil for-

ests of Ocú, Panama. Science 140: 1214.
Tippo, O. and Stern, W. L. 1977. Humanistic 

botany. W. W. Norton, New York.

—Alec Pridgeon, PhD, Past Sainsbury Orchid 

Fellow, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

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Ronald Stuckey in his office in July of 1987 in 

the former Botany and Zoology building on The 

Ohio State University campus. Photograph by 

A. E. Spreitzer.

Ronald Lewis Stuckey was a good and kind 

person—someone you could not dislike. 

He loved plants, especially aquatics, and 

he was intrigued by how natural geological 

and landscape histories had shaped their 

distributions. He loved the histories of 

people, too, especially early botanists of the 

Ohio territories and the often-neglected 

contributions of women botanists. He was 

mindful of impacts of people on distributions 

of plants in Ohio and neighboring states, which 

fueled his support for their conservation. He 

might have been regarded as an eccentric, 

as are all academics, which made him more 

interesting to friends and colleagues—perhaps 

even more loveable.

Ron was born in Bucyrus, Crawford County, 

Ohio, on 9 January 1938 to Leora Irene 

(Shuey) and Guy Ralph Stuckey. For the first 

18 years of his life, Ron lived on a farm in 

Lykens Township in Crawford County, where 

he attended high school.  Following high 

school, Ron attended Heidelberg College in 

Tiffin, Ohio, where he majored in biology and 

worked as a biology assistant. He was a member 

of the Biological Honorary Society (Tri-Beta), 

serving as president for one year, and he also 

earned membership in the Heidelberg Honor 

Society. In his junior year (1959), he received 

the Zartman Award for superior work in 

biology, and in summer he attended the Franz 

Theodore Stone Laboratory of The Ohio State 

University on Gibraltar Island in Lake Erie, 

where he took university courses in field 

botany and aquatic mycology. 

These academic successes motivated him to 

pursue graduate studies in botany, and he 

applied to and was accepted at the University 

of Michigan (Ann Arbor). In 1962 he was 

awarded an M.A. degree in Botany, on his way 

to a Ph.D. During the summers of 1961 and 

1962, he served as an assistant for the aquatic 

plant course at the University of Michigan 

Biology Station at Pellston in the northern 

Lower Peninsula, coming under the influence 

of Prof. Edward G. Voss, who became his 

major professor. His dissertation topic was 

the taxonomy and phytogeography of the 

genus  Rorippa (Brassicaceae: marsh cress). 

He received a graduate dissertation fellowship 

in his fifth year, which allowed full focus on 

Rorippa, for which he was granted a Ph.D. in 

May 1965 (published in 1972). 

Ron applied for and was hired into a faculty 

position at The Ohio State University in 1965 

and began teaching classes in general botany, 

local flora, and plant taxonomy. He was soon 

promoted to Associate Professor (1970) and 

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Professor (1978). In addition to his work in 

Columbus, he served for five weeks in the 

summer of 1973 as acting director of OSU’s 

Franz Theodore Stone Laboratory in Lake Erie 

and directed the teaching program there from 

1978 until 1985.  

When Prof. Clara G. Weishaupt retired as 

curator of the OSU Herbarium, Ron was 

appointed to that position and served in 

this capacity from 1967 to 1976. This was an 

important change, because Prof. Weishaupt 

was trained as a plant physiologist and 

not a systematic botanist.  Based on his 

experience at Michigan, Ron realized that 

many improvements needed to be made to 

the herbarium and plant systematics program 

at Ohio State, and he worked hard to obtain 

modern herbarium cabinets, hourly wages 

for student mounters, and more space. He 

also encouraged undergraduate and graduate 

students to study topics in plant systematics. 

Ron had many research interests: aquatics, 

botanical history, conservation, floristics, 

nomenclature, phytogeography, and 

taxonomy. An important part of Ron’s 

research, especially in the early years, was the 

flora of the Erie Islands in northern Ohio. The 

islands represented a good system to combine 

floristics with history of the islands. A key 

achievement was the publication with Thomas 

Duncan (a former OSU undergraduate) of the 

Flora of the Erie Islands, long delayed but finally 

brought into print in 2010. On the wet sandy 

beaches and abandoned limestone quarries 

in western Lake Erie, Ron discovered a new 

natural interspecific rush hybrid (between 

Juncus alpinus and J. torreyi), named for him 

as  Juncus ×stuckeyi by his graduate student, 

Mark Reinking (1981).

Ronald Stuckey at Marblehead Peninsula, 


Ottawa County, Ohio, on 15 September 1988, 

with the hybrid Juncus ×stuckeyi. Photograph 

by Jane L. Forsyth.

Ron had an extremely retentive memory (a 

valuable tool for efficient historical research), 

and this is where he focused as his career 

matured. Nearly 49% of his 115 publications 

from 1962 to 1994 dealt with botanical history 

(Burk, 1994). His principal focus was on the 

early botany of the Ohio Territories, but he 

also included analyses of historical herbaria in 

the eastern states. He published several books 

and monographs on historical topics: William 

Starling Sullivant (Stuckey and Roberts, 

1991); women botanists of Ohio (Stuckey, 

1992); the collected papers of geologist Jane 

L. Forsyth (Stuckey, 2003a); E. Lucy Braun 

(Stuckey, 2001); and three books on Edwin 

Lincoln Moseley, the educator-naturalist at 

Bowling Green State University (Niederhofer 

and Stuckey, 1998; Stuckey, 2003b, 2005). 

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His other major publication category was 

phytogeography (21.7%), with many articles 

documenting the invasion of foreign aquatic 

and wetland plants and their establishment 

and migration throughout eastern North 

America. He used historical information from 

herbaria and older literature to explain the 

present distribution of aquatic species, such 

as in relation to the former Ohio canal system 

(Roberts and Stuckey, 1992). Ron retired in 

1991 and was named Professor Emeritus, 

continuing to work actively while in good health.

Ron was a good teacher, who enjoyed using 

a personal approach with his students. He 

taught aquatic flowering plants on the main 

campus in Columbus and Stone Laboratory 

(1966–1991) to more than 500 students—

more students than at any other university 

in the United States. He was very effective in 

identifying highly qualified undergraduates 

from his course in local flora, giving them 

workspace in the Herbarium and encouraging 

them to participate in collaborative research 

projects. Some of these students continued 

for M.S. degrees at Ohio State, and others 

departed for advanced work at other 

universities. He had two Ph.D. students 

(Robert Haynes and Richard Lowden). At 

the M.S. level he supervised 18 students on 

topics such as Ohio floristics, vegetational 

surveys, and phytogeography. In addition to 

his appointment in the Department of Botany, 

he had strong programmatic ties to the School 

of Environment and Natural Resources, and a 

number of his students obtained environmental 

positions within the state.

Ron’s professional affiliations included 

memberships in the American Society of 

Plant Taxonomists; the Botanical Society 

of America, where he served as historian-

archivist for nine years; the International 

Society for Plant Taxonomy; the Native Plant 

Society of Northeastern Ohio; the Ohioana 

Library; and the Ohio Academy of Science, 

where he served as historian-archivist and 

President (1994). He gave a paper at the annual 

meeting of the Ohio Academy every year from 

1964 to 2001. He was also a member of the 

Ohio Natural Areas and Preserves Association, 

the Southern Appalachian Botanical Club, the 

Columbus Natural History Society, and the 

Ohio Academy of Medical History (of which 

he served as president in 1981).

Because of Ron’s many professional 

activities, he received several awards: the 

Ohio Academy of Science Centennial Award 

(1991); the Herbert Osborn Award from 

the Ohio Biological Survey (2002); and the 

Ohioana Book Award (2003) for his Lost 

Stories, Yesterday and Today at Put-in-Bay

(Stuckey, 2003c). He was most proud of his 

2010 induction into the Ohio Department 

of Natural Resources Hall of Fame for 

achievements in botanical conservation. In 

response to his large donation of historical 

botanical materials to Ohio State, the Ronald 

L. Stuckey Herbarium Archives were dedicated 

in June 2019 (Freudenstein and Stuessy, 2019). 

