PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN
A Publication of the Botanical Society of America, Inc.
FALL 2006 VOLUME 52 NUMBER 3
The Botanical Society of
America: The Society for ALL Plant Biologists
Crime-Solving Plants, Shirley Graham
News from the Society
Botanical Society of
America Centennial Awards
BSA Graduate Student Research Awards
J.S. Karling Graduate Student Research Award
BSA Graduate Student Research Awards
I. Cheadle Student Travel Awards
Ecology Section Student Travel Awards
Mycological Section Studet Travel Awards
Phycological Section Student Travel Award.
Ptericological Section Student Travel Awards
BSA Education News and Notes
BSA Education Outreach Program Evolves, Expands
Botanic Gardens Break New Ground in Informal Science
Evolution Supported by State Standards and Professional
Progress Along the Pipeline
Botanists in Education
Enhancing Botanical Education with Project 2061 Publications
Field Botany 323: An Alfred Hitchcock Movie, Almost
Ralph Erickson, 1914-2006
David Lloyd, 1938-2006
Daphne J. Osborne, 1930-2006
Anitra Thorhaug. UN Who's Who of Women and the Environment
Bobbie Angel, Botanical Illustrator, receives Jill Smithies
American Philosphical Society Research Awards
Symposia, Conferences, Meetings
50 Years of the Phytochemical Society of
Rock On, Celebrating Stone in the Garden
Help Wanted, Ancient Trees Website
Some Biogeography and Biography on the we
Brooklyn Botanic Garden Science Research Interns win
Grand Prize in National Science Research Contest
Botany and Plant Biology 2007
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Editorial Committee for Volume 52
|Douglas W. Darnowski (2006)
Department of Biology
Indiana University Southeast
New Albany, IN 47150
||Andrea D. Wolfe (2007)
Department of EEOB
1735 Neil Ave., OSU
Columbus, OH 43210-1293
||Samuel Hammer (2008)
College of General Studies
Boston, MA 02215
|Joanne M. Sharpe (2009)
Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
P.O. Box 234
Boothbay ME 04537
||Nina L. Baghai-Riding (2010)
Division of Biological and Physical Sciences
Delta State University
Cleveland, MS 38677
By the time you read this we already will have celebrated 100 years of
the Botanical Society of America at our centennial meeting in
Chico, California. One hundred years ago the founders
were concerned with not completely replacing the "old botany" of the external
form and affinities within the plant kingdom, that was no longer attracting
the new generation of students, with the exciting "new botany" of anatomy
and physiology (anon., 1887).
Furthermore, some of these botanical leaders were convinced that a change
in pedagogy was required. William Ganong suggested:
"In the laboratory work everything possible should be done
in the independent investigation spirit.
The student should be led on by having each new thing placed before
him in the form of a problem, so arranged that its solution comes just within
his own powers…In general, nothing should be told a student that he can find
out for himself."
Times have changed, but some things seem to remain the same.
There is still an "old botany" (now including anatomy and traditional
physiology) and the exciting field is molecular.
Yet we realize that knowledge of the "old fields" remains necessary
and those fields are benefiting from application of the new techniques.
And we are still struggling with improving pedagogy to make
students more active in their own learning.
In this issue we highlight some tools employed by contemporary botanists
to engage students in both formal and informal settings.
In our feature article Shirley Graham describes some of the
forensic botany from an exhibit she helped prepare for the
National Botanical Garden
. (Have any of you introduced
the microscopy lab with a "who done it?" and a variety of microscopic clues?).
Later Keith Killingbeck provides an abstract of some of the
innovative student writing he uses to enhance his field botany course.
Finally, we provide an entry to some of Tim Gerber's work with
school teachers getting them excited about using plants to "teach to the
Enjoy the issue! The editor
Anonymous. 1887. The Botanical Gazette 12(4):87-88.
William F. Ganong, 1907, The
Teaching Botanist. New York, Macmillan.
Recently I was asked to provide text for a projected graphic display on
the subject of forensic botany at the National Botanic Garden, Washington,
D.C. Subsequently, the program directors asked me to expand on the display
with a lecture entitled, "Crime-Solving Plants" for a public audience at
the Garden. Bill Dahl, Executive Director of BSA, was directly involved in
the original idea and later suggested that I submit the talk to the Plant
Science Bulletin. The text follows below together with literature citations
added to allow anyone interested in using the information to refer to some
of the original studies and to see some of the illustrations that accompanied
Early in January, 1935, a man named Arthur Koehler worked his way through
crowds of people gathered outside the courthouse in
Flemington, New Jersey
. He was there to testify in one of the most important trials of the 20th
century, the trial of Bruno Richard Hauptmann for the kidnapping of the young
son of aviation hero Charles Lindbergh and his wife Anne. Dr. Koehler was
an expert on wood anatomy and identification at the Forest Products Laboratory,
United States Forest Service in Madison, Wisconsin and what was unique about
the particular testimony he was about to give was that it dealt with the structure
of wood, namely the wood of the ladder used by the kidnapper. Presenting
that kind of evidence was highly unusual, there was little precedence for
it, and it was not clear it would even be allowed. The use of scientific
expert witnesses was an uncommon and limited practice at that time and botanical
evidence had little standing in the criminal courts.
The defense argued strongly against allowing Dr. Koehler to testify, saying
"there is no such animal known among men as an expert on wood; that it is
not a science that has been recognized by the courts; that it is not in a
class with handwriting experts, with fingerprint experts, or with ballistic
experts... The witness probably may testify as an experienced carpenter or
something like that, …. but
when it comes to expessing an opinion as an expert or as a scientist, why
that is quite different indeed. We say that the opinion of the jurors is
just as good..." (Pope 1935). The judge responded,
in what we can now consider to be an historical moment for forensic plant
science, "I deam [sic] this witness to be qualified as an expert" (Trenchard
Koehler subsequently went on in the trial to demonstrate how the wood
of the ladder, beyond any doubt, linked Hauptmann directly to the crime.
The ladder was a unique design, homemade, and in 3 parts that could be disassembled
to fit in a car. Koehler presented three kinds of information from his study
of the ladder - 1) identification of the wood used, 2) physical marks left
by tools on the wood, and 3) comparisons of the wood structure. He was able
to determine that the wood used in the ladder was of four kinds:
douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco), 2 types
of pine (Pinus ponderosa Dougl. ex Laws. and Pinus echinata
Mill., or a close species, commonly called yellow
pine) and birch (Betula sp., probably B. alba L.) used for
the connecting dowels. In making the identifications he saw the characteristic
presence in pine of very thin epithelial cells lining the resin canals, while
in douglas fir he distinguished characteristic
thick-walled cells lining the canals and faint spiral markings along the
length of the tracheids (Fig. 1). The wood of the top left rail had clearly
been used before. It had been sawn away from a bigger piece and there were
nail holes present made by old-fashioned square-headed nails. Koehler alerted
authorities to look for a missing board in any place connected with a future
suspect. Remarkably, Koehler using scarcely visible planer markings was able
to trace the some of the pine back to its original mill source in
McCormick, South Carolina and
then forward to the National Lumber and Millwork Co. in the
Bronx, NY just 10 blocks from Hauptmann's home. This was prior
to Hauptmann's arrest after passing a bill from the ransom money. A week
after the arrest, police realized that one of the floor boards in Hauptmann's
attic had been partly cut away. Koehler was able to show in the trial that
the attic board and the ladder
Cross-sections of gymnosperm wood.
Pinus echinata Mill. (top) and Pseudotsuga
menziesii (Mirb.) Franco (bottom)
rail had once been a single board by the exact
match of annual rings (Fig. 2) and importantly, he demonstrated that patterns
of annual rings are unique so that no other random board would have an absolutely
identical pattern, just as today we demonstrate that portions of our DNA
are unique to each individual. The wood anatomical evidence ultimately was
one of the most incriminating and unshakable pieces of evidence that led
to Hauptmann's conviction and eventual electrocution for the kidnapping (Graham,
Attic floor above Hauptmann's apartment. with
the top left rail of the ladder (right) in place as a continuation of the
floor board (left) from which it was fashioned; one nail corresponding to
nail hole in the rail and floor joists visible on the rail.
With permission of the United States Forest Service.
Since that trial, what is termed forensic botany, or the use of plant remains
to help solve crimes or other legal problems, has been widely accepted
as valid scientific evidence by the courts. If the wildly popular televison
crime shows like CSI, Law and Order, Cold Case, and many others reflect to
some degree how real life detective work proceeds, then plants are now beginning
to play an increasing role in solving crimes. In February this year in a
TV episode of "Bones", one of the forensic anthropologists finds part of an
ear bitten off the killer of a young woman. On the ear is ear wax within which
pollen is embedded. As the story continues, the pollen is identified as a
species of the grass genus Eragrostis, a species said to grow only
in South Africa
, and this leads the scientists to a suspect who has just come from there.
I comment further on this story later, but the point here is that although
this particular case is fiction, plants or parts of plants can provide significant
supporting, sometimes, crucial evidence in solving crimes.
The reasons for this are several: 1) plant remains can be found almost
everywhere; 2) they offer multiple sources of evidence, both macroscopic
and microscopic, such as pieces of wood, (even as charcoal), seeds, fruits,
leaves, twigs, plant hairs, microscopic air-borne pollen and spores, or in
aquatic environments, algal cells; 3) their morphological diversity allows
us to identify them and from the identification gather other useful information
such as the season or geographical location in which a crime took place,
whether a body has been moved following a murder; if a body is buried, how
long it has been buried, and whether a suspect was present at the crime scene.
Pollen and spores, in particular, have all the useful characters just mentioned
. Being widespread in nature in the air and on most surfaces, we breathe
them into our lungs and they stick to our clothes. Pollen and spore exines
are amazingly diverse, sometimes even to the species level, and their production
is generally seasonally and often geographically restricted, thus their presence
can point to a specific season, sometimes even a specific location, in which
a crime was committed (Szibor, R. et al. 1998). There are many published
examples of pollen morphology among related families or within families or
genera that illustrate this diversity and consequently their usefulness as
trace evidence (e.g. Nowicke and Skvarla 1977, Caryophyllales; Graham, A.
and Barker 1981, Fabaceae, Caesalpinioideae; Patel et al. 1984, Myrtales;
Bruce and Dettmann 1996; Fig. 3). In addition, they have other advantages.
They are slow to decay; pollen can be retrieved from rocks millions of years
old, a valuable asset for oil companies and archeologists. Because they are
microscopic, they remain unseen, silent witnesses and even if they were visible,
unlike fingerprints, they would be nearly impossible to eliminate from a
A recent example from
New Zealand illustrates how pollen as
trace evidence was used to solve a crime (Mildenhall 1998). In
Christchurch in 1997, a young woman was grabbed, pulled
into an alleyway, and raped. Although shaken, she was able to describe
the assailant and shortly after a man matching her description was arrested.
The suspect admitted being in the area and noticing this woman, who seemed
a little distressed, he said he stopped to ask her if she was OK. Now, he
claimed, she must be putting his face on the face of the rapist, because
he had not been in the alleyway. There was no DNA evidence, but the police
noted dirt-stains on his clothes. These, he said, came from his yard where
he was working on his car.
The alleyway where the crime occurred was lined
along one side by a row of low flowering shrubs of wormwood, Artemisia
arborescens L. a Mediterranean native. The shrubs had been broken and
flattened during the struggle that led up to the rape. The suspect's clothes
with the dirt stains were sent for analysis together with a comparative sample
of soil from the crime scene to the forensic palynology laboratory of the
New Zealand Geological Survey. The soil sample was dominated, as might be
expected by pollen of Artemisia (77%), much of it occurring in clumps,
indicating the source was at the scene and had not merely blown in. The pollen
of this genus has a distinctive, echinate (spiny), very
Figure 3. Diversity
of pollen morphology in Centrospermae. From Nowicke
and Skvarla 1977 with permission.
thick-walled exine. There
was a mix of mix of fresh pollen and somewhat older, darker colored grains,
as well as an unusual large, thick-walled fungal spore in the soil sample,
and other spore and pollen types in very low percentages. The same Artemisia
pollen dominated the clothing sample (53%), again occurring mainly
in clumps, in a mix of fresh and older grains, and the same thick-walled
fungal spore type was abundant. The percentage of Artemisia was so
high that the only explanation was that the clothing was in direct, forceful
contact with an Artemisia plant. Investigators searched for wormwood
near the suspect's home, and other places he visited but found none. The
species is not common in
New Zealand, being only occasionally planted
in gardens. The forensic laboratory had processed over 1000 pollen samples
from many localities in
New Zealand and never found Artemisia
in more than a trace amount, so the chances of finding large amounts were
statistically 1 in 1000, but in actual fact, chances were certainly much
lower. The fungal spores were also rare. This pollen and spore evidence was
presented at the trial, the suspect was convicted,
and was given an 8 year prison sentence. Similar comparative pollen evidence
led to conviction of a murder suspect in northern
Australia (Milne 2005), and in a civil case
where pollen intake to a gasoline line was cited as the cause of a fatal
plane crash, pollen provided important evidence negating the claim (Graham,
Returning to the use of plants in crime TV shows, and
specifically the finding of Eragrostis grass pollen in ear wax that
led to a suspect, the science of this story presents a bit of a problem.
Although many plant groups have spectacular pollen morphology, not all pollen
is remarkable structurally and sadly the pollen of grasses, one of the most
common and widespread plant families in the world, is nearly as feature-less
as a ping-pong ball, so it would have been impossible to identify an Eragrostis
plant to genus or species and pinpoint the geographical source based on
pollen (Fig. 4). An interesting exception in the pollen of grasses is cultivated
corn which has extremely large pollen, ca. 100um in diameter, compared with
a more average pollen diameter of ca. 35um..
Seeds and fruits, like pollen, very often give away their identity by
their specialized features, especially if they are provided with hooks or
barbs. These structures have evolved to aid in dispersing progeny away from
competition with the parent plant and are very effective in their role, as
anyone who has walked through a field in summer or fall has experienced.
In 1997 in Ohio, I was called by the sheriff's
department of Champaign Co. near
Columbus, Ohio to
identify some seeds (actually single-seeded fruits) associated with the murder
of two children.
Pollen of the grass genera Eragrostis, Sporobolus, Tragus, and Enneapogon
illustrating the absence in most grass pollen of useful characters for identification.
With permission of The Newcastle Pollen Collection.
The children were found buried in an area at the shady wooded margin of
a local cemetery not long after they were reported missing by the stepfather.
He soon became a suspect. I identified the seeds as from Geum canadense
Jacq. (or possibly Geum aleppicum Jacq. with very similar fruits)
, commonly known as avens, in the Rosaceae and from Galium aparine
L., bedstraw, in the Rubiaceae, species of shaded to partly sunny places
in dry to moist somewhat disturbed woodlands (Fig. 5). The seeds had been
removed from a blanket and the stepfather's clothing recovered at his house.
He claimed the seeds came from his small farmyard, but neither plant occurred
in his open weedy yard, nor would they have been expected there. Both species
were found at the gravesite. The seed evidence linked the suspect to a wooded
area such as that of the gravesite and was part of the evidence introduced
at the trial (State of Ohio
vs. Kevin Neal, 2000). He was convicted of the two murders and is now serving
two life sentences. Similar investigations employing seed evidence from crime
scenes have been reported by Lipscomb and Diggs (1998) and in a case investigated
by David Hall, summarized at www.nwf.org/wildlife/wildlifecrime.cfm
Botanical trace evidence is also obtained from plant cells found in gastric
contents. Many of the common foods we eat contain seeds or other plant
parts with specialized cells having thick walls of cellulose and lignin.
Because these materials do not digest or digest only slowly they can be present
in partially digested stomach contents or excreted in feces, and are often
able to be identified in degraded form (Bock, J. H. et al. 1988). It is sometimes
possible to determine components of a victim's last meal which, in turn,
can provide clues to the setting or timing of death. In a particularly
tragic case in London
in 2001, partially digested plant material even gave a clue to the victim's
homeland and suggested a reason for his death.
The case began in September, 2001, when the torso, minus limbs and head,
of a young boy 4-7 years in age was found in the
. There was little to use for identification based on standard techniques
and there were no corresponding missing child reports.
Hooked seeds transported from a burial site on a murderer's clothing.
Galium aparine L. (left) and Geum canadense Jacq.
or Geum aleppicum Jacq. (right).
Photo by S. Graham.
Scotland Yard suspected from the condition of the body,
which had been deliberately drained of blood, that they might be dealing
with a ritual killing a human sacrifice. They turned to forensic scientists,
including a palynologist and a plant anatomist to look for whatever evidence
might give them a lead in the case. DNA suggested the child was West African
in origin and the contents of the digestive tract revealed alder (Alnus
) pollen, a tree native to northern Europe, and was an indication
that the child had been in
England in the days prior to his death.
Of greatest interest was the presence in the stomach and intestines of
an unusual assortment of small mineral pieces, clay pellets embedded with
minute gold particles, and the remains of some type of bean seed. The anatomy
of seeds in some plant families, including the legumes (Fabaceae), the mustards
(Brassicaceae), and the tomato-potato family (Solanaceae), is quite distinctive
and can even be species-specific in some taxa. By comparing seed coat anatomy
from the stomach contents of the boy, the seeds were closely matched by a
plant anatomist at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew to a highly poisonous
legume from West Africa, the Calabar bean
(Physostigma venenosum Balf.). Anatomical recognition of legume seeds
is possible because the outermost cells of the seed coat consist of a diagnostic
palisade layer in which the cells are typically narrow, elongate, and very
thick-walled. It is the heavy walls that make them resistant to quick dissolution.
The next deeper layer also can be quite diverse and help in narrowing
an identification. The presence of Calabar beans in this case, mixed
with the other unusual items in the stomach, suggested the child had been
given a toxic paralytic voodoo potion. This finding pointed, like the DNA,
to areas of West Africa, like
Nigeria, where witchcraft is known to be
practised still, and it supported the idea that the child had been a human
Further investigations, using bone chemistry, narrowed the home of the
boy to an area near Benin
, where Calabar bean is native and where animal, and rarely human, sacrifice
is performed. Thus far, no one has been arrested for the murder but as part
of the investigation, a ring trafficking in people from Africa into Great
Britain and Germany was uncovered and shut-down and 21 people involved were
arrested, including the man who brought the child from Africa (The Guardian
2004; see also National Geographic Channel presentation, "The Witchcraft Murder",
13 Feb 2005).
Today the fastest growing component of botanical evidence
in forensics is molecular evidence. We are in early stages of this type of
plant trace evidence. The first instance in which data from plant DNA was
accepted as admissible evidence in a criminal case was in
Arizona in 1992. In that case, State of
Arizona vs. Bogan, a young woman was murdered and
her body dumped in the desert. The suspect was taken into custody after his
pager was found near the site. He claimed he had given the woman a ride and
that she had stolen his wallet and pager from his truck. A member of the
Maricopa Co. investigating team, Charles Norton, happened to notice that
one of the palo verde trees (Parkinsonia microphylla Torr.) at the
scene was freshly scraped, possibly by the murder's vehicle. On an impulse
he picked some seed pods hanging from the tree; later, the same kind of pods
were found loose in the open truck bed of Bogan's truck and Norton, knowing
that DNA could identify human individuals, thought perhaps the pods could
be linked by their DNA to the tree at the crime scene. Dr. Tim Helentjaris,
a geneticist at the University
of Arizona agreed
to try. Using RAPDs (Randomly Amplified Polymorphic DNA) to produce profiles
of visualized DNA fragments- a kind of `fingerprint' of individuals being
studied,he was able to match the DNA from the 2 seed pods found in
the truck to the seed pods collected from the tree at the scene and only
to that tree. This was because the palo verde trees had an exceptionally
high degree of intraspecific genetic variation (Yoon 1993). The truck, if
not the suspect, had definitely been at the site. The jurors agreed Helentjaris's
findings were very influential in their decision to find Bogan guilty of
first degree murder.
In recent plant DNA research, botanists at the Australian National University
in Canberra, Australia have produced a prototype identification system for
grasses based on DNA, a kind of molecular taxonomic key (Ward et al. 2004).
Although grass pollen is not generally helpful in forensics, other parts of
grasses like seeds and stem or leaf fragments can be a good source of DNA
and because grasses are among the most likely plants to be encountered as
trace evidence, a means of identification would be a valuable tool. In their
study, using primers designed for the purpose, they sequenced parts of the
mitochondrial genome that were representative of subfamily, tribe and genus
ranks within a test set of 20 samples. These were then used to identify 25
unknown grass samples in a blind test. With more complete representation,
the possibility of identification of many more kinds of grasses by molecular
means seems to be within reach.
It is unfortunate that in this country, botanical trace evidence is still
poorly integrated into crime scene analyses, in spite of its potential in
many situations. In 1990, a survey of 30 of the largest forensic laboratories
in the United States
found that only 2 knew pollen could be used as a forensic tool (Bryant and
Mildenhall 1990). This figure has not risen significantly in the past 16
years even though
criminal investigations are becoming more sophisticated in treating other
aspects of trace evidence (Bryant and Jones in press).
In great part, the failure to incorporate botanical evidence in investigations
is due to lack of knowledge about plants by personnel who study crime scenes
and so fail to collect it. The FBI's 2003 Handbook of Forensic Services (
www.fbi.gov) mentions the usefulness of wood and cotton fibers and explains
how these should be submitted for examination, but refers to no other kind
of supporting plant evidence. Unless plant parts are conspicuously evident,
samples of plant materials are not standardly taken, nor are specialists
brought in to record critical observations of vegetation that could yield
The assessment of plant evidence requires well-trained specialists and
frequently also access to extensive reference collections. Today, specialists
in plant systematics, plant anatomy and morphology, and palynology are relatively
few in number, and aging, and younger replacements are increasingly rare.
The balance in plant science research has tipped so heavily toward molecular-based
research that students interested in whole plant-based studies find fewer
and fewer relevant botany courses available at universities, little research
support at the graduate level, and few job opportunities. The value of botanical
trace evidence in criminal and civil cases has been clearly demonstrated
and is accepted by the courts. Justice can now only be more fully served
when law enforcement agencies and other relevant groups recognize and take
full advantage of its utility and open employment opportunities for botanically
trained investigators. Academic institutions, for their part, must once more
appreciate the value of providing well-rounded instruction in botany within
their undergraduate biological programs.
Bock, J. H.,
M. A. Lane, D. O. Norris. 1988. Identifying
Plant Food Cells in Gastric Contents for Use in Forensic Investigations:
A Laboratory Manual. U. S.
Dept. of Justice, National
Institute of Justice Research Report
, January 1988.
Bruce, R. G. and M. E. Dettmann. 1996. Palynological
analyses of Australian surface soils and their potential in forensic science.
Forensic Science International 81: 77-94.
Bryant, V. M., Jr. and G. D. Jones. 2006. Forensic
palynology: current status of a rarely used technique in the
United States of America. Forensic Science
International: in press.
Bryant, V. M., Jr. and D. C. Mildenhall. 1990.
Forensic palynology in the
United States of America. Palynology 14:
Graham, A. 1997. Forensic palynology and the
Ruidoso, New Mexico
plane crash the pollen evidence II. In: Graham, A. Symposium Ed., Forensic
Chemistry, Soil Analysis, Entomology, Botany, Palynology, and other Aspects
of Non-genetic-marker Biology. Journal of Forensic Sciences 42: 391-393.
Graham, A. and G. Barker. 1981. Palynology
and tribal classification in the Caesalpinioideae, Pp 801-834 in:
R. M. Polhill and Peter Raven, Eds., Advances in Legume Systematics. HMSO,
Graham, S. 1997. Anatomy of the Lindbergh kidnapping.
Journal of Forensic Sciences 42: 368-377.
Lipscomb, B. L. and G. M. Diggs, Jr. 1998.
The use of animal-dispersed seeds and fruits in forensic
botany. SIDA 18: 335-346.
Mildenhall, D. 1998. It takes just a few specks of dust and you are caught.
Canadian Association of Palynologists Newsletter 21: 18-21.
. 2005. A Grain of Truth. How Pollen Brought a Murderer to Justice.
Reed New Holland Publ.,
The Guardian. 2004. Jail for torso case people
smuggler. 27 Jul 2004.
Nowicke, J. W. and J. J. Skvarla. 1977. Pollen
morphology and the relationship of the Plumbaginaceae, Polygonaceae, and Primulaceae
to the order Centrospermae. Smithsonian Contributions to Botany 37: 1-64.
Patel, V. C., J. J. Skvarla, and P. H. Raven.
1984. Pollen characters in relation to the delimitation of Myrtales.
Bot. Gard. 71: 858-969.
Pope, F. State of New Jersey vs. Bruno Richard Hauptmann, Trial transcript,
Szibor, R., C. Schubert, R. Schöning, D. Krause,
and U. Wendt. 1998. Pollen analysis reveals murder season. Nature
Trenchard, T. W. State of New Jersey vs. Bruno Richard Hauptmann, Trial
transcript, 1935: 3805.
Ward, J., R. Peakall, S. R. Gilmore, and J. Robertson.
2005. A molecular identification system for grasses: a novel technology
for forensic botany. Forensic Science International 152: 121-131.
Yoon, C. K. 1993. Botanical witness for the prosecution.
Science 260: 894-895.
P.O. Box 299
News from the Society
The Botanical Society of
America "Centennial Award"
was established to acknowledge and honor outstanding
service to the plant sciences and the Society .We are proud to present
the award recipients.
Dr. Isabella Abbott | Dr. Gregory J. Anderson | Dr. Joseph E. Armstrong
| Dr. Charlie Arntzen | Dr. Spencer Barrett | Dr. Carol C. Baskin | Dr. Jerry
M. Baskin | Dr. C. Ritchie Bell | Dr. Herb Bormann | Dr. Winslow Briggs |
Dr. Sherwin Carlquist | Dr. Dave Cass | Dr. Kenton Chambers | Dr. Mary-Dell
Chilton | Dr. Mary Clutter | Dr. Paul Conant | Dr. Peter Crane | Dr. Daniel
Crawford | Dr. Chicita Culberson | Dr. Charles Daghlian | Dr. Margaret Davis
| Dr. Ted Delevoryas | Dr. Darleen A. DeMason | Dr. Nancy Dengler | Dr. David
Dilcher | Dr. Wayne J. Elisens | Dr. Peter Endress | Dr. Hardy Eshbaugh |
Dr. Ray Evert | Dr. Jack B. Fisher | Dr. Lafayette Frederick | Dr. Gerald
J. Gastony | Dr. Patricia G. Gensel | Dr. Ernie Gifford | Dr. Richard H.
Goodwin | Dr. Leslie Gottlieb | Dr. Linda E. Graham | Dr. Verne Grant | Dr.
Sydney Greenfield | Dr. Christopher H. Haufler | Dr. Charlie Heiser | Dr.
Leslie G. Hickok | Dr. Pat Holmgren | Dr. Kent E. Holsinger | Dr. Harry T.
Horner | Dr. Hugh Iltis | Dr. Raymond Carl Jackson | Dr. Dan Janzen | Dr.
William Jensen | Dr. Judy Jernstedt | Dr. Don Kaplan | Dr. Ted Kozlowski
| Dr. David Kramer | Dr. Art Kruckeberg | Dr. Meredith A. Lane | Dr. Jean
Langenheim | Dr. Nels Lersten | Dr. Joe Leverich | Dr. Harlan Lewis | Dr.
Gene Likens | Dr. Phil Lintilhac | Dr. Jane Lubchenco | Dr. Rogers McVaugh
| Dr. Elliot Meyerowitz | Dr. Hal Mooney | Dr. Jeffrey M. Osborn | Dr. Jeffrey
D. Palmer | Dr. Barbara Palser | Dr. Dominick Paolillo | Dr. B.O. Phinney
| Dr. Steward Pickett | Dr. Peter Raven | Dr. Jennifer H. Richards | Dr.