As Ron aged, he suffered from bouts of 

depression that interfered with his work, but 

he always kept going, pushing to keep active 

and make contributions.  Apart from botany, 

he continued to pursue his life-long interest 

in bluegrass music to the extent that he could.  

His long-term goal was to produce books 

on botanical history of the Ohio Valley and 

invasions of aquatic plants in the northeastern 

U.S., each of which would have summarized 

decades of research. Unfortunately, poor 

health intervened, and these large projects were 

not completed. Nonetheless, he continued 

botanical research and publication up to 2006, 

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having produced more than 12 books and 

over 200 research papers (including reviews 

and necrologies). In later years physical 

problems accumulated, which eventually led 

to his passing on 11 January 2022 at age 84. 

He was buried in Rock Creek Cemetery, Eden 

Township, north of Melmore, Ohio. 


Burk, W. R. 1994.  Ronald L. Stuckey: His 

scientific publications (1962-1994) arranged 

chronologically.  Booklet published by the au-

thor: Chapel Hill, North Carolina. 42 pp.
Freudenstein, J. V. and T. F. Stuessy.   2019.  

Dedication of the Ronald L. Stuckey Her-

barium Archives at the Ohio State University 

(OS). Taxon 68: 1147–1148.
Niederhofer, R. E., and R. L. Stuckey. 1998. Ed-

win Lincoln Moseley (1865-1948): Naturalist, 

scientist, educator. RLS Creations: Columbus.
Reinking, M. 1981. Juncus ×stuckeyi (Junca-

ceae), a natural hybrid from northern Ohio.  

Brittonia 33: 170–178.
Roberts, M. L., and R. L. Stuckey. 1992. Dis-

tribution patterns of selected aquatic and wet-

land vascular plants in relation to the canal 

system. Bartonia 57: 50–74.
Stuckey, R. L. 1972. Taxonomy and distri-

bution of the genus Rorippa (Cruciferae) in 

North America.  Sida 4: 279–430.
Stuckey, R. L. 1992.  Women botanists of Ohio 

born before 1900.  RLS Creations: Columbus.

Stuckey, R. L. 2001.  E. Lucy Braun (1889-

1971): Ohio’s foremost woman botanist; her 

studies of prairies and their phytogeographical 

relationships. RLS Creations: Columbus.

Stuckey, R. L. (compiler). 2003a.  Linking 

Ohio geology and botany: Papers by Jane L. 

Forsyth. RLS Creations: Columbus.

Stuckey, R. L. 2003b.  Bibliography and 

archival guide to the writings of Edwin Lincoln 

Moseley. RLS Creations: Columbus.

Stuckey, R. L. 2003c.  Lost stories: Yesterday 

and today at Put-in-Bay. RLS Creations: 


Stuckey, R. L. (compiler and editor). 2005. 

Predicting droughts and floods: Edwin L. 

Moseley’s essays on long-range weather 

forecasts. RLS Creations: Columbus.

Stuckey, R. L., and T. Duncan. 2010. Flora of 

the Erie Islands: Its origin, history and change. 

Lulu Press: Raleigh, North Carolina.

Stuckey, R. L., and M. L. Roberts. 1991.  

Frontier botanist: William Starling Sullivant’s 

flowering-plant botany of Ohio (1830-1850). 

Sida Bot. Misc. No. 6: i-x, 1–5.

-John V. Freudenstein and Tod F. Stuessy, 

Herbarium and Department of Evolution, 

Ecology, and Organismal Biology, The Ohio 

State University, 1315 Kinnear Road, 

Columbus, Ohio 43212

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Students of floral evolution, plant ecology, 

karyology, and molecular systematics were 

much saddened by the loss of Professor 

Leonard B. Thien of Tulane University, 

Louisiana, on October 24, 2021 after a long 

illness. In 1991 Professor Thien became an 

elected Fellow of the American Association for 

the Advancement of Science for his studies in 

cytology and the pollination biology of what 

we now call basal or relictual angiosperms. 

While Len Thien maintained a lab at Tulane 

for almost 40 years his field studies took him 

from the American Midwest to the Hudson 

Bay region of Canada, Latin America, 

Madagascar, Australasia (New Caledonia, 

Australia and New Zealand) and China. 

Len’s origins were distinctly Midwestern as he 

was born in Breese, Illinois. He took his BS at 

Southern Illinois University. His Masters was 

completed at Washington University, St. Louis, 

and this allowed him to meet the staff and use 

the facilities at the Missouri Botanical Garden, 

introducing him to the Neotropics. The 

NSF awarded him a Research Assistantship 

under then Curator Calaway Dodson (1928–

2020). Len assisted Dodson on a field trip to 

Ecuador collecting orchids. It’s obvious that 

Dodson appreciated Len’s work because he 

named several new species after him, citing 

the young botanist as a “co-discoverer.” This 

included Stanophea ×thienii, now recognized 

as a naturally recurring hybrid. Len remained 

interested in orchids for the rest of his career, 

contributing to taxonomic revisions while he 

and his graduate students investigated novel 

insect-orchid interactions.

From Washington University Len went on to 

UCLA for his PhD, in the laboratory of Harlan 

Lewis (1919–2008). He graduated in 1968 and 

married his wife, Lorraine, in 1966. She was 

also a student at the university and survives 

him. He was hired quickly by the University of 

Wisconsin in Madison as an Assistant Professor 

of Botany. Len and Lorraine weren’t keen on 

Madison. It was a place of student protests in 

the 1960s, leading to the arrival of the National 

Guard following the explosion of the Army 

Mat Research Lab so close to Len’s office. 

However, during this period he completed 

his first piece of fieldwork, published in the 

American Journal of Botany (Thien, 1969). It 

remains a significant publication today (see 

below). Len discovered that the blunt-leaved 

orchid, Platanthera (Habenariaobtusata was 

pollinated by female mosquitos in the genus 

Aedes. His field sites horrified Lorraine. Len 

worked alone in those deep Wisconsin bogs. 

You could vanish without a trace if you fell 

through the sphagnum mats. Incomplete 

records indicate that he joined the Botanical 

Society of America by 1970. More than 80 

publications would follow.

Happier and successful experiences awaited 

Len when he joined the Biology Department 

at Tulane University in 1971. He was promoted 

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to Associate in 1975 and Full Professor in 

1981. The 1970s were very good to Len, as 

it was the decade of the birth of his son Ben 

and daughter Laura. His research developed 

during this period and he began using species 

of what we now think of as basal angiosperms 

(eumagnoliids and ANITA Group) as model 

systems to develop theories on the evolution 

of the first flowers. The refugium flora of the 

American south was generous and his first 

paper on the pollination of American Magnolia

species also appeared in the American Journal 

of Botany (Thien, 1974). Over the following 

decades he and his students would go on 

to examine the reproductive biology of the 

native American species of Liriodendron, 

Illicium, and Saururus. Of course, there 

weren’t enough relictual taxa in North 

America to keep him busy, which meant trips 

to tropical islands of the southwestern Pacific 

(Thien, 1980).  His interest in the Winteraceae 

took him to New Guinea, New Caledonia, 

and finally to Madagascar. Len was adept 

at building consortiums of scientists with 

mutual interests who would work on different 

aspects of a project to produce a more holistic 

interpretation of the reproductive biology and 

phylogeny of obscure lineages (see Thien et 

al., 2003).