Scott D. Russell | Dr. José Sarukhán | Dr. Barbara Schaal |
Dr. Edward Schneider | Dr. J. William Schopf | Dr. James L. Seago, Jr. |
Dr. Henry Shands | Dr. Beryl B. Simpson | Dr. Alan R. Smith | Dr. Allison
A. Snow | Dr. Douglas Soltis | Dr. Pamela Soltis | Dr. David Spooner | Dr.
Taylor Steeves | Dr. Diana Stein | Dr. Otto Stein | Dr. Kingsley Stern |
Dr. William L. Stern | Dr. Dennis Stevenson | Dr. Don Stone | Dr. Tod Stuessy
| Dr. Marshall Sundberg | Dr. Ian Sussex | Dr. Thomas N. Taylor | Dr. Robert
B. Thorne | Dr. Dave Tilman | Dr. P. Barry Tomlinson | Dr. Shirley Tucker
| Dr. Billie Turner | Dr. Natalie Uhl | Dr. Gordon Uno | Dr. Judy Verbeke
| Dr. Barbara Webster
The BSA Graduate Student Research Awards
The BSA Graduate Student Research Awards support graduate student research
and are made on the basis of research proposals and letters of recommendations.
Withing the award group is the Karling Graduate Student Research Award. This
award was instituted by the Society in 1997 with funds derived through a generous
gift from the estate of the eminent mycologist, John Sidney Karling (1897-1994),
and supports and promotes graduate student research in the botanical sciences.
The 2005 ward recipients are:
J. S. Karling Graduate Student Research Award
Joshua W. Clayton,
University of Florida
, Department of Botany, (Supervisor: Dr. Doug Soltis) - "Molecular Phylogeny
and Biogeography of Simaroubaceae s.s. (Sapindales)"
BSA Graduate Student Research Awards
Monica Carlsen, University of Missouri _ St. Louis, Department
of Biology and Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis. (Supervisor: Dr. Peter
Stevens) _ "A Revision of the Sectional Classification in Anthurium (Araceae)
Integrating Morphology and Molecular Phylogenetics"
Kate Hertweck, University
of Missouri Columbia
, Department of Biological Sciences (Supervisor: Dr. J. Chris Pires) _ "Population
dynamics of polyploidy: Phylogenetics, cytogenetics, and hybridization of
Jamie H. Howard, Arizona
School of Life Sciences Graduate
Program (Supervisor: Dr. Martin F. Wojciechowski)
_ "Symbiotic Specificity of Irlc (Fabaceae) and Rhizobia with Unsaturated
Fatty Acid-type Nod Factors: An Evolutionary Perspective"
Gretchen M. Ionta,
University of Florida
, Department of Botany (Supervisor: Dr. Walter Judd) _ "A phylogenetic analysis
of Periplocoideae (Apocynaceae s.l.) and insights into the evolution of pollinia"
Aaron Jenks, University
Riverside, Department of Botany and Plant Sciences,
(Supervisor: Dr. Seung-Chul Kim) _ "Phylogeny and Biogeography of Salvia
L. subgenus Calosphace (Benth.) Benth."
Gabriel P. Johnson, Southern Illinois University, Department of
Plant Biology (Supervisor: Dr. Karen
S. Renzaglia) _ "Developmental changes in the placental transfer cells of
, Biology Department (Supervisor: Dr. François Lutzoni) _ "Differential
Gene Expression in Early Algal and Fungal Lichen Symbiosis"
Marcela Martínez Millán,
, L. H. Bailey Hortorium and Department of Plant Biology (Supervisor: Dr.
William L. Crepet) _ "A Revision of the Early Fossil Record of Astridae"
Cynthia Skema, Cornell
University, L.H. Bailey
Hortorium (Supervisor: Dr. Melissa Luckow) _ "Systematics of Dombeya
Cheadle Student Travel Awards (BSA in association with the Developmental
and Structural Section) This award was named in
honor of the memory and work of Dr. Vernon I. Cheadle.
Tania Hernandez-Hernandez, Instituto de Biologia, UNAM, Supervisor
- Susana Magallon Puebla
Purbasha Sarkar, Miami
Oxford, OH, Supervisor
- Dr. Daniel Gladish
Richard Tate, Humboldt
University, Supervisor - Dr. Alexandru MF Tomescu
Ramona Walls, Stony Brook University, Supervisor - Dr.R. Geeta
Ecology Section Student Travel Awards
Advisor: Dr. Diane L. Byers for her Botany 2006 presentation entitled:
"Selection and Adaptation in Heterogeneous Soil Nutrient Environments
Marissa Jernegan, Eastern
University, Advisor: Dr. Janice Coons for her Botany 2006
presentation entitled: "Seed Longevity of Lesquerella ludoviciana, an
Endangered Species of the Illinois
Mycological Section Student Travel Awards
Nicholas B. Simpson,
: Dr. Ari Jumpponen for his Botany 2006 presentation entitled; "Exposure
to increased inorganic nitrogen may irreversibly alter arctic ericoid mycorrhizal
Phycological Section Student Travel Award
Nestor Anzola, University
of Southern Mississippi
, Advisor: Dr. George F. Pessoney for his Botany 2006 presentation entitled;
"Algae From the Pascagoula River Basin: Phytoplankton
Responses to Water Chemistry Dynamic in Small Streams"
Pteridological Section Student Travel Awards
Michael S. Barker,
, Advisor: Dr. Loren Rieseberg for his Botany
2006 presentation entitled: "Inferring paleopolyploidy in homosporous ferns
using duplicate gene age distributions"
Joshua Der, Utah State University, Advisor: Dr. Paul Wolf for his
Botany 2006 presentation entitled: "A global phylogeographic study of the
chloroplast genome in bracken (Pteridium: Dennstaedtiaceae)"
Amanda Grusz, University of North Carolina
, Advisor: Dr. Kathleen M. Pryer for her Botany 2006 presentation entitled:
"Polyploids and reticulate voids: the Cheilanthes fenderli complex revisited"
Chad E. Husby, Florida
: Dr. Steven Oberbauer for his Botany 2006 presentation entitled: "Salinity
tolerance ecophysiology of the giant horsetail, Equisetum giganteum, in the
Atacoma Desert, Chile"
Annabelle Kleist, Carroll
: Dr. Jennifer Geiger for her Botany 2006 presentation entitled: "Alternate
pathways of fern dispersal to the Hawaiian Islands
, Part 3: Cibotium"
, Advisor: Dr. Kathleen M. Pryer for his Botany 2006 presentation entitled;
" Toward a comprehensive phylogeny of extant ferns"
BSA Science Education
News and Notes
BSA Science Education News and Notes
BSA Science Education News and Notes is a quarterly update about the BSA's
education efforts and the broader education scene.
BSA-led Education Outreach Program Evolves, Expands
Although student researchers and scientist mentors participating in the
science inquiry and mentorship program have the summer off, the BSA-led education
outreach program was busy evolving and expanding. Summer also provided an
opportunity for K-12 teachers and scientists to get together and exchange
ideas during the Botany 2006 Education and Outreach Forum. We extend a hearty
thanks to the individuals who are helping to bring the science and education
The BSA was pleased to sponsor educators from around the country to participate
in the Forum: Barb
Schulz, from the National Academies' Teacher
Advisory Council; Valdine McLean, from Pershing County High School
in Lovelock, Nevada; Carol Packard, from Sisters Middle School in
Sisters, Oregon; Carla Streng, from South Albany High School in Albany,
Oregon; and Maria Santiago and Elizabeth Copper, both with
the Chicago Public Schools. You'll be hearing much more about
Chicago, as we take the science inquiry and mentorship program
into Chicago schools this fall and prepare
for the joint Botany-Plant Biology meeting to be held in
Chicago next summer.
During the Botany 2006 Education Forum, two key changes to the BSA-led
education and outreach program were unveiled: the addition of a team of scientist
mentors with training in online mentoring and a name change.
A new opportunity for scientist mentors is to become a member of the Master
Plant Science Mentor Team. This opportunity has the potential to positively
affect the rest of your professional life, and inspire life-long appreciation
for plant science in young learners. We aim to have a team of 10 trained,
compensated scientists mentors in place this fall,
and double the size by the following year. We particularly encourage graduate
students, post-doctoral fellows, and professors
emeriti to join.
Becoming a Master Plant Science Mentor includes committing to an initial
training session and mentoring 6-7 student research teams via the web during
the fall and spring sessions. Each session lasts 2-4 weeks (~2 hours per
week time commitment). Team members receive free BSA membership for the year,
50% off meeting registration, and a Master Plant Science Mentor T-shirt.
If you are interested or would like to know more, please contact Claire Hemingway
Scientific Inquiry through Plants now goes by the name PlantingScience
. Bringing the excitement of hands-on plant investigations to students remains
our focus and disciplinary contribution to improving science literacy. The
shorter, snappier name is part marketing strategy and part planning for the
future. A variety of professional societies have expressed an interest in
the BSA-led program and its software platform. We hope scientists in other
disciplines will join forces in fostering a society where science is accessible,
understood, and appreciated.
A common interest in promoting plant science and taking
plants into classrooms around the country is forging stronger collaboration
within the botanical community. The BSA has formally invited the American
Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) and our sister societies, the American
Fern Society, the American Bryological and Lichenological Society, the American
Society of Plant Taxonomists) to become partners in PlantingScience. Our
united efforts allow us to connect a large cadre of diverse scientist mentors
to more students and teachers.
Expanding the reach of our outreach program is not the only benefit of
joining forces. Stronger partnerships among societies can provide better support
to the members on issues of national concern. One such issue is NSF's Criterion
2the broader impact statement required for all proposals. The ASPB invited
the BSA to participate in the Education Workshop "Broader Impact and Beyond"
during the Plant Biology 2007 meeting to share successes and strategies in
helping researchers connect with broader audiences. We are looking forward
to long and profitable partnerships.
Botanic Gardens Break New Ground in Informal Science Education
The first-ever plant-based Conservation Education Symposium, co-sponsored
by Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) and the U.S. Botanic
Garden, was held May 18, 2006 at the U.S. Botanic Garden. BGCI is leading
an international collaboration to halt the loss of plant diversity worldwide.
Improved education and public understanding of the importance of plant diversity
is target 14 of 16 specific outcomes they seek. Symposium focus questions
were: (1) to what degree is the importance of
plant diversity and the need for its conservation incorporated into communication,
education and public awareness programs in the
United States and (2) what actions can be taken both
locally and nationally to strengthen plant-based conservation education programs
in the United States
? Results of the symposium will be presented at the 6th International
Congress on Education in Botanic Gardens to be held September 10-14 in
Evolution Supported by State Standards and Professional Societies
In the June 28 edition, New York Times writer Michael Winerip told
the story of Pat New's personal battle to teach evolution in her middle school
classroom, and pivotal role the state standards played in settling the argument.
New York Times Select Subscribers can read the entire article at
The American Institute of Biology (AIBS) continues to support symposia
promoting evolution at the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT)
meetings. Don't miss the contributions of BSA members. In an interview conducted
2005 symposium and now available on the AIBS actionbioscience website,
incoming BSA President Pam Soltis describes how flowering plants make
life as we know it possible. At the upcoming 2006 symposium on Macroevolution:
Evolution above the Species Level, Scott Hodges will speak about patterns
and processes of plant biodiversity. The AIBS Education Report, with further
details on the 2006 symposium and other issues, is available online.
Be sure to read the forthcoming October issue of BioScience. The
Eye-on-Education column will feature the BSA-led education outreach program.
Progress Along the Pipeline
Recent studies and surveys of precollege and college students provide insights
on changes in interest, participation, and achievement. Robert Tai and colleagues
identified interest in 8th grader's career preferences as a more
reliable indicator than mathematical aptitude for predicting which students
become scientists. Michael Summers and Freeman Hrabowski found that an innovative
program creating a strong community of scientists and scientists-to-be can
greatly increase participation and achievement of minorities underrepresented
in science. In a re-analysis of demographic data from the 2003-04 college
population, The American Council on Education found that women outnumber
men on college campuses in general, but among traditional-aged undergraduates
of all racial groups belonging to the highest income groups, men are slightly
more likely than women to be in college.
Tai, R.H., Liu, C.Q., Maltese, A.V., and Fan.
X. 2006. Planning early for careers in science.
Science 312: 1143-1144.
Summers, M.F. and Hrabowski, F.A., III. 2006.
Preparing Minority Scientists and Engineers. Science 311: 1870-1871.
King, J. 2006. Gender Equity in Higher Education
. American Council on Education.
We invite you to submit news items or ideas for future features.
Contact: Claire Hemingway, BSA Education Director, at
firstname.lastname@example.org or Marshall Sundberg, PSB Editor, at
Enhancing Botanical Education with Project 2061 Publications
Daniel (Tim) Gerber recently had an article involving botanical education
published in AAAS' Project 2061 electronic newsletter: 2061 Connections. The
article is titled "Enhancing Botanical Education with Project 2061 Publications"
and can be accessed at http://www.project2061.org/publications
/2061Connections/2006/2006-01b.htm. This work is part of the
Teachers Using Living Plants (TULIP) Project and gives several examples,
with Benchmarks citations.
Dr. Gerber is an associate professor in the Biology Department at the University
of Wisconsin-La Crosse and director of the TULIP Project.
Confessions of a Field Botany Student.
"Forgive me, Professor, for I have sinned: I touched Datura stramonium
on more than one occasion. I had evil thoughts about pressing frogs. I,
under the guise of lagging behind, relieved myself informally twice, and
formally once (I was nicely dressed)."
Dr. Keith Killinbeck, is a professor in the
Department of Biological Sciences,
University of Rhode Island
Field Botany 323: An Alfred Hitchcock Movie, Almost
The trailer of the Hitchcock movie you have never seen goes like this;
the first scene opens with 25 larval botanists struggling to learn the field
identification, common names, scientific names, and family names of 300-plus
plant species that grace the landscapes of southern
New England. The time frame is the first nine weeks of any Fall
Semester and the botanists are undergraduates enrolled at the
University of Rhode Island
in the semester-long Field Botany and Taxonomy course, BIO 323.
Now, the horror; heaped onto the already gargantuan workload of the students
is nothing less than, horror of horrors, a writing assignment. Yikes! Anthony
Perkins never looked so tame. Or so sane.
So why have we never seen this botanical thriller on the silver screen?
Tentatively titled Phyto, or was it Vertigrow, it should have
become a cult classic. However, it likely never made it past the "heap scene"
in the script because the horror vanished faster than the ginseng at a Home
Remedies Convention. In fact, there never really was any horror. The totally
uncooperative undergraduates in the script deep-sixed the movie possibilities
when they actually embraced the idea of a writing assignment. The result
was an unimagined array of plant-based novellas, haikus, pneumonic devices,
student confessions, epic poems, and song lyrics that ultimately emerged
as the ongoing class assignment fondly called Plant Notes.
No terror? No student revolt? Does this sound more like an episode of Twilight
Zone than anything that smacks of academic reality? Well, I thought so too
until I actually tried the heaping myself on an unsuspecting Field Botany
class. The result has forever opened my eyes to the limitless possibilities
of dovetailing science with creative writing.
The inception and evolution of Plant Notes, along with enough
Plant Notes to fill a small vasculum, are portrayed in Field Botany
and Creative Writing: Where the Science of Writing Meets the Writing of Science
(2006. Journal of College Science Teaching 35: 26-28). Reading the article,
you will become privy to, for example,
Ralph Erickson 1914 _ 2006
Dr. Ralph O. Erickson, professor emeritus of botany, died March 24, 2006
at age 91.
Plant physiology textbooks now feature a discussion of the spatial pattern
of growth within roots as determined by Erickson in the 1950s. Erickson brushed
a root with carbon particles and placed it before a modified camera. The
camera lens was open continuously, and the film was moved at a constant rate
past a vertical slit. When the exposed film was unrolled and developed, the
black spots on the root appeared as streaks in the resulting photograph.
To process this information Erickson used a protractor to obtain the slopes
of the streaks at equally spaced increments. He plotted the resulting values
of growth displacement velocity versus distance from the root tip. He then
developed and used a numerical differentiation technique to find the "relative
elemental growth rate" (mathematically, the velocity gradient) to reveal
growth as a function of position on the root. This study had many of the
hallmarks of Erickson's work. The growth analysis was conceived in mathematical
terms; the experimental technology was handmade by the author; the mathematical
methods were also derived by the author; the results had fundamental implications
for plant physiology; and the paper remained relatively unrecognized for
decades after its publication. At the time of Erickson's retirement from
the University of Pennsylvania, the 1985 edition of the text Plant Physiology
by Salisbury and Ross ad a new section on analysis of plant growth. The description
of the l860's marking experiment of Juliusvon Sachs, with its erroneous interpretation,
was replaced by a discussion of the relativeelemental growth rate. Thus Erickson's
work was recognized, three decades later, as the classic fundamental analysis
of growth in plants.
It is typical, we feel, that Erickson was nderstood and appreciated by
the scientific comunity only many years after he published. Hiswork was visionary.
The great originality of his scienific studies came partly from
a unique geniusfor geometry and partly from a tremendous persnal integrity.
Ralph never followed the fashion of an ra. Asking
the questions he saw as fundamental,he found answers
he could not always express interms his botanical colleagues could understand.
He was perhaps unique among biologists inrecognizing the power inherent in
the ENIAC computer being assembled at the University of Pennsylvania's Moore
School of Electrical Engineering at the end of World War II. During his career
Erickson designed, conducted and interpreted analyses of root and leaf growth,
found a developmental index for studies of meiosis and mitosis in lily anthers,
devised a plastochron index for shoot and leaf development, and conducted
studies of phyllotaxis and the more general problem of the packing of spheres
on various surfaces. These studies and Ralph's suggestions inspired a number
colleagues to work on plant development, including Yasuo Hotta and Herbert
Stern on meiosis, Paul Green on biophysics of morphogenesis, Roman Maksymowych
on leaf development, Zygmunt Hejnowicz on mathematical and physical aspects
of development, and our own work on growth kinematics and phyllotaxis. Erickson's
growth studies are still inspiring research efforts by younger scientists
throughout the world. For instance, his algorithms are cited as the basis
for computationally complex image analysis programs published recently by
Tobias Baskin in Massachusetts and Achim
Walter in Germany
Ralph's original approach to science was perhaps forged during his childhood
on the midwestern frontier. He was the eldest of six children. While Ralph
was in grade school, his father was pastor of the church and principal of
the three room school in Leonard, a town of 75 people near the Red Lake Chippewa
Reservation in northern Minnestota. High school was in
Iron River, a mining
town on the upper peninsula of
Michigan. Ralph had many stories of assisting his
father in clearing brush, building roads, constructing homes, doing carpentry,
wiring, and plumbing. His father also taught him photography. As a teenager
Ralph was an omnivorous reader, favoring
Darwin's Origin of Species and Voyage of
the Beagle, as well as the Encyclopedia Americana. He studied
the local plants and longed to know them by name.
Erickson earned a B.A. from Gustavus
College in 1935, and a Ph.D. from
) in 1944. During his graduate studies he researched the limestone glades
of the Ozarks, where a native variety of Clematis was named for him:
Clematis fremontii var. riehlii Erickson, Taxonomic Serial No.: 533675.
Until the late 1990s, he continued to visit and study the glades. It was
that he met his wife, Elinor Borgstedt Erickson, a musician.
Erickson served as an instructor for Gustavus
College in Minnesota (1935-1939),
assistant chemist for Western Cartridge Co. in Illinois
(1942-44), and as an instructor and assistant professor for the
University of Rochester
(1944-47). Dr. Erickson began his career at the
University of Pennsylvania
in 1947 as a research associate. In 1949 he became associate professor of
botany and in 1954 was promoted to professor. He achieved emeritus status
Dr. Erickson was involved in many scientific activities. He was president
of the Society for Study of Development and Growth (1954-55), acting chairman
of the University of Pennsylvania Department of
Biology (1961-63), and chairman of the
University of Pennsylvania
graduate group in botany (1957-66). Dr. Erickson was also a fellow of the
Guggenheim Foundation at the California Institute of Technology (1954-55).
At the 1982 Annual Meeting of the BSA, Ralph received
a Merit Award "for contributions to our understanding of integrative mechanisms
of plant development using mathematical analyses; for introducing the plastochron
index for measuring the shoot apical activity, and for leadership in developing
models allowing computer analysis of plant growth."
During his retirement Ralph continued to pursue his interests in botany
and computing. He set up computers for his colleagues in the retirement community
at the Quadrangle, Haverford PA; and he founded a Sigma Xi chapter there.
Elinor and their daughters Elizabeth Erickson and Diane Field provided
loving support in his last years. Ralph Erickson died peacefully on March
24. He is survived by his wife and daughters, a brother, three grandchildren,
and one great-granddaughter.
Wendy Silk adds the following reminiscence, based on a letter sent on
the occasion of Ralph's retirement from Penn:
My personal association with Ralph began in 1970 when I began graduate
work in biology at the University
of Pennsylvania. Paul
Green, then at Penn, was my major professor and assigned me a desk in Ralph
Erickson's laboratory. I was alarmed. With graduate students, Erickson had
the reputation of being a bear—critical, taciturn, and severe. I asked Dr.
Green to find me a desk elsewhere. Luckily for my development as a botanist,
Green didn't pay attention to my request. As the year went on, Ralph and
I began to chat. We talked about Psilotum, linear regressions, computers,
microscopes, mitochondria, root growth, leaf arrangements, optical illusions,
Beethoven, sound waves, internal combustion machines—in fact, the problem
became how to STOP TALKING. What had seemed to be severity could be viewed
as a search to satisfy high standards; taciturnity was apparently the manifestation
of an endearing diffidence. At the end of the year I left Penn with great
reluctance. And when I finished my doctoral studies at
Berkeley, I knew my first choice for postdoctoral work was to
return to Philadelphia
and Ralph Erickson's laboratory. It was with Ralph that I began to put together
the applied mathematics of my undergraduate training, and the physiology
I had learned at Berkeley
. His vision of plant growth has been my greatest inspiration; and our collaboration,
begun at Pennsylvania and continued during
Ralph's sabbatical at Davis
, has been one of the most satisfying of my career.
My appreciation of Ralph Erickson the scientist is enhanced by my appreciation
of Ralph Erickson the person. He was a scholar, inquisitive and delighted
by new insight. His fund of knowledge was awesome. He knew the anatomy of
a pine tree, the Newton-Raphson solution to partial differential equations,
the flora of the Precretaceous era, the statistics
of directional data, how to fix a Saab car engine, and how to build a computer.
He had the courage to take apart a microscope, and the wisdom to put it back
together. He and his wife Elinor were devoted naturalists and music lovers.
Canoeing skillfully in the New Jersey Pine Barrens, building high fidelity
audio systems, and playing chamber music, they provided an inspiring model
for domestic collaboration that coexisted comfortably with Ralph's scientific
Roger Meicenheimer adds the following appreciation, written to Erickson
in celebration of his ninetieth birthday: 30 October 2004
Happy 90th Birthday, Ralph! I find it of interest that this
October's American Journal of Botany is the 90th Anniversary issue
of that journal. I remember many years ago you told me that biologists, particularly
those of us working with plants, live much longer than average. I've forgotten
if you offered an explanation for this observation, but certainly you are
living proof of that conjecture!
I will always consider you as my foremost academic mentor. Much of what
I learned under your guidance - like statistical validation of experimental
results; taking developmental time seriously; innovative ways of collecting
and analyzing the cellular processes that give rise to the tissues and organs
comprising plant bodies; and, of course, the intriguing mathematics and complexities
of phyllotaxis - formed the core of my approach to plant development research.
I am forever grateful for the guidance and inspiration you provided me.
Many of your contributions will undoubtedly remain valid and useful far
into the future that lies beyond your and my lifetimes. I am deeply honored
to have had the pleasure and privilege of working with you.
Some of Ralph's influential papers:
Erickson, R. O. 1945. The Clematis fremontii
var. Riehlii population in the Ozarks," Annals of the
Missouri Botanical Garden
. 32: 413-460.
Erickson, R. O. 1948. Cytological and growth correlations
in the flower bud and anther of Lilium longiflorum.
American Journal of Botany. 35: 729-739.
Erickson, R. O. and K. B. Sax. 1956.
Elemental growth rate of the primary root of Zea mays.
and Rates of cell division and cell elongation in the growth of the
primary root of Zea mays. Proceedings of the American
Philosophical Society. 100: 487-498. and
Erickson, R. O. and F. J. Michelini. 1957.
The plastochron index. American Journal of Botany.
Erickson, R. O. 1966. Relative elemental rates and anisotropy of growth
in area: a computer programme. Journal of Experimental
Botany. 17: 390-403.
Erickson, R. O. 1973. Tubular packing of spheres in
biological fine structure. Science. 181:
Erickson, R. O. 1976. Modeling of
plant growth. Annual Review of Plant Physiology.
Erickson, R. O. 1983. The geometry of phyllotaxis.
pp. 53-88. In The Growth and Functioning of Leaves.
Dale, J. E. and F. L. Milthorpe (eds).
Erickson, R. O. 1995. Growth and Development of
a Botanist. In Excitement and Fascination of Science: Reflections
by Eminent Scientists. Volume 4.
- Roger Meicenheimer and Wendy Kuhn Silk
Lloyd, David 1938 -2006
of Canterbury is mourning
the death of one of its most pre-eminent academics, Emeritus Professor David
Lloyd who was a corresponding member of the Botanical Society of America.
Professor Lloyd, who had suffered ill health and multiple disabilities
for a number of years, died this morning at the age of 68.
UC Vice-Chancellor, Professor Roy Sharp, says Professor Lloyd was one
of the finest researchers the University has seen.
"That was reflected in 1992 when David became just the seventh resident
New Zealander to be elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London, one
of the world's oldest and most prestigious scientific
"You just need to look at the citation that accompanied the announcement
of his fellowship. It said his exceptional knowledge of the flora of
New Zealand had led him to conclusions that
transformed the thinking of plant scientists around the world."
The citation's sentiment is reflected in an upcoming book by Professor
Spencer Barrett (University of
Toronto) and Dr Lawrence Harder (
University of Calgary
) who describe Professor Lloyd as a pre-eminent plant evolutionary biologist
of the modern era.
"The extensive body of concepts that Lloyd developed through keen observation,
incisive intellect and realistic theory established him as the founder of
the theory of plant reproduction and comprise his enduring legacy," they
"Lloyd pioneered the concept of plant gender and was the foremost authority
of the evolution of plant sexual systems.
"Lloyd's scholarly work laid the foundation for much of today's research
on the ecology and evolution of flowers, as well as several other fields
of evolutionary biology."
David Lloyd began study at the
University of Canterbury
in 1955 and graduated in 1959 with a BSc Honours degree, with first class
honours in botany. He was the first graduate from any
New Zealand university to gain first class
honours in a BSc Honours degree.
He then studied at Harvard
University on a Frank
Knox Fellowship and graduated with a PhD in biology in 1964.
Three years later he was appointed a lecturer at
. In 1971 he was promoted to senior lecturer, going on to become a reader
in 1975 and professor of plant science in 1986.
David Lloyd grew up in the small South Taranaki town of
Emeritus Professor David Lloyd pictured
in 1992 when he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London.
His brother, Trevor Lloyd, says David was tenacious and determined from
an early age.
"At secondary school in New Plymouth where he was a boarder David was an
outstanding athlete and rugby football player despite having a less than average-sized
physique. David played on the wing where he could best use his speed.
"In athletics he excelled in the 100 and 220 yard sprints and the long
jump. This was just another expression of his determination and tenacity."
David's twin brother Peter, an emeritus professor of economics at
, remembers his brother's thirst for knowledge.
"As we grew up together, he had a great curiosity about the world around
him. He developed a deep interest in the plant world and wanted to add to
knowledge of it, always seeking to develop theories to interpret his observations."
Professor Lloyd is survived by his wife Linda Newstrom-Lloyd and his three
adult children - Steven, Nicola and Paul.
Mrs Newstrom-Lloyd says aside from being an extraordinary scientist with
many benchmark papers in evolutionary ecology and plant reproductive biology,
her husband was a unique person with a pragmatic approach to life.
"David lived the past 13 years with cheerfulness and resiliency. In spite
of his difficulties as a result of his injuries, he always made the most of
what he had.
"We loved each other immensely and shared the belief that no matter what
happens, the most important thing is how you approach it and what you do about
Mrs Newstrom-Lloyd pays tribute to the medical personnel who cared for
her husband over the past 13 years and thanks ACC for its assistance.
"David and I truly appreciated the expertise of the people caring for him
at home. They all succeeded together as an exceptional team. I am extremely
grateful for their dedication, understanding, and generosity."
Professor Lloyd's daughter, Nicola, says it was their father's botanical
passion that introduced them to the world of science.
"We have memories from an early age of the combined family holiday with
field research, of sitting in bogs looking for obscure plants.