A most important feature of the Thien lab was 

his positive and often rapid approach to the 

incorporation of innovations and methods 

unfamiliar to botanists. For example, to 

collect mosquitos carrying orchid pollinaria, 

he baited carbon dioxide traps with dry ice 

first described a few years earlier by DeFoliart 

and Morris (1967). As a Fellow of the Hormel 

Institute, a research center more devoted to 

biomedicine and meat chemistry, Len first 

worked on analyses of floral fragrances in the 

mid-’70s (Thien et al., 1975). He also kept up 

with biochemical analyses and fluorescence 

techniques to produce increasingly detailed 

and sophisticated interpretations of floral 

evolution. When the Biology Department split 

in two, the new Cell and Molecular Department 

became Len’s, apart from the Ecology and 

Evolution Department. He learned genetic 

analyses to produce phylogenies attracting 

new colleagues from Japan and China. His 

research was supported by at least 11 state 

and national agencies. As more people came 

to Tulane to learn from him and write up 

their results, husband and wife repeatedly 

hosted and entertained graduate students and 

welcomed visiting scientists.

David White, his first graduate student, has 

great memories of being in the field with Len. 

Conversations were never dull. Len absolutely 

hated snakes, so common in Louisiana, but 

could never kill one unlike so many folks in 

the state. He was too gentle of a man. Many 

times, he  even walked into the webs of the 

huge golden orb spider as it tends to spin 

Photos Property of Dr. David White (note the pollinators, a fly and beetles)

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at eye level. For Len, his swamps and study 

sites were places for “critter respect.” The 

pollinators of I. floridanum are small and not 

willing to have their photos taken. Focusing 

on the spectacular red flower meant meeting a 

copperhead snake flicking its tongue as the lens 

came into focus. It became a special bonding 

moment between Len and David remembered 

long after publication (Thien et al., 1983).  

With the subdivision in departments, Len’s 

lectures broadened. His courses in ecology 

gave way to molecular biology with a lab. 

However, Len’s passion was to teach nature’s 

wonders out-of-doors. Jean Lafitte National 

Historical Park was only a 30-minute drive 

from campus and a favorite for class trips. Boat 

trips, though, could be a challenge. On about 

the first scouting trip for David’s research in 

another part of the state, during high tide in 

an old university boat driven by David, a sharp 

turn in the bayou was missed and the vessel 

ended up aground 30 m into the wire grass 

marsh. They were marooned for more than 

half an hour, close to dark in an age without 

cell phones. Finally, a second boat came along 

and there was no need to wave considering 

the extent of their predicament. “Boy, do we 

feel stupid,” Len said. “No worries,” said the 

rescuer in his broad Cajun accent, “It happens 

all the time.” Len said he loved that story as, 

50 years later, David has never had a similar 

accident nor seen such a one after thousands 

of boat miles.   

Len always gave one of his collaborators 

the impression he was looking forward to 

retirement. During one night in a hotel in the 

New Caledonian countryside (he and I were 

investigating the floral biology of Amborella 

tirchopoda; Thien et al., 2003) he said abruptly, 

“Do you know what to retire means, Peter? 

It’s a military term and means to retreat 

from the field.” A few years later, though, he 

showed his deep loyalty to Tulane after the 

university reopened following Hurricane 

Katrina. The highways into New Orleans were 

still strewn with debris. He would call me and 

often sounded angry describing how often he 

had to change his tires to and from Tulane. 

However, his usually unflappable manner 

not only explains how he progressed so well 

under bad conditions but helps us understand 

why his projects were successful even when 

he worked in culturally distinct, and often 

politically unstable, parts of the world. This 

must explain why, in his last years at Tulane, 

Chinese colleagues found it so important 

to work with him on the Schisandraceae, 

allowing him to investigate that family in the 

ANITA group although it’s poorly represented 

in the American south. 

Younger botanists may still wonder does 

it really matter what I publish in the long-

term? It did in Len’s case. Let’s return to Thien 

(1969). Over 50 years later, a team of scientists 

published an extraordinary paper in the 

Proceedings of the National Academy of Science

(Lahondere et al., 2020). Acknowledging the 

work of Leonard Thien, they returned to that 

little, green-flowered orchid and its mosquitos. 

Platanthera obtusata emits a nonanal-rich 

scent uncommon in other members of its 

genus. The nonanal attribute that balances 

levels of excitation and inhibition in one of the 

insect’s antennal lobes, and the same segment 

also warns the mosquito to avoid incoming 

fumes of DEET. 

Len’s legacy teaches us that making a 

fresh discovery is laudable, but opening 

an intellectual window to both current 

colleagues and future scientists is better. This 

should always remind us that science is a 

torch race even when it takes a half a century 

to pass. Leonard Thien leaves a far more 

knowledgeable scientific world because of his 

passion to learn, teach, and complete research; 

a noble trifecta. We thank you for your gifts.

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DeFoliart, G. R. and C. D. Morris. 1967. A 

dry ice-baited trap for the collection and field 

storage of hematophagous Diptera. Journal of 

Medical Entomology 4: 360–362.
Lahondere, C., C. Vinauger, R. P. Okubo, G. 

H. Wolff, J. K. Chan, O. S. Akbari, and J. A. 

Riffell. 2020. The olfactory basis of orchid pol-

lination by mosquitoes. PNAS 117: 708–716. 
Thien, L. B. 1969. Mosquito pollination of 

Habenaria obtusata (Orchidaceae). American 

Journal of Botany 56: 232–237.
Thien, L. B. 1974. Floral biology of Magnolia

American Journal of Botany 61: 1037–1045.
Thien, L. B. 1980. Patterns of pollination in the 

primitive angiosperms. Biotropica 12: 1–14.

Thien, L. B., W. H. Heimermann, and R. Hol-

man. 1975. Floral odors and quantitative tax-

onomy of Magnolia and LiriodendronTaxon

24: 557–568.
Thien, L. B., T. L. Sage, T. Jaffre, P. Bernhardt, 

V. Pontieri, P. H. Wesston, D. Malloch, et al. 

2003. The population structure and floral biol-

ogy of Amborella trichopoda (Amborellaceae). 

Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 90: 

Thien, L. B., D. A. White, and L. Yatsu. 1983. 

Reproductive biology of a relict: Illicium flori-

danum. American Journal of Botany 70: 719–727.

—Peter Bernhardt, Research Associate, The 

Missouri Botanical Garden; and David White, 

Professor Emeritus, Loyola University







Plenary Lecture  - Sunday, July 24 - 7:30 pm

Book signing to follow

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Amelia Neely

BSA Membership & 



E-mail: ANeely@


The 2021 Gift Membership Drive (October 

through December 2021) was a great success. 

We had a goal of 175 gift memberships, and 

the BSA community purchased 187—thank 


You can purchase gift memberships at any time, 

including the new 3-year gift membership 

for both students and developing nations’ 


Want to donate a gift membership to a student 

or developing nations’ colleague instead? 

Simply put your own name and email in the 

recipient fields. Visit to 

get started. 

2021 Gift Membership Drive 

Results and Drawing Winner


Summer Blanco 

2021 Gift Membership Drive 

Winner of Free Registration 

to Botany 2022!

Summer (she/they) received their bachelor’s 

degree in Biology with a Botany option 

from the California State Polytechnic 

University, Pomona. Following her 

undergraduate education, she took a position 

as a post-baccalaureate research assistant 

in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 

department at Michigan State University. 

Currently, they are pursuing their PhD in Plant 

Biology at the University of Georgia studying 

flower color polymorphism in  Geranium.

Summer is excited to be coming to Anchorage in 


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We are excited to announce the launch of 

Botany360! Botany360 is a community event 

calendar that highlights events happening 

during the other 360 days outside of the Botany 

Conferences. The program was a direct result 

of the BSA strategic planning process, and the 

goal is to keep the BSA community connected 

and supported with a variety of workshops, 

webinars, and gatherings that will include 

professional development opportunities, 

discussion sessions, and networking events. 

To access the calendar, go to 

If you are interested in adding an event to the 

Botany360 calendar, email



BSA is proud to provide over $100,000 in award 

support each year. The following BSA Awards 

and Grants have a deadline in April–May 2022. 

Visit the  BSA Awards Homepage at 

to  see the complete awards schedule.

April 1, 2022 Deadline

• Distinguished Fellow of the Botanical 

Society of America

• BSA Emerging Leader Award
• Jeanette Siron Pelton Award
• PLANTS Grants
• BSA Young Botanist Awards
• Charles Edwin Bessey Teaching Award

April 15, 2022 Deadline

• Professional Members Travel Awards
• BSA Student and PostDoc Travel Awards
• Developing Nations Travel Awards
• PUI Faculty and Future Faculty Confer-

ence Awards

• Sectional Travel Awards (see full list on 

BSA awards page)

May 15, 2022 Deadline

• BSA Impact Award

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PSB 68 (1) 2022


Do you want to know more about what the 

BSA has to offer you as a member? Each 

month a new BSA resource will be highlighted 

in the BSA Membership Matters newsletter in 

the “Did You know” section. Below are the 

first two resources. Visit and 

browse the website to find even more great 


Looking for a summer internship or a new 

full-time position? Did you know that 

BSA has a  free jobs board at https://jobs. Each month in the Membership 

Matters Newsletter, we give you a sampling of 

what is on the board in the highlights section, 

but right now there are over 70 job positions 

posted! New positions are being posted 

regularly, so check back often!

Did you know that during the “Great Pivot 

of 2020” BSA created a  resource page  at

resources.html for teaching virtually? This 

webpage was updated throughout the 

pandemic with information as it became 

available. The page has recently been 

overhauled to reflect the current reality of 

increased in-person learning/teaching and 

highlights even more  online resources for 

classrooms as well as the previous virtual 

teaching links.

Make sure to check out the Membership 

Matters eNewsletter for more great 

information, events, and news. Not receiving 

the eNewsletter? Email


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Double Helix of Phyllotaxis:  Analysis of the Geometric Model of Plant Morphogenesis...........88

Driven by Nature: A Personal Journey from Shanghai to Botany and 

      Global Sustainability .............................................................................................................................................90

Flora of North America North of Mexico Vol. 10 Magnoliophyta: 

      Proteaceae to Elaeagnaceae...........................................................................................................................92

The Forgotten Botanist: Sara Plummer Lemmon’s Life of Science and Art ...............................93

Guide to the Vascular Flora of Buxton Woods, Dare County, North Carolina, 

      U.S.A. Sida, Botanical Miscellany 54 ..........................................................................................................95

Presenting Science Concisely................................................................................................................................96

The Plant Hunter: A Scientist’s Quest for Nature’s Next Medicines ................................................97

Spices, Scents and Silk: Catalysts of World Trade......................................................................................98

Stomata: How Plants Breathe: Topographic Perspectives in Selected Plant Families.......100


Double Helix of Phyllotaxis:  

Analysis of the Geometric 

Model of Plant Morphogenesis

Boris Rozin

2020. ISBN: 978-1-62734-74808

$39.95 (paperback); 182 pp.

Brown Walker Press / Universal Pub-

lishers, Inc.

Plant phyllotaxis has been of interest to 

botanists, mathematicians, gardeners, 

horticulturalists, and anyone who has 

marveled at the incredible symmetry and 

patterns displayed in the growth patterns 

of plants. How this remarkable symmetry 

develops and is maintained has fascinated 

biologists, mathematicians, physicists, 

and other scientists for hundreds, if not 

thousands, of years. Adler et al. (1997) 

reviewed the history of the study of 

phyllotaxis and divided it into three periods: 

an Ancient Period (from antiquity to the 

14th century), a Modern Period (from the 

15th century to 1970), and a Contemporary 

Period (from 1970 to today). Within these 

periods, Adler et al. observed that, within 

this history, there has been movement and 

progress between experimental-observational 

and theoretical-mathematical viewpoints of 

research. This book by Rozin is a contribution 

to the theoretical-mathematical analysis of 

phyllotaxis in which he develops the Double-

Helix Model (DHM) of phyllotaxis.
Rozin opens with three short chapters 

(Introduction, Mathematical Foundations, 

and Phyllotaxis), which total 20 pages, to set 

the stage for the development of his DHM that 

he explores in Chapters 4–10, covering 100 

pages.  These are followed by three chapters 

(11–13) and six supporting appendices.
Being a botanist, with my strengths in 

taxonomy and morphology, I found the book 

weak in the discussion of the botanical aspect 

of phyllotaxis. Chapter 2 (9 pages) sets up the 

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mathematical foundations with a discussion 

of the golden ratio, recursive sequences 

(highlighting the Fibonacci sequence), then 

generalized recursive sequences, and spirals, 

which is a lot of material, in a short space, 

and important for the development of the 

DHM to follow. Chapter 3 reviews botanical 

phyllotaxis, concepts, and terminology, but 

is quite short (8 pages) and relies heavily on 

the work of Jean (1994). This chapter was too 

short with the concepts so tersely explained 

that I had to seek other papers for clarification 

and understanding. It provided the minimal 

foundation and did not discuss the wide 

variety of research on phyllotaxis that has 

occurred in the Contemporary Period. The 

author is a mathematician and so the weak 

botanical discussion is not surprising, but 

improving and strengthening this chapter 

would help the many potential readers not well 

versed in either the biological or mathematical 

aspects of phyllotaxis.  I found myself needing 

a copy of Jean (1994) and acquiring papers 

cited by the author and many not cited as 

I perused recent literature on phyllotaxis. 

For example, Rozin very briefly mentions 

that the various arrangements of leaves on 

stems, from opposite to pinnate and other 

periodical patterns, are based in some form 

of fundamental phyllotaxis; unfortunately, he 

does not discuss this any further.
Chapter 4 sets the mathematical background 

for the DHM and is very short at 5 pages; 

consequently it is dense, but understandable 

and very interesting for mathematically 

inclined readers. Chapter 5 presents the Planar 

DHM on Archimedean Spirals and is very 

detailed covering 41 pages and mathematically 

dense, but with helpful diagrams and graphs.  

Chapter 6 covers Fibonacci Lattices on Planar 

non-Archimedean Spirals and so enlarges 

the scope of Chapter 5. Chapter 7 covers the 

Cylindrical D-H Model and so moves to the 

application of the model to three dimensions, 

with colorful drawings and diagrams. 

Chapter 8, Phyllotactic Lattices with Rational 

Divergence Coefficient, expands the three-

dimension aspect of the DHM. Chapter 9 

then provides some discussion of the DHM 

assessing some strengths, weaknesses, and 

areas for further research. Chapters 8–10 

provide observations about phyllotaxis, how it 

should be measured, and concluding remarks 

assessing the DHM.
A unique attribute of this book is the 

availability of 119 videos depicting the 

spirals, cylinders, and other structures and 

how changes in the parameters of equations 

or sets of equations change the structure and 

phyllotactic pattern. The author put in a great 

deal of work to develop these videos, and they 

are a great aid in enhancing understanding. 

I found the videos very enlightening, and 

they add a tremendous amount to the 

understanding of the equations. One video in 

particular, titled “Unified Morphogenesis of 

Spiral Phyllotaxis,” is remarkable in showing 

the growth of parastichies from an isolated 

shoot apical meristem and converting into 

a two-dimensional sunflower capitulum, 

then transitioning to a three-dimensional 

cylindrical pineapple, and finally expanding 

into a stem with leaves in spiral arrangement. 

These videos can be accessed on the author’s 

YouTube channel by searching for the book 

title and author.
The author provides a wealth of support for his 

DHM of phyllotaxis but does not discuss any 

other competing models and how the DHM 

may compare to them. In a recent review of 

Rozin’s book by Gielis (2021), he points out 

that Rozin has omitted accounting for the 

fact that the Fibonacci sequence of numbers 

is not rigidly adhered to in plants, and 

discussion of this natural variation is needed. 