"Through his work we had the opportunity to travel and experience life
and living in other countries."
Professor Lloyd's son Steven says his father's scientific outlook was
mixed with a profound humanist spirit.
"His firm belief in equality, tolerance and capacity for difference in
the wider cultural, political and social spheres, enriched us all. His non-judgemental
approach gave us independence to grow and develop.
"David encouraged us to pursue our own passions. He always took a great
deal of interest in what we were doing, embraced his grandchildren, and in
turn wanted to learn from our experiences."
Paul Lloyd says his father was an active parent who made a tremendous
impact on their lives.
"He opened our eyes to the world. Through him we saw things and had experiences
that shaped our
thoughts and views. Most of all David provided us with his unconditional
love. And, we loved him deeply."
- Jeanette Colman, University
Daphne J. Osborne, 1930 - 2006
A major loss to plant science was the passing of Daphne Osborne, in
in June, 2006. A dynamic contributor to developmental and physiological
botany, an international leader in plant science, Daphne had a high talent
for scientific pursuit combined with a delightful capability for communication.
Daphne was trained in botany, microbiology, and plant physiology at the
of London, followed
by a postdoctoral appointment at Cal Tech. She spent most of her professional
life at Oxford University, initially in the Agricultural Research Council,
later in the Agricultural and Food Research Council at Oxford, and then with
the Open University of Oxford. During her career, she had visiting fellowships
at Cal Tech, Princeton, Canberra
, and UC Davis. She was awarded visiting professorships at
, Cornell, Calcutta and
Natal. She was awarded honorary D.Sc. degrees from
Natal and from Oxford
, and the S.M. Sircar Gold Medal at
Calcutta. She was a Leverhulme Scholar, a May Baker
Research Fellow, a Rose Sedgwick Scholar, a Fullbright Scholar, a University
of London Traveling Scholar, and a Lady Davis Visiting Professor. She was
a Corresponding Member of the Botanical Society of America.
To illustrate Daphne's international stature as a plant scientist, she
served invitation Lectureships or Visiting Professorships in Europe (
Cambridge, Lausanne), in the
United States (
Princeton, Cal Tech,
UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz. UW St Louis, U Mass Amherst, Michigan State, Ohio,
Cornell), in Canada (Regina, Alberta, Edmonton), and South America (Buenos
Aires), in Africa (Nigeria), in the Far East (Calcutta, New Delhi, Tirupati,
Ceylon, Indonesia, Malasia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Cairo, Osaka), in Israel
(Negev, Haifa), and in Australia (Adelaide, Monash, Brisbane, Flinders, Canberra).
She also served as a Visiting Professor in
China where she lectured in four major universities.
I am sure that there were more international invitations, but these are the
ones that I know of. Lectures at national meetings or conferences are not
included in this list.
A reason for so much international acclaim was surely
her wonderful intellectual style, combined with her proclivity for remarkable
and perceptive experimental findings. In her early years Daphne worked mainly
on the plant hormones. She then turned more to developmental events, and
then to genetic systems in plant development. Seeking always to understand
developmental regulation, it is not surprising that she developed a new concept,
namely target cells as mediators of development. These are cells that become
sensitized to respond to autonomous regulatory signals. They were the central
focus of her book, published last year with M. T. McManus, titled "Hormones,
Signals and Target Cells and Plant Development".
Daphne was always an exciting and provocative source of inventive experiments.
It is no wonder that she was so sought after, and will be so missed in the
- A. Carl Leopold, Boyce Thompson Institute of Plant Research,
UN Who's Who of Women and the Environment
Professor Anitra Thorhaug is a scientist and advocate for restoring the
earth who has influenced the protection of marine and coastal shallow-water
habitats in the Americas
, Asia, Africa and several island nations.
Professor Thorhaug has elucidated toxic levels of pollutants through field
and laboratory experimentation and helped nations around the world to set
scientific standards to eliminate a series of pollutants. She invented the
first large-scale seagrass restoration process in the early 1970s to combat
habitat pollution effects.
Having organized the first saltwater bay restoration effort in the world
for Biscayne Bay, in Florida
, she taught the methods to many nations as well the coastal zone management
principals of restoration. She taught science, policy, long-term planning
and advocacy of coastal protection of living resources to nations in Africa,
the Americas, and
Asia and the Pacific.
Professor Thorhaug's academic career includes faculty positions in leading
Universities in the USA
University of Miami
, and Florida
University). Currently, she is researching remote
sensing of coastal tropical pollution at Yale, and serves as Chair of Physiology
of the Botanical Society of America, President of the USA Club of Rome, and
is a member of the International Club of Rome.
She is author of 10 scientific books plus hundreds of scientific papers.
She has led scientific exchange delegations to Asia, Africa and the former
. Her work has focused attention on series of critical issues: for example,
on thermal and salinity pollution, heavy metals and radioactivity contamination,
oil spill clean-up, pollution in specific nations, and on "The Future of
the American Hemisphere".
Her consulting career includes United Nations Agencies (UNEP, FAO, IOC,
UNDP), many national governments, and industry,
where she has been influential in alleviating pollution as well as protecting
and restoring near-shore resources.
Professor Thorhaug remains active in the restoration of coastal ecosystems.
She planted a very large seagrass meadow in the Laguna Madre in
Texas, the only bay shared by developed and developing
nations. 75 acres have been sucessfully planted. She has also begun planting
corals on sand where they have been killed.
She has planted a great many marshes, mangroves, and seagrasses in the
heavily used, but damaged Florida Parks, and was on the Florida Governor's
advisory committee to examine the effects of the restoration of the everglades
in Florida on bays, particularly
Biscayne Bay. This was almost a year's work with intense public
debate between agencies doing the planning of various parts. It was a 25-year-later
add-on to her book Biscayne Bay Past, Present and Future. Biscayne Bay was
the first major bay in the
USA to have a complete intensive examination
by scientists, government and citizens followed a plan of action.
Bobbi Angell, Botanical Illustrator, receives Jill Smythies Award
Ms. Bobbi Angell received the 2006 Jill Smythies Award of the Linnean Society
of London at their annual meeting held on 24 May. The judges unanimously
chose Bobbi from this year's field of several strong candidates. She is the
first American to be so honored.
This Award was established in 1988 by the late Mr. Bill Smythies Hon FLS
in honor of his wife Florence Mary Smythies ("Jill") whose career as a botanical
artist was cut short by an accident to her right hand. The rubric states
that the award "is for published illustrations, such as drawings or paintings,
in aid of plant identification, with the emphasis on botanical accuracy and
the accurate portrayal of diagnostic characteristics."
Bobbi received a bachelor's degree in botany from the
University of Vermont
in 1977 and began her career as a botanical illustrator at The New York Botanical
Garden the following year. Her first project was creating illustrations for
the multi-volume Intermountain Flora under the direction of Dr. Noel
Cobaea scandens Cav., published in Flowering
Plants of the Neotropics (Nathan Smith et al.)
also p 103
Over the last 25 years, her illustrations have reached a broad popular
audience through the New York Times weekly gardening column, two books
based on different compilations of these columns, and notecards with water-color
portraits of endangered species sold by the Center for Plant Conservation.
Her primary focus, however, has been to illustrate scholarly
works with pen and ink drawings. Her botanical training, keen observational
skills, and artistic sensibility result in illustrations that are not only
scientifically accurate but also beautifully composed, even when they are
reconstructions of flattened dried specimens. The clarity of the microscopic
details that usually escape the naked eye are
a boon for identification. Many people go directly to illustrations rather
than to keys and descriptions, and those who use a flora illustrated by Bobbi
find that a picture truly is worth a thousand words.
Publications illustrated completely or mostly with her drawings are:
Intermountain Flora, Vols. 2B, 3A, 3B (Holmgren et al. 2005, Cronquist
et al. 1997, Barneby 1989), Vines and Climbing Plants of Puerto Rico and
the Virgin Islands (Acevedo-Rodriguez 2005), Flora of St. John
(Acevedo-Rodriguez 1996), Guide to Vascular Plants of Central French Guiana,
Part 2: Dicotyledons (Mori et al. 2002), Flowering Plants of the Neotropics
(Smith et al. 2003), and the Flora Neotropica Monograph of Meliococceae
(Sapindaceae) (Acevedo-Rodriguez 2003). Each of these books is worth
contemplating for the pleasure of the illustrations alone.
She has drawn more than 2400 plant species, including c. 1000
neotropical ones. Admiring taxonomists have named three species in
her honor: Potentilla angelliae N. H. Holmgren, Mezia angelica
W. R. Anderson, and Macrocarpaea angelliae J. R. Grant & Struwe.
Unaware of the authors' intentions, Bobbi illustrated each.
American Philosophical Society, RESEARCH PROGRAMS
All information and forms for all of the Society's programs can be downloaded
from our website, http://www.amphilsoc.org
. Click on the "Fellowships and Research Grants" tab at the top of the homepage.
New this year:
1. It is now possible to submit applications electronically to the
Franklin, Lewis and Clark, Phillips,
and Sabbatical programs.
2. The Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Field Research in Astrobiology
is accepting applications. The American Philosophical Society and the NASA
Astrobiology Institute have partnered to promote the continued exploration
of the world around us through a new program of research grants in support
of astrobiological field studies undertaken by graduate students and by post-doctoral
and junior scientists and scholars. Grants will depend on travel costs but
will ordinarily be in the range of several hundred dollars to about $5,000.
3. Sabbatical Fellowship applicants should have received the Ph.D.
no later than 1999 and no earlier than 1986. The last financially supported
leave should not have been subsequent to September 1, 2004. Writing samples
INFORMATION about ALL PROGRAMS
Awards are made for non-commercial research only. The Society makes no
grants for academic study or classroom presentation, for travel to conferences,
for non-scholarly projects, for assistance with translation, or for the preparation
of materials for use by students. The Society does not pay overhead or indirect
costs to any institution or costs of publication.
Applicants may be residents of the
United States or American
citizens resident abroad. Foreign nationals whose research can only
be carried out in the
United States are eligible. Grants are
made to individuals; institutions are not eligible to apply. Requirements
for each program vary.
Grants and fellowships are taxable income, but the Society is not required
to report payments. It is recommended that grant and fellowship recipients
discuss their reporting obligations with their tax advisors.
Questions concerning the FRANKLIN
, LEWIS AND CLARK, PHILLIPS, and SABBATICAL programs should be directed to
Linda Musumeci, Research Administrator, at
LMusumeci@amphilsoc.org or 215-440-3429.
Questions concerning the LIBRARY RESIDENT Research Fellowships should
be directed to J. J. Ahern, Assistant Manager of Technical Services and Programs,
at email@example.com or 215-440-3443.
BRIEF INFORMATION about INDIVIDUAL PROGRAMS
Franklin Research Grants
This is a program of small grants to scholars intended to support the
cost of research leading to publication in all areas of knowledge. The
Franklin program is particularly designed to help
meet the cost of travel to libraries and archives for research purposes;
the purchase of microfilm, photocopies or equivalent research materials;
the costs associated with fieldwork; or laboratory research expenses.
Applicants are expected to have a doctorate or to have published work
of doctoral character and quality. Pre-doctoral graduate students are not
eligible, but the Society is especially interested in supporting the work
of young scholars who have recently received the doctorate.
From $1,000 to $6,000.
October 1, December 1; notification in February and
Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration
and Field Research
The Lewis and Clark Fund encourages exploratory
field studies for the collection of specimens and data and to provide the
imaginative stimulus that accompanies direct observation. Applications are
invited from disciplines with a large dependence on field studies, such as
archeology, anthropology, astrobiology and space science, biology, ecology,
geography, geology, linguistics, and paleontology, but grants will not be
restricted to these fields.
Grants will be available to doctoral who wish to participate in field studies
for their dissertations or for other purposes. Master's candidates and undergraduates
are not eligible.
Grants will depend on travel costs but will ordinarily be in the range
of several hundred dollars to about $5,000.
March 15; notification in June.
American Philosophical Society
104 S. Fifth Street
Symposia, Conferences, Meetings
"50 Years of the Phytochemical Society of Europe
50 Years of the Phytochemical Society of Europe
Highlights in the Evolution of Phytochemistry
11 _ 14 April, 2007
Abstract submission deadline:
27 October 2006
Phytochemical Society of Europe
Elsevier, publisher of the journal Phytochemistry
Phillipa Fletcher, PSE50 Conference Secretariat, Bregor, Winter Lane,
West Hanney, Nr. Wantage, Oxon
Tel: +44 (0) 1235 868811
Fax: +44 (0) 1235 227322
ROCK ON! Celebrating Stone in the Garden the ultimate art and nature event
of Autumn, 2006
ART IN NATURE EXHIBIT - `ROCK ON! Celebrating
Stone in the Garden.'
New England Wild Flower Society's Garden in the Woods features 37 stone
sculptures by top New England artists in
a glorious 45-acre garden setting now through October 15. Sculptural
and environmental works by Curtis, Hoffman, Kuyper, Mazur, Phillips, Rudnicki,
Stanley, and Wheelwright surrounded by 1,500 wildflower species and cultivars
on garden trails and in natural areas. Fruits, foliage, and berries highlight
the season. Make your own sculptures at the interactive mini-sculpture park.
RAIN OR SHINE. Special events run throughout the show, check
www.newfs.org for schedule. The show is included FREE with admission.
Wild Flower Society's Garden in the Woods,
180 Hemenway Road, Framingham
, MA. (508) 877-7630.
1,500 native plant species on display including 200 rare
and endangered species.
SPECIAL ROCK ON EVENTS
September 16-17 - ROCK ON! ROCK FEST 12-4
Bring your instruments and have a ROCK JAM
with kids of all ages. Whether you are a ROCK musician or play acoustically,
come raise up your sound at the New England Wild
Flower Society. Walk the ROCK ON trail, take a ROCK scavenger hunt, and meet
`GRANNY GRANITE' a costumed rock with lots of stories. Make a
to take home and learn about STONE in the HOME LANDSCAPE. Fall is a great
time to plant trees and shrubs-take some home for planting now for winter
interest. Make your own ROCK ART at the sculpture mini-park and
October 15 - ROCK ON! FALL FAMILY FESTIVAL IS FREE
12-4 Join us for a grand farewell to
ROCK ON! Take a
fall scavenger hunt, say goodbye to GRANNY GRANITE, and discover treasures
in the fall garden. Make your last pieces in the ROCK ON interactive sculpture
mini-park. Now is a great time to select your nature programs for the year
from the New England Wild Flower Society Fall/Winter course catalog to stay
in touch with nature and the outdoors throughout the seasons.