The mathematics may be precise, but nature 

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is often not precise, as is frequently observed 

by biologists.
This book is a strong contribution to the 

theoretical-mathematical development of 

phyllotaxis, but it exclusively focused on the 

DHM. The book is tersely written, as often 

found in mathematically based books, and 

there are places where the flow of English is a 

bit awkward, but there are not many. Overall, 

the figures are very good, but in some cases 

the captions could be improved for better 

understanding. This is an excellent book for 

anyone interested in this particular model 

of phyllotaxis, but it is not a good overview 

of the wide field of the study of phyllotaxis 

or the various other models that have been 

proposed. Even with the problems noted 

above, it is a concise introduction to the 

theoretical-mathematical study of phyllotaxis 

and the DHM model and will provide the 

adventuresome reader with insight into the 

complexity of phyllotaxis and development. 

By working through this book and videos, I 

have gained a substantially greater knowledge 

and understanding of phyllotaxis. For 

mathematically inclined botanists and 

biologists, it is very interesting and I found a 

number of fascinating points to consider in 

thinking about plant morphology and plant 

development in general.


Adler, I., D. Barabe, and R. V. Jean. 1997. A history of 

the study of phyllotaxis. Annals of Botany 80: 231–244.
Gielis, J. 2021. Review of: Double helix of phyllotaxis: 

Analysis of the geometric model of plant morphogen-

esis. The Quarterly Review of Biology 96: 139–140.
Jean, R. V. 1994. Phyllotaxis: a systemic study in plant 

morphogenesis. Cambridge: Cambridge University 


—Richard Lis, California Department of Fish 

and Wildlife, Redding, California 96001

Driven by Nature: A 

Personal Journey from 

Shanghai to Botany and 

Global Sustainability

Peter H. Raven

2021. ISBN-13: 978-1-935641-


Cloth, US$35.00. 359 pp. 

Missouri Botanical 

Garden Press

Probably every botanist in the world knows 

something about Peter Raven: President 

Emeritus of the Missouri Botanical Garden 

(MoBot), member of the U.S. National 

Academy of Science, Past-President of 

the Botanical Society of America, author 

of popular introductory biology and 

introductory botany textbooks, and vocal 

and influential environmentalist.  This is all 

true, and there are many more superlatives 

that could be included.  But after reading 

Raven’s autobiography, I have a much greater 

appreciation for the influences, both positive 

and negative, that drove his remarkable 

journey. In the preface he identifies three 

themes that provided life-long orientation: 

collecting, people, and self-motivation.  
Kids collect things; Raven began with butterflies 

at age 8, then moved on to beetles and the 

Student Section of the California Academy 

of Sciences (CAS).  At 10, CAS’s botanist, 

Alice Eastwood, drew his attention to plants, 

and later her successor, John Thomas Howell, 

cultured his interest in collecting plants (two 

perfect examples of the effect of interested and 

enthusiastic mentors profoundly impacting 

the life of a young person). In 1950, at age 14, 

“a man named Stebbins” offered to provide 

Raven a ride to the Sierra Club Base Camp 

where he had a summer job.  Raven asked if 

they could do some collecting along the way 

and, after he explained to Mr. Stebbins the 

process of collecting plants, he was assured 

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that Stebbins understood what this entailed 

and that it would not be a problem. They 

spent several days collecting together in the 

Sierras before Stebbins dropped Raven off for 

his summer job.  Collecting continued to be 

an important component of his professional 

training, postdoctoral work, his first academic 

job at Stanford, and whenever possible during 

his tenure at Missouri Botanical Garden 

(MBG).  His sabbatical year collecting in New 

Zealand is the focus of a full chapter in the 

middle of the book.  

As illustrated by the above accounts, people 

and networking were important to the young 

Peter Raven and continue to be so. One of 

the most interesting parts of the book for 

me was simply to learn more about many of 

the botanists I have known, or known of, as 

Raven introduces them as part of his growing 

botanical social network throughout the book.  

And every time, from Edgar Anderson and 

Dan Axelrod, through Paul and Anne Ehrlich 

and Mildred Mathias, to E.O. Wilson and 

Wu Zhengyi, he gives credit to each for their 

accomplishments and their contributions to 

his own.  Snapshots of colleagues and mentors 

are peppered throughout the book—a bit of 

visual botanical history from the mid-20th 

century to the present.

Raven has many accomplishments, so it is 

not surprising that throughout his life he has 

been a driven multi-botanical tasker.  His 

success is being able to focus on big ideas 

while being inspirational, persistent, and 

persuasive in convincing others to come along 

and be part of the big ideas. Whether it be the 

Flora of North America Project, building the 

international reputation of the MBG, inspiring 

the need for world resource conservation, or 

championing science and science education, 

Raven consistently surrounds himself with a 

network of individuals that pick up the details 

and fill in the missing links to make a project 


The 14 chapters divide roughly into four 

groups. Three chapters focus on his family 

history and early life.  Three more focus on his 

preparation as an academic botanist, from an 

undergraduate to his first faculty position at 

Stanford. Four chapters describe his transition 

from an academic to an administrator and 

the transition of the MBG from a national 

to an international presence. The final four 

chapters champion the broader impacts of 

conservation, education, and science at the 

national and international levels. Raven is a 

good storyteller and his is a good story. Young 

and early-career botanists will be inspired by 

Raven’s story, and many of us older ones will be 

surprised at some of the things we learn from 

reading it. All of us will enjoy the experience 

of learning more about Peter Raven.

—Marshall D. Sundberg, Roe R. Cross Pro-

fessor of Biology, Emporia State University, 

Emporia, Kansas   

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Flora of North America 

North of Mexico Vol. 10 

Magnoliophyta: Proteaceae 

to Elaeagnaceae

Flora of North America Editorial 


2021. ISBN-13: 9780197576076 

Hardcover, US$95.00. 488 pp. 
Oxford University Press

The latest volume in the Flora of North 

America series treats 454 species in 66 

genera of 12 families. The families covered 

in this volume include the Proteaceae, 

Buxaceae, Gunneraceae, Haloragaceae, 

Combretaceae, Lythraceae, Onagraceae, 

Myrtaceae, Melastomataceae, Surianaceae, 

Polygalaceae, and Elaeagnaceae. The bulk of 

the volume (at 270 pages) is taken up by the 

Onagraceae. More than 25% of the species 

are illustrated with line drawings of excellent 

quality. I do wish the line drawings had 

labels underneath each illustrated plant part. 

For instance, the illustration for Terminalia 

catappa (Combretaceae) shows two flowers 

(one staminate, the other bisexual) that have 

differing lengths. But you wouldn’t know 

which is which unless you looked very closely 

to see the style in the longer flower. I am not 

familiar with that species (or family), so it 

took me a bit to understand why there were 

two flowers in the illustration.
This volume is the same as previously 

published volumes regarding layout and book 

quality. Each family has the typical technical 

description followed by general information 

and a key to genera (if applicable). Each species 

description is accompanied by a distribution 

map with dots in states or provinces where 

the plant is found. Some species have longer 

descriptions than others, as has been seen in 

previous volumes, and some aren’t as fully 

described as others (e.g., one species has seed 

size given but another species in the same 

genus will not). I have found this type of 

omission to be an annoyance when trying to 

develop keys to a smaller group of species in 

a narrower geographic range. I always find it 

enjoyable to read species entries and learn the 

taxonomic history, uses, and other interesting 

facts. Thankfully, many of the difficult genera 

(e.g.,  Myriophyllum, Oenothera) have a lot 

of this extra information for most species, 

which is very helpful in understanding and 

identifying them.
I tried a handful of the keys and they all 

worked well. There were no glaring mistakes 

or inconsistencies. My largest complaint 

with this volume is the data quality for the 

range maps. Ammannia robusta (Lythraceae) 

and  Oenothera curtiflora (Onagraceae) are 

each known to grow in Wisconsin. The 

former was first collected in 2000 and the 

latter in 2006. However, Wisconsin does 

not have a distribution dot on either of the 

respective species maps. The data for these 

specimens (with photos) have been available 

on the WisFlora website (https://wisflora.; a portal for 

the consortium of Wisconsin herbaria) since 

at least 2006. Wisconsin has also been omitted 

from the range maps of other species in 

previous volumes of Flora of North America, 

and not just waifs and sporadic weeds but 

well-known native species, e.g., Cardamine 

pratensis (Brassicaceae). I understand that a 

work of this scope is difficult to make perfect, 

but when such a large repository of data is 

freely available, it seems odd that it would 

not have been incorporated into the present 

work. Especially when its data have also been 

added to other databases such as USDA Plants 

and The Biota of North America Program 


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The Forgotten Botanist: 

Sara Plummer Lemmon’s 

Life of Science and Art

Wynne Brown


ISBN-13: 978-1-4962-2281-7

$27.95 (Paperback); 328 pp.