Credit: New England
Wild Flower Society/Tom Smarr
Caption: "Portal" by Chris Curtis at ROCK
ON! calls our attention to the natural world-and
Help Wanted Ancient Trees Website
I am building a website, which will focus on the ancient trees of the
. The Woodland Trust in the
UK states: "The term ancient tree is one
that is not capable of precise definition but it encompasses trees defined
by three guiding principles:
·trees of interest biologically, aesthetically or culturally because
of their age
·trees in the ancient stage of their life
·trees that are old relative to others of the same species"
Ancient trees are known from Canada
, the United States,
Mexico and Brazil
, among other countries in the
Americas and often elicit considerable interest
from the public. This interest can be used to help conserve individual trees
such as the Árbol del Tule in
and tracts of land such as the Sequoia
National Forest in
California. My aim is to make the website a clearing
house for information on ancient trees: ecology, conservation, culture/history,
education etc. I am currently looking for contributions in the form of short
articles, photographs, artwork etc. This will be a sister site to the UK
Ancient Tree Forum:
For further information, please contact Chris Briand (
firstname.lastname@example.org), Department of Biological Sciences,
Some Biogeography and Biography on the Web
Below are several (noncommercial) educational websites developed by Dr.
Charles Smith that fall generally within the realm of
The Alfred Russel Wallace Page
http://www.wku.edu/~smithch/index1.htm Materials on and by the
English naturalist and social critic (1823-1913), including bibliographies,
lists, commentaries, a biography, and the full-text of hundreds of his writings.
Early Classics in Biogeography, Distribution, and Diversity Studies: To
An enhanced bibliography of historical sources in biogeography and related
fields, with links to biographical information and the full-text of many
of the sources listed.
Early Classics in Biogeography, Distribution, and Diversity Studies: 1951-1975
http://www.wku.edu/~smithch/biogeog/index2.htm A continuation of
the preceding site covering the literature from 1951 to 1975.
Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists: Chrono-Biographical
A collection of over 250 short biographical sketches of the main
figures in the history of biogeography and related fields, sorted by name,
nationality, and subject.
All of these items have had OCLC WorldCat records established for them,
so notice of their existence could also easily be added to any institution's
electronic catalog of holdings.
Charles H. Smith, Ph.D., Professor of Library Public Services,
Brooklyn Botanic Garden Science Research Interns Win Grand
Prize in National Science Research Contest
Brooklyn, NY—July 7, 2006—Brooklyn Botanic Garden science research
interns, Shadae Dixon and Thinlay Dolma, juniors at Brooklyn Academy of Science
and the Environment (BASE), won first prize in the high-school age bracket
and grand prize overall from iScienceProject, a national science competition
established to involve students (K-12) and teachers in projects that stimulate
interest in science. The students captured the coveted grand prize
title for their project titled "Thermogenic Temperature
In addition, due to climate variation over the study, cold weather and snow
may have also affected the flowers. Measurements of Skunk
Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) Spadicies and Magnolia (
Magnolia x loebneri `Merrill') Flowers. Ms.
Dixon and Ms. Dolma are enrolled in a new program at BBG that allows high
school students to work with scientists from the Garden on challenging research
The objective of their study was to determine if skunk cabbage and magnolia
trees in North America are thermogenic (i.e.
produce their own heat), and—if they are thermogenic—to study the heating
pattern. The students hypothesized that these plants are thermogenic, in order
to help volatize and disperse odors to attract pollinators, and also as protection
from frost. Using very fine and sensitive temperature sensors to measure
the floral temperature of the two plants thought to be thermogenic, Ms. Dixon
and Ms. Dolma recorded temperature measurements of a skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus
Foetidusi) and magnolia (Magnolia x loebneri `Merrill')
at Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
Their results indicated that the skunk cabbage did produce heat, and they
found that the female inflorescences of the skunk cabbage produced more heat
than the male. The results of the magnolia flower study showed no difference
between the ambient air and the temperature of the flower. The students theorized
that no heat was detected either because the magnolia they studied is a temperate,
hybrid species that does not produce heat, or its flowers were not at the
female stage, during which most heat is produced.
Shadae Dixon and Thinlay Dolma set up data
loggers in the Native Flora Garden at
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Both Ms. Dixon and Ms. Dolma hope to enter pre-medicine programs in college
after graduating from Brooklyn Academy of Science and the Environment. Launched
in September 2003, BASE is a New
High School developed by
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
and Prospect Park Alliance in collaboration with New York City Department
of Education and New Visions for Public Schools. BASE was developed to take
full advantage of the extensive natural and educational resources of BBG
Developmental and Structural
An Introduction to Plant Structure
. Beck, Charles B - Marshall Sundberg.............98
The Geographic Mosaic Theory
John N. Thompson. - Root Gorelick.........................100
Crop Ferality and Volunteerism.
Gressel, Jonathan, ed - Dorothea Bedigian........................................101
Eden: The Paradox of Plant Diversity
. Silvertown, Jonathan.- Marshall Sundberg..........102
Gardens of New Spain, How Mediterranean Plants
and Foods Changed America
William D. -Sara Sundberg.............................................................................................................................102
Inspiration and Translation
:Botanical and Horticultural Lithographs of Joseph Prestele and Sons
. White, James J., Jugene B. Bruno and Susan H. Fugate.
- Linda Jennings............................................103
Native Costa Rican Orchids.
Vol. 1. Acianthera-Kegeliella
F. Pupulin and collaborators - Joseph Arditti......................................................................................................................................105
Wild Orchids of
. 4th and Expanded Edition.
Nantiya Vaddhanaphuti.- Tim Wing Yam and Joseph
An Introduction to Plant Structure and Development.
Beck, Charles B. 2005. ISBN 0-521-83704-5 (Cloth
US$55.55) 431 pp. Cambridge
40 West 20th Street, New York
, NY 10011-4211
"My objective has been to prepare a new plant anatomy textbook for a new
century, incorporating the best research in the most active and significant
areas with the widely accepted common knowledge that provides the foundation
of the field. Only you the readers can decide if I have succeeded." It is
this readers judgment that Beck has produced the legitimate successor to
the "the little Esau (1977)" for use in undergraduate plant anatomy courses.
His text is a very readable treatment of developmental plant anatomy that
highlights the excitement of the field today.
A particular strength of this text is that it identifies current controversy,
and presents counter arguments from different schools of thought, documenting
these issues with an extensive list of references and further readings at
the end of each chapter. All of the major secondary sources are cited, but
the end-of-chapter references are mostly to current primary literature. For
instance, chapter two begins by contrasting two perspectives on the origin
of multicellularity. The organismal theory, championed by Kaplan and Hagemann
(1991) is posited as an alternative to the traditional cellular theory of
the development of plant multicellularity. The significance of the presence
or absence of plasmodesmata and the extent of the symplast is stressed throughout
A second area of interesting debate occurs in the sections on transport
mechanisms in both the chapter on xylem and the phloem chapter. We are all
familiar with the cohesion-tension theory of water movement, but what about
Canny's (2001) compensating pressure theory? And what kind of support (no
pun intended) does xylem anatomy provide to these competing views? In the
phloem we are all familiar with the pressure-flow hypothesis, but what about
Spanner's(1974) electroosmosis theory. Again,
anatomy must be considered in evaluating the merits of both. Of historical
interest is the discussion of "slime" and p-protein and the controversy over
how much, if any, of the latter is an artifact of preparation.
Beck's work, and that of his students, bridges the span of extinct and
extant vascular plants. He uses this expertise to provide an evolutionary
framework to plant structure and development. While the main focus of the
book is on flowering plants, and gymnosperms to a lesser degree, Beck does
not ignore the ferns and fern allies, and their fossil forms, where they
can provide clarity to the story he tells. I found myself making notes to
refer back to the next time I teach plant kingdom.
Of course much of the excitement and many of the significant discoveries
in modern plant anatomy have to do with the cytockeleton and molecular control
of development. In each chapter current research in the area, using modern
techniques, is summarized and integrated into the classical descriptive anatomy.
Again, the extensive citations of primary literature at the end of each chapter
illuminate the path for further study for those who are interested.
The text is 100 pages shorter than Esau (1977) or Mauseth (1988) and the
format is single column, 2/3 page width vs double column in both earlier volumes.
Beck does not provide the "coverage" of either of these earlier works. There
are not separate chapters on cell types and simple tissues and flowers, fruits,
and seeds, the subjects of five chapters in Esau and three in Mauseth, are
covered in a final chapter on reproduction and the origin of the sporophyte.
Beck acknowledges that some "…subjects may not be as fully covered as some
teachers and researchers would desire…" but again, the necessary literature
is cited, particularly secondary literature for these major areas. Beck has
done an admirable job of identifying the key concepts underlying plant structure
and development and developing these concepts in depth and clarity _ a much
more difficult and useful task than simply providing encyclopedic information.
I did have some disappointments with the text. While the quality of line
drawings was excellent, some photomicrographs were poorly reproduced and/or
illustrations were poorly labeled. For instance, only one of the two contact
parastichies are indicated in Fig. 7.14 and fig. 7.5 will be difficult to
interpret, for those not familiar with representing sympodial branching of
stem vasculature in a single plane, because the corresponding sectional diagrams
include separated leaves containing a bundle that are not the bundle-containing
leaf bases indicated by a triangle in the plane view. While most technical
terms were bold faced the first time used, and there is an extensive glossary,
occasionally terms were not defined, eg., versiculate
(pp 43 and 146). Finally, a personal peave. Why
is "provascular tissue" consistently substituted (with one exception) for
"procambium" throughout the text?
The obvious audience for this book is undergraduate students of plant structure
and development. It will provide them with the basic background of traditional
descriptive anatomy yet excite them with the power of the modern techniques
currently being employed in the field. The less obvious audience is any professional
botanist trained a dozen or more years ago who is responsible for teaching
introductory botany. So much is changing and much of it is summarized in
-Marshall D. Sundberg, Department of Biology,
, KS 66801
Canny, M.J. 2001.
Contributions to the debate on water transport. Am. J. Bot. 88:43-46.
Esau, Katherine. 1977. Anatomy of Seed
Plants, 2nd ed.
New York: John Wiley and Sons.
Mauseth, James D. 1988.
Plant Anatomy. Menlo
Park, CA: The Benjamin/Cummings
Spanner, D.C. 1974.
The electro-osmotic theory. In S. Arnoff et al.,
eds., Phloem Transport, NATO Advanced Study Institute, Series A-4.
: Plenum Press, pp. 563-584.
The Geographic Mosaic Theory of Coevolution. John N. Thompson.
2005. Cloth $75.00 (ISBN 0-226-79761-9); Paper $28.00 (ISBN 0-226-79762-7).
John Thompson has provided an updated version of his sensible theory on
coevolution. He intentionally only covers new ground since his previous books
(1982, 1994). All three volumes are necessary reading for anybody interested
His latest book is incredibly detailed. He reviews a myriad of empirical
studies on coevolutionary processes amongst populations. This includes reproduction
of the data graphics from many seminal works, especially Craig Benkman's
work on interactions between crossbills, conifers, and red squirrels, and
the Brodies' work on garter snakes and Taricha newts. In many ways,
Thompson's latest book is reminiscent of Mary Jane West-Eberhard's magnum
opus Evolutionary Developmental Plasticity, except that Thompson is
not quite so exhaustive, especially in his index. Thompson demonstrates expertise
and interest in all life forms, including plant-animal interactions. Thus,
we see his own botanical work. Thompson takes
particular pains in laying out many testable hypotheses arising from his
geographic mosaic theory of coevolution, thereby providing research ideas
for an entire generation of empirical biologists.
This book also shines in presenting gorgeous theoretical work supporting
the geographic mosaic theory of coevolution, theory developed by his Pullman/Moscow
colleagues Dick Gomulkiewicz and Scott Nuismer. The marriage of theory and
detailed empirical work is wonderful.
One peculiarity of this book is that the concise one-sentence
summary of the book's topic apparently does not appear until chapter six,
i.e. a quarter of the way through the book. At this juncture, we learn that
the geographic mosaic theory of coevolution is nothing more than the statement
that evolution acts on populations, and not species. This was the classic
Fisher-Wright debate of whether or not populations are panmictic. Realizing
the importance of populations removed the typological view of species from
evolutionary biology. Yet, Thompson is correct in pointing out that much work
on coevolution maintains the erroneous typological view of the importance
of species…as does much work in macroevolution. His book goes far in dispelling
the anachronistic view that, in evolution, species matter more than populations.
He persistently reminds us that evolution does not equal speciation. He persistently
reminds us that evolution, including coevolution, can be rapid. Evolution
can and does occur on ecological time scales. His geographic mosaic theory
places coevolution firmly within the purview of evolutionary ecology.
Thompson is relentless is stating that coevolution occurs at the population
level. He points out that individuals and populations are often not
generalists, even if the species appears to be. Say that a given plant population
is only be pollinated by one or a few species of insect, yet different populations
of this plant species are pollinated by different insects. Many biologists
would have deemed this plant species to be a generalist with respect to pollination,
and ignored the fact that each population consists purely of specialists.
Analogously, it would be erroneous to say that humans are generalists with
respect to languages because, world-wide, humans speak thousands of languages.
In fact, each population tends to be very much of a specialist with respect
to number of languages spoken. The main message of this book is that coevolution
is very much a local (population-level) ecological phenomenon. And, if we
are to understand coevolution, we must dig down to the details of dynamics
of many interacting multi-species meta-communities.