University of Nebraska Press

If I’m honest, I don’t often enjoy biographies. 

I usually find them unnecessarily dense, 

sluggish, and hard to get through. Despite 

this, I chose to review Wynne Brown’s The 

Forgotten Botanist, and in doing so, I feel like 

I won the lottery. I lived in Tucson, Arizona, 

for six years during my graduate work 

studying botany, ecology, and evolutionary 

biology in the shadow of Mt. Lemmon, and 

doing much of my field work there at the top 

of the mountain. As I read this book, I kept 

exclaiming, “How did I NOT KNOW about 

this fascinating woman?” 
Sara Plummer Lemmon, the subject of this 

engaging biography, was in fact the Lemmon 

that Tucson’s highest mountain was named 

after. Brown brings this 19th-century botanist 

alive in her recounting of a fascinating woman 

passionately dedicated to the study of plants. 

Brown benefits from a rich and deep mine of 

personal letters written by, to, and about Sara 

Plummer Lemmon, and Sara’s lively voice 

shines through in the excerpts dotting the 

landscape of the book’s pages. 
Sara Plummer (I’ll refer to her by her first name 

from here on, as the author does) left the East 

Coast in 1870 and traveled alone to California. 

She was 33 years old at the time, and having 

struggled with a number of serious illnesses, 

she moved west in the hopes of recovering her 

health. Rail travel was iffy, so she sailed south, 

crossed the isthmus of Panama, and then back 

north along the Pacific coast. Settling in Santa 

Conversely, there are two species mapped 

as occurring in Wisconsin that, to my 

knowledge, do not grow here. Ludwigia 

decurrens (Onagraceae) and Myriophyllum 

aquaticum (Haloragaceae) are both mapped 

for the state, but I can find no specimens to 

corroborate this. I searched the Consortium of 

Midwest Herbaria, Consortium of Northern 

Great Plains Herbaria, and the Consortium 

of Northeastern Herbaria but could find no 

specimen records of either species. Strangely, 

BONAP shows Ludwigia decurrens in 

Walworth Co., Wisconsin but again, no 

specimen (that I can find) verifies this and the 

species is not even listed in Flora of the Chicago 

Region  (Wilhelm and Rericha, 2017), which 

covers this area. The occurrence of Ludwigia 

decurrens in Wisconsin seems unlikely given 

its native range, but the possibility that 

Myriophyllum aquaticum has been found here 

is troubling. This species is prohibited by state 

law from being sold in Wisconsin and there 

is no record of it growing here. If a specimen 

exists to prove that a wild population is (or was) 

here, it would be nice to know where so it can 

be found and eradicated (if established). Flora 

of North America authors “are expected to 

have seen at least one specimen documenting 

each geographic unit record (except in rare 

cases when undoubted literature reports may 

be used)…” so this begs the question where 

these species’ specimens were seen. Again, I 

understand it is hard to keep any published 

volume of this scope perfect, but range data at 

this broad scale should be accurate. 
Overall, this is another fine volume in this 

monumental series.

—John G. Zaborsky, Botany Department, 

University of Wisconsin – Madison, Madison, 

Wisconsin, USA;

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Barbara, she quickly became integrated into 

society there and soon established the town’s 

first public library, and for a while, running 

the library was Sara’s primary occupation. 

However, she also became engaged in a 

community of inquisitive women interested 

in the natural world, and with them formed 

the area’s first natural history association. In 

the company of these women, she learned 

how to identify and collect plants and create 

herbarium specimens, and her life’s passion 

was born. 
Six years later, Sara meets the love of her life, 

John Gill Lemmon, another avid botanist. They 

married in 1880 and lived 28 years together, 

by all accounts in very happy companionship 

and collaboration. They wrote books together, 

taught classes together, traveled and expired, 

collected plants, and presented at two World’s 

Fairs together. This biography celebrates their 

relationship and how interwoven their work 

was. They collected plants throughout the 

southwest together, discovered new species 

together, wrote several books together, taught 

classes together, and from their letters, seemed 

happiest when they were at each other’s side. 

This book is peppered with interesting stories 

of a fascinating life; in these pages, you’ll read 

stories of harboring refugees after the San 

Francisco earthquake, representing the botany 

of the West at two World’s Fairs, lobbying for 

the golden poppy to be named state flower of 

California, ascending Mt. Shasta in hobnailed 

shoes to study pines, making donuts on an 

open fire and raising wild turkey chicks, 

hiding for 8 days in darkness in a cave with a 

crazy hermit miner, and so much more. You’ll 

read about her connections with John Muir, 

Clara Barton, and Asa Gray, among others, 

and about her work in journalism, forest 

conservation, and women’s suffrage. 

Most importantly, Sara was a highly 

accomplished and respected botanist in her 

time, discovering (with J.G.) hundreds of 

new species of plants, collecting thousands of 

specimens documenting the floral diversity 

of the western states, and sharing her love 

of plants with others. She was also a talented 

artist and created beautiful illustrations of 

many of the plants they studied, and some of 

these are included in the book. Sadly, most of 

her artwork has been destroyed over the years, 

and little of it remains today. 

Brown’s book is full of engaging narrative, 

great storytelling, and evocative character 

development. Interspersed images of Sara’s 

artwork and herbarium specimens, as well as 

photos of her and her husband complement 

the writing very effectively. Importantly, 

Brown does point out and acknowledge the 

ways in which Sara’s actions and words were 

imbued with the racism and colonialism so 

prevalent in white American culture of the 

time. The structure of the work flows well and 

only rarely did I find the reading becoming 

dense or sluggish. The one thing I wished for 

that the book lacked was an index. Many times 

I find myself wanting to refer back to points or 

topics in the text; an index would have made 

this book a more useful historical account. 

I highly recommend this book to anyone 

wanting to understand the contribution 

of women to the field of botany, but also to 

anyone who wants to read a fascinating and 

memorable tale of life as a botanist in the 19th 

century. Sara will come alive for you on these 

pages. Hopefully, her days of being a forgotten 

botanist may finally be in the past.

—Amy Boyd, Warren Wilson College

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Guide to the Vascular Flora 

of Buxton Woods, Dare 

County, North Carolina, 

U.S.A. Sida, Botanical Mis-

cellany 54. 

Amanda L. Faucette, Alexander 

Krings, and David L. Lindbo


ISSN: 0883-1475; 

ISBN-13: 978-1-889878-60-7

$35.00 US, 236 pp.
Fort Worth: Botanical Research Institute of Texas Press

This is the fourth volume in the Illustrated 

Floras of North Carolina Project and follows 

the pattern of the other three issues. There are 

discussions of edaphic and climatic features; a 

treatment of plant communities with more than 

270 color images, graphs, and charts. Among 

the 476 species documented by collecting and 

herbarium surveys, I was intrigued that the 

eastern mistletoe, Phoradendron leucarpum, 

is not included because it is frequent on trees 

in wetland sites along the coast.  
The remainder of the book consists of keys to 

species and line drawings taken from Britton 

and Brown 1913. (I continue to believe the 

axiom that keys are made by people who don’t 

need them for people who can’t use them; the 

inclusion of good images is a propitiation for 

this shortcoming.) 
Especially helpful are images of Carex achenes 

and perigynia. Likewise, images of grass 

spikelets, and details of Asteraceae flowers 

aid identification and pedagogical use of 

these challenging taxa. In field botany or even 

plant taxonomy classes, sedges and other 

graminoids often receive scant attention. The 

Guide to the Vascular Flora of Buxton Woods 

is everything you would want in a local flora. 

For me, it is a template for a planned future 

regional flora (sans keys).

It could be argued that limited funds and 

resources for botany could be more effectively 

used. On the other hand, is there a better way 

to raise local plant awareness than through 

authoritative and accessible works like this? 
Buxton Woods includes threatened plant 

communities—a problem exacerbated with the 

continuing development of the Outer Banks 

as a tourist destination.  Accordingly, this 

book deserves the attention of conservation-

minded, natural history-oriented citizens, 

wildlife enthusiasts, urban planners, and 

educators of the region. It should be featured 

in local bookstores as well as gift shops at the 

many Outer Banks’ tourist attractions.
While the work deals with a very restricted 

region, it will have application throughout 

much of the mid-Atlantic coastal area. The 

price is low for a publication of this quality, 

making it an ideal textbook or supplement 

resource for field botany courses.
The book is well edited and carefully 

proofread, and color reproduction—while not 

outstanding—is good. My copy of the book 

has distracting unevenness of print with half 

of some pages lighter than the other half.
The consortium producing these volumes, 

Herbarium of North Carolina State University 

and Botanical Research Institute of Texas, 

deserve kudos for their latest edition. I look 

forward to the next.
— Lytton John Musselman, Blackwater Eco-

logic Preserve, Old Dominion University, 

Norfolk, Virginia 23529

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PSB 68(1) 2022


Presenting Science 


Bruce Kirchoff, illustrations by 

Jon Wagner

2021. ISBN-13: 9781789246995 

Paperback $30.00; 126 pp. 

CAB International, Wallingford, 


This book about communicating science is 

particularly directed toward biologists, not 

just botanists—but it is perhaps less useful 

for other disciplines, such as the physical 

sciences, where the culture may be somewhat 

different.  Kirchoff, a plant morphologist and 

long-time active member of the Botanical 

Society of America, has long had interests 

in ancillary subjects, as demonstrated by his 

book Emerson’s Science of the Spirit: A Visual 

Interpretation of Emerson’s Natural History of 

Intellect (Kirchoff, 2009) and his involvement 

in educational and cognitive psychological 

theory to help in the production of keys and 

in the recognition of plants and their organs.  

I have sat through more than one painfully 

deficient scientific presentation with him and 

am not surprised that he would undertake 

this book and use his psychological interests 

to strengthen it.  
The two cornerstones of the book are (1) the 

art of presenting science through storytelling 

and transforming the story into a play of three 

or more acts, and (2) a focus on knowing and 

reaching the author’s audience.  The book is 

primarily about presenting science orally 

and visually, although the principles are also 

relevant to writing scientific articles, as in 

organizing an introduction or discussion 

and in producing a title.  The book is 

organized as concise chapters; Chapters 3–8 

cover the different types of presentations, 

from three-minute (or “lightning”) talks, to 

elevator “pitches” of 15–90 seconds, to more 

traditional talks of 12 minutes or more, and 

finally to poster presentations.  The principles 

of narrative and audience are stressed in each 

presentation type.  Kirchoff brings the lessons 

home by presenting examples from different 

biological disciplines and giving examples 

for the reader to examine and solve.  Each 

chapter cites the relevant literature, some 

articles as recent as 2021.  The chapters on 

posters are particularly useful, because they 

include a detailed discussion (and examples) 

of titles and bring in cognitive psychological 

principles, and EyeQuant technology to track 

visual movement on the poster. These two 

chapters by themselves are worth the price of 

the book. 
The illustrations, created in color for the 

book by Jon Wagner, are at once whimsically 

humorous and totally to the point of the 

discussion in the text. I was especially taken 

by the illustration of hundreds of poster 

presentations ongoing in a vast convention 

center hall, showing the personal enthusiasm 

and conversations going on simultaneously.   
I recommend this book to anyone who works 

as a biological scientist and presents research 

results to a variety of audiences (just about 

every reader of the Plant Science Bulletin).  

Presenting Science Concisely is published by 

CABI (Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience 

International), a global non-profit institute 

focused on sharing information in agriculture 

and the environment. The book is certainly 

relevant to their mission.  It is a slim volume, 

perhaps a bit expensive for its size, but can also 

be purchased at reduced cost as an e-volume, 

PDF. or on Kindle.    


Kirchoff, B. K. 2009. Emerson’s Science of the 

Spirit: A Visual Interpretation of Emerson’s Natu-

ral History of Intellect. Tellus Books.

— David Lee, Emeritus Professor, Florida 

International University, Miami, FL.

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PSB 68 (1) 2022


The Plant Hunter: A Sci-

entist’s Quest for Nature’s 

Next Medicines

Cassandra Leah Quave

2021. ISBN-13: 9781984879110

Paperback, US$26.00; 384 pp.

Viking, New York City, New York, 


Did you know that salicin within willow tree 

bark was used as a basis for the discovery 

and development of aspirin? Well, maybe so. 

However, you probably did not know that the 

resin from Croton lechleri was used to create an 

anti-diarrheal drug, or that miswak, a natural 

toothbrush, comes from the Salvadora persica 

plant, or that four billion people living in 

developing countries rely on medicinal plants 

as their primary form of medicine. In The 

Plant Hunter, Dr. Cassandra Quave, a leading 

medical ethnobotanist, regales readers with 

stories of her life and adventures to remote 

corners of the world to learn from traditional 

healers about medicinal plants so scientists 

can better understand the safety and efficacy 

of the plants that billions of people rely on for 

their medical care. This page-turning book is 

organized into three parts, with four chapters 

per part, as well as a detailed prologue, 

epilogue, and appendices with additional 

resources, scientific names, acronyms, and 

The book starts with a prologue that provides 

a brief history of antibiotics and ethnobotany. 

Dr. Quave also takes the time to introduce 

herself and explain that her drive to find 

medicinal plants to treat bacterial infections 

stems from her youth when she had to have 

her leg amputated and she faced a subsequent 

infection that led to a near-death experience. 

The prologue transitions to Part One, titled 

“Nature,” which focuses on the early part of 

Dr. Quave’s life. Chapter 1 sheds light on her 

parents, amputation, and love of the outdoors 

and science, which led to her middle school 

science fair experiments, volunteering at a 

local hospital, and early college days at Emory 

University. A college trip to Peru in Chapters 2 

and 3 takes the reader on an adventure where 

we meet the warm and caring Don Antonio, 

who teaches a young Cassandra about 

medicinal, cultural, and spiritual significance 

of many plants in the Amazon. Over time, 

young Cassandra learned about how, with the 

influence of western medicine, there was a lot 

of significant loss of Indigenous knowledge. 

Yet, western medicines were too expensive, 

so many people suffered and died from very 

treatable illnesses. Seeing this illness and 

death in person when shadowing Señor Vidal, 

a local doctor, convinced Cassandra that she 

wanted to be an ethnobotanist. Chapter 4 

takes young Cassandra to Italy, where she 

worked with Dr. Pieroni to study ethnic 

Albanian folk-functional foods. While in 

Italy, she learned how to cook, treat spiritual 

ailments with elderberry and walnut, and 

solidified her stance on the importance of 

preserving traditional knowledge. She is also 

introduced to Marco, who would become her 

husband and companion.
Part Two, titled “Infection,” focuses on the 

transition from young Cassandra to Dr. 