I believe Thompson has primarily presented a Wrightian view of coevolution
(although, based on pages 133-134 of his book, Thompson would disagree with
this assertion). If we envision evolution as temporal changes in allele frequencies
within a population, then coevolution are the changes in the joint distribution
of allele frequencies across populations across both space and time. This
can be thought of as a generalized from of epistasis, where the interacting
alleles are not confined to a single individual, but can be between multiple
species. Alleles from other species form part of the genetic background of
a focal individual. Such a generalized, multi-species view of epistasis admittedly
does not yet exist. There has been no real theory developed to support this
generalized Wrightian view of coevolution. Yet, I suspect it is a theoretical
direction that will place coevolution firmly within the modern neo-Darwinian
The book ends with a chapter on humans, which seems to be a modern publisher's
requirement for all books on evolution. Compared with the rest of the book,
this is a relatively weak chapter. For example, Thompson seems surprised
at there being a geographically large coevolutionary cold spot between corn
(Zea mays) and corn smut (Ustilago maydis; huitlacoche) with
human cultivation. He implicitly assumes that humans highly value corn and
greatly deplore corn smut. Yet many people in southern
Mexico highly value both organisms in their
diet (Ruiz-Herrera & Martínez-Espinoza 1998 Internatl Microbiol
). Thus humans impose a geographic mosaic on the three-way interaction between
corn, corn smut, and humans. But this is a minor complaint and the last chapter
can largely be ignored as window dressing.
Read this book. Savor the intricate details and appreciate the marriage
of nascent data with nascent theory. If the devil is
in the details, then this book will certainly please.
- Root Gorelick,
Crop Ferality and Volunteerism. Gressel, Jonathan, ed. 2005. ISBN
0-8493-2895-0 (Cloth US$ 169.95) 422pp. CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Group,
6000 Broken Sound Parkway, NW, Suite 300, Boca Raton, FL. 33487-2742.
Crop Ferality and Volunteerism is a magnificent original contribution concerning
one of the significant new botanical challenges of our age. A workshop titled
"Crop Ferality and Volunteerism: a threat to Food Security in the Transgenic
Era?" sponsored by the OECD Cooperative Research Program and hosted by the
Rockefeller Foundation Conference Center in Ballagio, Italy, from May 24-28,
2004 formed the foundation for this book. Growing public concerns due to
the increasing territory of commercial cultivation of transgenic plants motivated
the workshop's subject.
The editor's Foreword states that transgenic plants were grown on more
than 60 million hectares in 2004 and expected to increase in the future. Volunteerism
is well known in the daily practice of agriculture, and ferality is usually
neglected. Only plant breeders are well aware of ferality due to their experiences
based on long-term selection efforts. The phenomena of volunteerism and ferality
have to be considered in this transgenic era especially in relation to gene
flow. Since no one is performing research related to ferality per se
, the inquiry was addressed by convening those world experts who are most
actively working in related fields. It was anticipated that on the basis
of their recent findings, the scientific community would be able to find
out whether trangenics are different in this context from normally cultivated
As this information is otherwise unavailable in depth,
it was decided to collate the information into a book. Accordingly, the logistical
preparation was exceptional: chapters in this book were peer-reviewed prior
to the workshop. The questions and answers in the long discussions that followed
every presentation were recorded. Each author was given the prerogative of
either including the issues and answers from the discussion directly as part
of the revised text or including them at the end of the chapter in a separate
For the duration of my reading I had the flashback of sitting at the Crop
Evolution Laboratory's conference table having conversations with Jack R.
Harlan and J.M.J. de Wet and their numerous visitors. This volume draws from
those foundations. Suzanne Warwick and C. Neal Stewart's authoritative opening
chapter about three principal paths of weed evolution is launched with a
quote from Harlan and de Wet. Titled Crops Come from Wild Plants _ How Domestication,
Transgenes, and Linkage Together Shape Ferality,
it defines essential terminology -  plant domestication  weediness
and  ferality. A table recognizes comparisons among the three groups:
crop, weed, and wild, by means of a series of genetic traits. The characteristics
of weediness and domestication traits are explored thoroughly. Each succeeding
chapter describes those phenomena probing our foremost food crops.
Since, during the discussions it became apparent that there were other
cases of ferality or instances where ferality might become an issue, a special
chapter (15) was added by participants and/or was commissioned after the workshop.
This multi-authored chapter, Issues of Ferality or Potential for Ferality
in Oats, Olives, the Vigna group, Ryegrass species, Safflower and
Sugarcane appends the vast array of measures plants have used to evolve ferality.
Contributors with exceptional credentials were brought together to inform
one another about the world's major crops and their wild and weedy relatives.
The result is both scholarly and inspirational. The usual drawback of multi-authored
volumes is absent here, thanks to skillful editing and extraordinary groundwork.
This book will appeal to a wide variety of readers. Those interested in
theoretical aspects of plant domestication as well as persons with applied
interests e.g. assessing the environmental risks of transgenic volunteer
weeds, the potential economic damage by feral crops, will profit from this
book. I find the contents extremely thought provoking as a primer in consideration
of my own monographic revision of the genus Sesamum and its various
forms: crop, weed and wild.
The book is carefully edited, and each chapter is comprehensive
and well referenced. However, one feature followed in this volume as with
other CRC publications, is the custom of placing sources cited only by a
number in (parentheses) (sic), without giving author name(s)! It is
irksome to this reader, who is unable to find out in context what the source
of information is without, each time, the additional tedious, time-consuming
step of searching for that person responsible at the end of the chapter.
, Missouri Botanical Garden,
Demons in Eden
: The Paradox of Plant Diversity. Silvertown, Jonathan. 2005. ISBN 0-226-75771-4
(Cloth US$25.00) 169 pp. The
University of Chicago
Press, 1427 East 60th Street
, Chicago, IL
How does plant diversity evolve and why does it persist? What allows some
plants to occasionally escape their natural limitations and form new species,
thereby increasing diversity and what limits the invasiveness of newly formed
species, thus decreasing diversity? These are the broad questions Silvertown
addresses in this deceivingly small and thoroughly engaging volume. In less
than 150 pages of text, the author develops some of the major ideas of contemporary
plant ecology and evolutionary biology, through personal narrative and historical
story telling. Each of the ten chapters concentrates on one or two major
concepts illustrated by the plants of a specific locality and in each case
key figures, both historical and contemporary, are introduced as their contributions
are highlighted. Such an interesting, enjoyable, and educational read!
The story begins in the Princess of Wales Conservatory at
. Ten different tropical zones are represented that highlight the biodiversity
of earth, convergent evolution, and adaptation. The author's narration was
a guided tour of the glasshouse and I found myself recalling my visit and
wondering how many of the subtleties he was describing did I notice at the
time? If you've not been there, the single plate provided matches part of
the word picture being painted by the author _ almost a slide show. This
engaging style is used throughout the book. If you've been to any of the
locations described by the author, his descriptions will elicit memories
- - if not, by the end of the chapter you'll feel like you've been there!
The purpose of the first chapter is to develop the concept of natural
selection and to raise an apparent paradox. If natural selection favors those
species that leave the most progeny, "Darwinian demons," while the progeny
of other species decline and eventually are lost, how can this generate diversity?
The rest of the book provides the answers, particularly with those demons
known as invasive species.
What are some of the concepts explored and who are some of the scientists
highlighted? Let me share just a few of my favorites. The work of Mark Chase
and his colleagues is used to explain phylogenetics and the role of molecular
biology in understanding evolutionary history. Some of the problems with
the grand concept of island biogeography are highlighted using the
Canary Islands. Steven Hubble, Dan Janzen and Joe Connell, and
the author provide alternative hypotheses to explain how
Island in the Panama Canal has virtually as many species
of native flowering plants as all of
England _ rare species are favored. The
Park Grass Experiment, now running for more than 150 years, provides evidence
for the role of atmospheric nitrogen pollution in the current loss of species
diversity. Finally, what is the threat from genetically modified plants?
"Will the Darwinian demons, held in check for so long by nature's laws, conquer
at last through human folly and indifference? They may, and in places they
already have; yet it is not too late for action."
Demons in Eden is an appropriate read for college freshmen - -
I will use it as one of my text-substitute readings the next time I teach
honors biology. It would also be a good outline for an upper division/graduate
seminar in plant ecology or evolutionary biology. The chapter-by-chapter
general sources and notes at the end of the book cite appropriate primary
literature, classic books, general sources and web sites. This slim volume
should be in every biologists library!
-Marshall D. Sundberg, Department of Biological Sciences,
Gardens of New Spain, How Mediterranean Plants and Foods Changed
America. Dunmire, William D.
2004. ISBN 0-292-70564-6 (Paper US$24.95) 375p
P.O. Box 7819, Austin,
William W. Dunmire vividly recreates the colors, tastes, and smells of
ordinary life in colonial New Spain as he describes the transmission and
mixing of food plants and food ways from old world Spain into the vegetative
and culinary new worlds of Spanish colonial North America. The author sets
the stage for the development of gardens in New Spain with rich descriptions
of the plant life and food culture of late fifteenth century
Mexico and the American southwest. He then
follows the travels of Spanish colonizers as they dispersed plants throughout
Spain's North American
colonies, creating "European plantways," through the Caribbean into
Mexico and, finally by the middle of the eighteenth
century, across the southern third of what would become the
The diffusion of the Mediterranean foods and tastes of Spanish colonizers
produced the possibility, for example, of mixed gardens in semi-arid places
like New Mexico and
Arizona that could feature figs, melons, oranges,
lettuce and anise alongside more traditional indigenous crops like corn.
Spanish colonist and missionaries combined their knowledge of Spanish
acequias, or irrigation ditches, with Indian canals to provide reliable
sources of water for their imported plants. It was, of course, not just the
gardens of New Spain that brought culinary
change but, also its pastures. The author also explains the significant impact
of the introduction of European domesticated livestock on the diets of the
indigenous peoples of New Spain.
New Spain was, indeed, a garden as Europeans
and Indians joined their plant and animal resources and their technologies
to produce a rich and distinctive agriculture. Dunmire concludes his narrative
with stories about present-day inhabitants in the Southwest to illustrate
both the persistence and blending of European and Indian and agricultural
and food cultures.
Dunmire is mindful that there is a less beneficial side to the diffusion
of plants and animals to
America, the introduction of weeds and new
diseases and overgrazing are just a few examples. That is not his focus.
Nor is it the author's intent to discuss impact of new world plants on old
world Spanish agriculture. Dunmire's focus is "Mediterranean crop and food
connections" that developed in Spanish colonial
America. He provides extensive tables, diagrams
and maps illustrating when, where and by which pathway foods arrived in
America. All of this is supplemented by
a useful bibliography. The author's geographic emphasis is
Mexico and what is, today, the American
southwest. Although historians of California
and the American southeast will be disappointed that there is not more information
about these areas, the study is an important reference source for the agricultural
history of New Spain. This study is also
a welcome addition to the social and cultural history of early North America
as it allows us to glimpse colonial and Native American farmers at home in
- Sara Sundberg,
Central Missouri State University,
Thunbergia grandiflora Sims, (by Bobbie
Angell) published in Vines and Climbing Plants of
Puerto Rico and the
Virgin Islands (Pedro
Inspiration and Translation:Botanical and Horticultural
Lithographs of Joseph Prestele and Sons. White, James
J., Jugene B. Bruno and Susan H. Fugate. 2005. ISBN 0-913196-80-0 (Paper
US$18.00) 84 pp Hunt Institute for Botanical Documantation,
5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh
, PA 15213
The Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation and the Special Collections
of the National Agricultural Library has done a great job of constructing
this book. The layout has details throughout, similar to the Prestele botanical
prints. This book shows off the Prestele families amazing talents as artist
and more. Included are not only their prints but essays giving the reader
insight into their religious community, the lithographic techniques they
used and the legacy the Prestele family has left to the botanical community,
along with many additional essays that add so much to their
The book itself came about as a chance happening to a Prestele descendent,
Mrs. Marcelee Konish, whose essay is also included in this book. Reading
a press release for an earlier Smithsonian Botanical Art exhibition, Mrs.
Konish approached the gallery, telling of the 150 colored lithographs she
inherited from her grandfather, a great grandson of Prestele, and viola,
an exhibition was born. Obviously a lot of time, interest and labor went
into putting this exhibition together to show the Prestele's family art work
to the public. The curators were also able to add so much more to the exhibition
about the Prestele's family's personal and professional life which is so
intrinsic to the history of early American botanical work.
The story tells of how this new found collection inspired an exhibition
and how the collection details were brought together. The curators have provided
the reader with an insight into the Prestele's community structure and religious
beliefs, as well as the relationship within the Prestele family. Included
is their connection to each other through their craft of lithography and
watercolors as it is incorporated into scientific discovery and documentation.
The curators were able to describe in detail about the different transactions
during projects, communication with illustrators, and movement of the lithographic
plates and prints. They also included detailed records of which family member
did what task during the different processes. Most importantly, the book
shows off the comprehensive reproductions of botanical illustrations that
truly capture the details of the plants, leaving the botanical and horticulture
sciences with a legacy of information and documentation on early discoveries
of United States
The Prestele family of artists, worked on numerous pieces for Asa Gray's
including Genera Florae Americae (1848) and the Pacific Railway survey's
(1855-1860) for the US Army. They also worked on the prints for The Mexican
boundary survey (1857-1859), the Great Salt Lake expedition (1852), and as
well as for countless nurserymen like James Vick of Rochester, who was the
publisher of the Horticulturist and a variety of well known botanical
illustrators. The curator were also able to share some of the prints that
were commissioned for early scientific works but never published, such as
Asa Gray's Forest Trees of North America Project (1849-1859). Many
other additional texts in the Prestele collection, which add to this story,
are shared in this book such as the first letter to Asa Gray inquiring about
employment and a letter to the great botanical illustrator Isaac Sprague
The curators were able to show how understanding what
makes a great collection is not just the individual pieces, but the
cross referencing to find the connections in their relationships. This constructs
a more complete story of the Prestele's impact on how we see the natural
world around us, and to look more closely at the details we have chosen to
use to categorize these plants. The connections between the pieces of the
collection, like a picture of Joseph's ledger opened to John Torrey's account
has been matched to one of the commissioned drawings, including a pencil
drawing by Joseph Prestele of Aster bigelovii. There were also descriptions
of the lithograph technique and a wonderful picture of a completed Acer
rubrium, including a picture of the lithographed stone with the final
print, colored to perfection by Joseph Prestele himself.
The Prestele's had an amazing eye for detail, which is another reason
why this book is so well thought out. The authors were able to include roughly
half of the exhibitions works into this small, compact book (7x10, 82 pages).
Included in the index are the account books of clients for Joseph as well
as one of his sons, Gottlieb's. An index of the exhibitions catalogue, and
where each piece is deposited, is also included. The only criticism of this
book is the indexing of the prints in the book, which go by the exhibition
number system and not how they are laid out in the book. It would also be
a nice addition to have included the literature cited.