Quave. Chapters 5 and 6 detail Cassandra’s 

graduate school years at Florida International 

University, education about botany, Latin, 

and phytochemistry, her marriage to Marco, 

the birth of her first child, her struggles being 

a mother and scientist, and more adventures 

in Italy where she conducted dissertation 

research looking at plants, such as chestnut, 

that can be used to treat dermatological 

issues. Chapter 7 focuses on the newly minted 

Dr. Quave’s transition from doctoral student 

to postdoc and from botany to microbiology 

and natural products chemistry. She details 

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PSB 68(1) 2022


her research with blackberries and the 

development of the PhytoTEK company with 

her colleague, Sahil Patel, which focuses on 

plant technology and traditional ecological 

knowledge. The eighth and last chapter in Part 

Two details Dr. Quave’s move back to Emory 

University and her research into blackberries 

and chestnuts to target bacterial biofilms and 

toxins. She reflects on her transition from full-

time lecturer to PI and director and curator 

of the herbarium, her adventures dumpster-

diving for lab equipment for her new (to her) 

lab, and transition to joining the dermatology 

faculty and running three lab spaces. 
Part Three, titled “Medicine,” brings more 

adventure and concludes with Dr. Quave 

in the present day of the COVID-19 

pandemic. Chapters 9 and 10 discuss her 

travel to biodiversity hotspots like the 

Mediterranean, where she was able ride a 

mule up to some Roman ruins to collect 

fragrant tree wormwood, and more about her 

research in Florida with yellow water lilies 

and the invasive, but medicinally important, 

Brazilian peppertree. She also discusses the 

importance of including and giving back to 

the communities that provide the traditional 

knowledge about medicinal plants. Chapters 

11 and 12 take Dr. Quave on more adventures 

to Albania and the U.S. Capitol to bring the 

antibiotic resistance issue to the forefront of 

policymaking. The issue of antibiotic resistance 

is further discussed in the epilogue to drive 

home the point that “nature is all around us; it 

is within us…We must remember our place in 

the natural world and work with it to discover 

new ways for it to help us as we help it.”
On the outside, this book seems like it could be 

a heavily scientific text focused on medicinal 

plants. In truth, this is the story, a memoir, of 

one very strong, persistent, and caring scientist 

and ethnobotanist who shared the story of 

her life and research so others can learn more 

about antibiotic resistance and the importance 

of medicinal plants and traditional ecological 

knowledge. In addition to learning about 

the importance of blackberries, Brazilian 

peppertree, bacterial biofilms, biopiracy, and 

brews (and following the life and loves of Dr. 

Quave), readers also get a glimpse into some 

of the struggles faced by scientists who are 

mothers, women, and non–able-bodied. Dr. 

Quave often reflects on her struggles to be 

a scientist and mother, conduct fieldwork 

as an amputee, and address mansplaining, 

sexism, and academic bullying. As a scientist, 

I appreciated her honesty, vulnerability, and 

tips for stopping these inequities. In all, this 

book provides a little for everyone. Interested 

in medicinal plants, traditional knowledge, 

bacteria and antibiotic resistance, botanical 

collections, or inequities in science with a 

dash of adventure and romance on the side? If 

yes, then this book is for you.  
– A.N. Schulz, Department of Forestry, Missis-

sippi State University, Starkville, Mississippi, USA

Spices, Scents and Silk: 

Catalysts of World Trade

James F. Hancock

2021. ISBN 978-1789249743 

(hard cover) $130, £95.00, 


9781789249750 (paper) $40, 

£29.99, €35.00

ePDF 9781789249767; ePub 


CABI, Oxfordshire, UK; Boston, MA

James Hancock, Professor Emeritus, 

Department of Horticulture, Michigan State 

University, pinpoints the world’s leading 

spices used since antiquity as frankincense, 

myrrh, cinnamon, pepper, ginger, cloves, 

saffron, nutmeg, and mace. Hancock divided 

this broad subject into readable stand-alone 

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PSB 68 (1) 2022


chapters, each with its own list of references, 

eliminating a need to search through a long 

alphabetical bibliography at the end of the 

book. Hancock acknowledged that he quotes 

freely from these cited authors, whose own 

words are eloquent.
Hancock traces the quest for profits from 

trade in spices, scents, and silks that motivated 

ancient peoples to explore the world in search 

of exotic luxuries from distant lands, while 

competing for long-distance trade dominance. 

Readers can travel in time, beginning with the 

earliest great civilizationseserved in the walls 

of four sphero-conical vessels excavated in 

12th-13th–century layers at Dvin, Armenia, 

using gas chromatography combined with 

mass spectrometry (GC-MS). These vessels 

all contained trace levels of—Egypt, Sumer, 

and Harappa—along ancient Mediterranean 

trade routes, overland to the Land of Punt for 

incense, or spice depots of the Indian Ocean. 
Transitions from the Golden Age of Byzantium 

to the eastern Roman Empire and the rise of 

Venice, led to medieval shifts in the balance 

of power. Portuguese discovery and conquest 

enabled the Portuguese to build an empire. 

After the Spanish built their empire, the Dutch 

and English conquered Southeast Asia.
The title of James Hancock’s journey through 

history via trade in spices and scents was 

enticing. Having spent many weeks searching 

for further information about several topics 

included and omitted from this book, I 

discovered a tome with a similar title by 

Lawton and Wheeler (2004), which suggests 

lack of originality. Hancock acknowledges in 

his Preface that he “use[d] a blend of primary 

literature and historical fiction to produce 

what I believe is an expansive, sometimes 

amusing narrative.” Reading this volume 

alone, it would not be simple to separate fact 

from fabrication, to determine whether a 

construct is accurate. One source he cites, is 

Secrets of Saffron by Willard (2002), a book of 

fiction. I would suggest that readers proceed 

with caution in accepting details without 

checking facts further. Studying the citations 

closely, it is dissatisfying to find that many are 

secondary sources and compilations.
It is also disappointing that the Index includes 

only a single mention about Armenian 

contributions, consisting of two sentences in 

connection with caravans along the silk route, 

although Armenia was mentioned on another 

page as an ancient source for horses and mules 

in world trade. Omitted are significant details 

about the Armenian trade at its zenith. Its vast 

commercial network was spread not only over 

the Levant but over Europe, India, and the Far 

East, centered at New Julfa, Isfahan, and Iran 

(Hussain, 2005; Mkrtchyan, 2005; Ranjbar 

and Manesh, 2016). Armenian settlements 

were found in all important trading and 

production centers, as well as on the transit 

points on all major routes. A substantial 

Armenian community was present in all ports 

of consequence. 
Barnard et al. (2016) analyzed the organic 

residues pr fat and oils, findings that they 

interpret as the remains of scented oils, 

suggesting the function of these vessels as 

containers for perfumes. 
As I contemplate the implications presented 

by this book vis- à-vis trends in scholarship, 

within my own experience there have been 

several recent concerns noted about books 

reviewed in this Bulletin where I observed 

lack of academic rigor. It seems that there is 

weakness in the 
Editorial process, leading me to question what 

direction science writing is taking. That said, 

there is plenty here to satisfy general readers 

with an interest in the global economics of the 

spice trade through history.

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PSB 68(1) 2022


Stomata: How Plants 

Breathe: Topographic 

Perspectives in Select-

ed Plant Families

Douglas Clark

2021.  ISBN-13: 


Paperback, US$44.99; 300 pp.  

Paedia Press, San Francisco, CA  

As a fan of Teaching Plant Anatomy (Peterson 

et al., 2008) I was anxious to examine this 

new book by Clark.  Unfortunately, I was