Just about anyone can enjoy this book, for its botanical art and its scientific
tools of close observation captured in drawings, lithography, and watercolor.
It documents an important time in the history of American botany and hopefully
will inspire the reader to peruse the only other book in print about their
life, Drawn from Nature by Charles Van Ravenswaay.
Charles Van Ravenswaay 1984 Drawn from
Nature, The Botanical Art of Joseph Prestele and
His Sons. Smithsonian Institution Press,
-Linda Jennings, Collections Manager,
University of British Columbia
Vanishing Beauty. Native Costa Rican Orchids.
Vol. 1. Acianthera-Kegeliella
. F. Pupulin and collaborators (18 collaborators which include
most of the recognized specialists in neotropical
orchids are listed on pp 408-409). 2005. ISBN 9977-67-956-8 (Cloth) xxx+421
pp., numerous color photographs, 25×33 cm. Sistema Editorial y de Difusión
Cientifíca de la Investigación, Universidad de Costa Rica,
San Jose, Costa Rica.
One of the more beautiful books in my library is Géneros de Orquídeas
de Costa Rica by Rafael Lucas Rodríquez. It was published in 1986
and contains several hundred gorgeous paintings of Costa Rican orchids and
only a representation of a large collection painted between 1965 and 1981,
the time of Rodríquez's death. Now almost 20 years later the
University of Costa Rica
has published the first of three volumes which also show the beauty of Costa
Rican orchids, but this time as seen through the lens of Franco Pupulin with
text by himself and 18 other orchid experts from
Costa Rica, Germany
, Mexico, U. K., U. S
The book and the projected series are reminiscent of other great series
of books which illustrate, describe and celebrate the orchids of a country
or a region, as for example, Venezuelan Orchids Illustrated by G.
C. K. Dunsterville and L. A. Garay (mainly excellent line drawings), The
Native Orchids of Colombia by R. Escobar, The Native Ecuadorian Orchids
by C. H. Dodson (both with excellent color phorographs), Orchids of Malaya
by R. E. Holttum (mostly line drawings), The Orchids of Peninsular Malaysia
and Singapore by G. Siedenfadan and J. J. Wood (line drawings and color
photographs), Orchids of Java and Orchids of Sumatra (color
photographs) by J. Comber and the three volumes of Orchids of Borneo
(color photographs) by C. L. Chan, A. Lamb, P. S. Shim and J. J. Wood (Vol.
1), J. J. Vermeulen (vol 2) and J. J. Wood (vol. 3).
An excellent historical account by Franco Pupulin (Professor
of Botany at the University
of Costa Rica) and
Carlos Ossenbach (an architect who has become a very accomplished and excellent
historian of orchids in the region) is presented on pages XI-XXX. What makes
this chapter stand out is not only its exceptional scholarship but also photographs
of pre Colombian golden representations of Oncidium cebolleta, early
drawings and classical color paintings and drawings. This chapter is a pleasure
ro read and behold. My only quible is its pagination in Roman numerals which
suggests that it is somehow outside the main part of the book. For me at least
it is a major and very valuable part of the book and series. Pages 1-401are
devoted to photographs and descriptions of genera and species nu Pupulin
and the other experts. Descriptions are mostly for genera as a whole, but
species are also described. Cultivation requirements are also included. The
photographs are breath taking, often highly magnified and always reproduced
superbly. For example, the photograph of Chranichis diphylla on page
158 is magnified 20:1 with most of the flower in sharp focus.
Excellent paper and production complete what is
easily one of the best and most beautiful, informative and scholarly orchid
books to come across my desk in recent years. It is a book to have, a book
to give and most certainly and book to enjoy and learn from. I look forward
to volumes 2 and 3.
_ Joseph Arditti, Professor Emeritus,
University of California
Wild Orchids of Thailand
. 4th and Expanded Edition.
Nantiya Vaddhanaphuti. 2005 (but the
US publication date is given as 2006). ISBN
974-9575-80-6, [Paper 995 Baht ($26.04 in Thailand
) and $45 in the US
], xi+272 pp., 767 color photographs, one map, six × nine in. Silkworm
Books, Sukkasem, T. Suthep A. Muang, Chiang Mai 50200 in Thailand (www.silkwormbooks.info
) and University of Washington Press, P. O. Box 50096, Seattle, WA 98145-5096
in the US.
Much of what is currently known about the orchids of
Thailand is due to the life's work and publications
of the Danish diplomat and economist, Dr. Gunnar Siedenfaden (1908-2001).
Many years ago Dr. Seidenfaden told me over lunch in
Copenhagen that he started out to become a botanist, but gave
up on finding out that the requirements included knowing every plant in
Denmark. He became a diplomat instead and
served his country in Washington,
Moscow and elsewhere before finding himself in the Danish embassy
in Thailand, a country
which probably has more orchids than
Denmark has plants. He became an orchid
expert who despite being self taught and an amateur (the term is used here
in its old sense which means a person engaged in an occupation not for gain,
and is not the equivalent of "hobby" or "dilettante") was at the top of his
field. His publications are numerous and acknowledged by all experts as being
excellent, but they are in scientific journals and specialized publications.
Therefore popular books on the orchids of
Thailand like a previous one (Kamemoto and
Sagarik, 1975) and the present volume are needed.
The concept of this book is excellent. It presents short, but informative
descriptions and color photographs of 687 species (some illustrated twice).
It also includes 16 pictures of albino variants and 20 photographs of anomalies.
The photographs are a problem. Most are too small, not a few are blurry and
the color rendition is often not all that good. The result is a collection
of illustrations which suggests rather than shows how beautiful Thai orchids
A list of references concludes the book. It contains enough sources to
lead interested readers into the literature, but two important works are
missing, Eric Holttum's classic book on the orchids of Malaya, a country
which borders on Thailand and shares some orchids with it (Holttum, 1964;
there are several editions, this is the third) and Gunar Seidenfaden and
Tem Smitinand's preliminary list of Thai orchids (Seidenfaden and Smitinand,
This book is clearly aimed more at growers and the general public than
at scientists, but it uses scientific terms. Therefore, it should have included
a glossary. Another problem with terminology is the use of "pod" (p. ix)
to describe the orchid fruit which is actually a capsule.
Altogether this book does manage to serve its purpose, but could do so
much better if more attention was paid to the quality and size of photographs,
additional sources were included in the list of references and use and explanation
of language were better. The near doubling of the price by the
University of Washington Press
_Tim Wing Yam, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Cluny Road, Singapore and Joseph
Arditti, Professor Emeritus, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697.
Holttum, R. E. 1964.
A revised flora of Malaya.
I. Orchids of Malaya, 3rd ed
. Government Printing Office
Kamemoto, H., and
R. Sagarik. 1975. Beautiful
Thai orchid species. Aksornsampan Press,
Seidenfaden, G., and
T. Smitinand. 1959-1965.
The orchids of
Thailand. A preliminary list (in several
parts: I, II-1 and 2, III, IV-1 and 2). The
If you would like to review a book or books for PSB,
contact the Editor, stating the book of interest
the date by which it would be reviewed (15
15 April, 15 July or 15 October). E-mail
call, or write as soon as you notice the book of interest in this
list because they go quickly! - Editor
Argentine Chaco Forests: Dendrology, Tree Structure, and Economic Use.
2. The Humid Chaco. Encyclopedia of Plant
Anatomy volume 14, part 7. Roth, Ingrid and Ana-Maria
Giménez. 2006. ISBN 3-443-14028-9 (Cloth US$106.00) 204 pp.
Gebrüder Borntraeger, Johannestrasse 3 A, D-70176
Biology of Floral Scent. Dudareva, Natalia
and Eran Pichersky (eds) 2006. ISBN 0-8493-2283-9
(Cloth US$149.95) 346 pp. .
CRC Press/ Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. 6000 Broken Sound Parkway,
NW, Suite 300, Boca Raton, FL 33487.
Biology of the Plant Cuticle: Annual Plant Reviews, Volume 23. Riederer,
Markus and Caroline Müller (eds). 2006. ISBN
1-4051-3268-X (Cloth US$249.99) 384 pp. Blackwell Publishing Professional,
2121 State Avenue
, Amers, IA
Bupleurum Species: Scientific Evaluation and Clinical Applications
. Pan, Sheng-Li. 2006. ISBN
0-8493-9265-9 (Cloth US$99.95) 257 pp. CRC Press/ Taylor & Francis Group,
LLC. 6000 Broken Sound Parkway, NW, Suite 300, Boca Raton, FL 33487.
Characterization of the Cellulosic Cell Wall
. Stokke, Douglas and Leslie Groom (eds
.). 2006. ISBN 0-8138-0439-6 (Cloth US$149.99) 352 pp. Blackwell Publishing
Professional, 2121 State Avenue
, Ames, IA.
Control of Primary Metabolism in Plants: Annual Plant Reviews, Volume
22. Plaxton, William C. and Michael T. McManus.
2006. (Cloth US$219.99) 400 pp. Blackwell Publishing Professional,
2121 State Avenue, Amers,
CRC World Dictionary of Grasses: Common Names, Scientific
Names, Eponyms, Synonyms, and Etymology (3 volumes). Quattrocchi,
Umberto. 2006. ISBN 0-8493-1303-1 (Cloth US$650.00) 2383 pp. CRC Press/ Taylor
& Francis Group, LLC. 6000 Broken Sound Parkway, NW, Suite 300, Boca
Raton, FL 33487.
Ecology of Phytoplankton. Reynolds,
Colin. 2006. ISBN 0-521-60519-9 (Paper US$80.00) 535 pp.
Press, 40 West 20th
Street, New York,
The Ecology of Plants, 2nd ed. Gurevitch,
Jessica, Samuel M. Scheiner, and Gordon A. Fox. 2006. ISBN 0-87893-294-1
(Cloth US$96.95) 518 pp. Sinauer Associates,
P.O. Box 407, Sunderland,
An Enthusiasm for Orchids: Sex and Deception in Plant Evolution.
Alcock, John. 2006. ISBN 0-19-518274-X. (Cloth
US$) 302 pp.
Press, 198 Madison Avenue
, New York, NY
Flowering and its Manipulation: Annual Plant Reviews, Volume 20.
Ainsworth, Charles (ed). 2006. ISBN 1-4051-2808-9
(Cloth US$199.99) 352 pp. Blackwell Publishing Professional,
2121 State Avenue, Amers,
Fusarium Laboratory Manual.
Leslie, John and Brett Summerell. 2006. ISBN 0-8138-1919-9 (Paper
US$124.99) 400pp. Blackwell Publishing Professional,
2121 State Avenue, Amers,
Handbook of Seed Science and Technology. Basra
, Amarjit S. 2006. ISBN 1-56022-315-4 (Paper US$94.95) 796 pp Food Products
Press, 10 Alice Street
, Binghamton, NY
Illustrated Flora of East Texas, Volume
One, Introduction, Pteridophytes, Gymnosperms, Monocotyledons.
Diggs, George M. Jr., Barney L. Lipscomb, Monique D. Reed, and Robert J.
O'Kennon. 2006. ISBN 1-889878-12-X (Cloth US$89.95) 1594 pp. Botanical
Research Institute of Texas, 509 Pecan Street, Suite 101, Fort Worth, TX
Landscape Ecological Vegetation Map of the
Island of Bonaire
De Freitas, J.A., B.S.J.Nijhof, A.C. Rojer & A.O. Debrot. 2006.
ISBN 90-6984-452-4 (Paper US$42.00) 64 pp and 2 large included maps. Edita
Publishers, Distributed by The
University of Chicago
Press, 1427 E. 60th
Native Treasures: Gardening with the Plants of
California. Smith, M. Nevin. 2006. ISBN 0-520-24425-7
(Paper US$24.95) 288 pp. University of
2121 Berkeley Way, Berkeley,
Physiology of Crop Production: Fageria, N.K.,
V.C. Baligar, and R.B. Clark. 2006. ISBN 1-56022-289-1 (Paper US$49.95) 345
pp. Food Products Press, 10
Alice Street, Binghamton,
Plant Breeding: The Arnel R. Hallauer International Symposium. Lamkey,
Kendall R. and Michael Lee(eds.) 2006. ISBN 0-8138-2824-4
(Cloth US$149.99) 392 pp. Blackwell Publishing Professional,
2121 State Avenue, Ames,
Plant Physiology, 4th ed. Taiz,
Eduardo Zeiger. 2006. ISBN 0-87893-856-7 (Cloth US$109.95) 705 pp.
Sinauer Associates, Inc. P.O.
Box 407, Sunderland,
Plant Roots: Growth, Activity and Interaction with Soils. Gregory,
Peter. 2006. ISBN 1-4051-1906-3 (Cloth US$199.99) 498 pp. Blackwell Publishing
Professional, 2121 State Avenue
, Ames, IA.
Plants on Islands: Diversity and Dynamics
on a Continental Archipelago. Cody, Martin L. 2006.
ISBN 0-520-24729-9 (Cloth US$49.95) 269 pp. University of
2121 Berkeley Way, Berkeley,
The Science of Describing: Natural History in Renaissance
Europe. Ogilvie, Brian W. 2006. ISBN 0-226-62087-5
(Cloth US$45.00) 385 pp. The
University of Chicago
E. 60th Street, Chicago
, IL 60637
Taiwanese Native Medicinal Plants: Phytopharmacology and Therapeutic
Values. Li, Thomas S.C. 2006. ISBN 0-8493-9249-7
(Cloth US$189.95) 379 pp. CRC Press/ Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
6000 Broken Sound Parkway, NW, Suite 300, Boca Raton, FL 33487.
Teaming with Microbes: A Gardener's Guide to the
Soil Food Web. Lowenfels, Jeff, and Wayne
Lewis. 2006. ISBN 0-88192-777-5 (Cloth US$24.95) 196 pp. Timber Press,
Inc. 133 S.W. Second Avenue
, Suite 450
Wild Flowers of Mombacho
Nicaragua Flores Silvestres
del Mombacho. Pickering, Helen. 2006 ISBN 1-889878-14-6 (Paper
US$15.00) 217 pp. Botanical Research Institute of Texas, 509 Pecan Street,
Suite 101, Fort Worth, TX 76102-4060.