Plant Science Bulletin archive

Issue: 2012 v58 No 2 SummerActions

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Summer 2012 Volume 58 Number 2


In This Issue..............

BSA Board Student Representatives  

visit Capitol Hill...pp. 44

It’s the season for awards....pp. 38

BSA election results...pp. 51

BSA Legacy Society Celebrates ! ??

BSA’s Highest Honor Goes to...

2012 Merit Award 38

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From the Editor

                                                                                     Summer 2012 Volume 58 Number2



Editorial Committee  

Volume 58

Root Gorelick  


Department of Biology & 

School of Mathematics & 


Carleton University 

Ottawa, Ontario 

Canada, K1H 5N1

Elizabeth Schussler  


Department of Ecology  & 

Evolutionary Biology 

University of Tennessee 

Knoxville, TN 37996-1610

Christopher Martine 


Department of Biology 

Bucknell University 

Lewisburg, PA 17837 


Carolyn M. Wetzel 


Department of Biological Sci-

ences & Biochemistry Program 

Smith College 

Northampton, MA 01063 

Tel. 413/585-3687


Lindsey K. Tuominen 


Warnell School of Forestry & 

Natural Resources 

The University of Georgia 

Athens, GA  30605

The day after the last issue of PSB arrived in hard 

copy, I had a telephone call from an old friend, Hugh 

Iltis.  Hugh has been weakened by strokes and his voice 

lacks the volume he used to project, but his passion is 

undiminished.  He wanted to inform me of the typo in 

Peter Raven’s printed address (see Erratum, p. 38) but 

also to take issue with what he felt was a major omission 

related to human population growth—its underlying 

cause.  Hugh’s issue was that Peter did not mention 

the need for any kind of birth control, which is a main 

factor responsible for population growth.  Of course, 

population growth was not the focus of Peter’s article so 

it is not surprising that he did not elaborate on it.  On 

the other hand, Hugh had a point that we frequently 

overlook.  We, as botanists, tend to focus on the 

immediate problem of feeding people while protecting 

the environment, but this is a Band-aid solution to the 

underlying problem of human population growth itself.  

The discussion with Hugh reminded me that we have an 

educational opportunity, and with our science majors 

I feel we have an educational obligation, to emphasize 

the limits as well as the power of science in solving the 

problems we face as a society.  Peter focused on what 

we can do as botanists to alleviate the ever-increasing 

need for feeding more people, but in a sustainable 

way.  Hugh would argue that by limiting ourselves to 

these solutions we are only making the problem worse.  

Together they illustrate that science, by itself, will not be 

able to solve the problem.  There are ethical, religious, 

political, and economic factors that provide a context 

for science; it is our role as science educators to teach 

both the power and limits of science and to be open 

to dialogue with professionals trained in other ways of 

knowing.  We should be teaching this to our students 

and demonstrating it by example.


This is a perfect segue to the report in this issue by 

our student members on their recent trip to Capitol 

Hill.  One purpose was to inform legislators of the 

importance of maintaining support for plant science 

and young scientists may 

be our best advocates.  

But, it is also important 

for our student advocates 

to be aware of alternative 

viewpoints and to report 

back innovative ways 

of supporting botany in 

a larger perspective.  It 

is our job as faculty to 

cultivate this awareness.

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Table of Contents

Erratum .........................................................................................................38
Society News

Awards ..............................................................................................................................38
BSA Student Activists Visit Capitol Hill  .........................................................................44
2012 Triarch “Botanical Images” Student Travel Award Winners ...................................47

BSA Science Education News and Notes

PlantingScience . ..............................................................................................................48
Education Bits and Bobs  ................................................................................................ 49

Editors Choice Reviews



BSA Election Results  ......................................................................................................51
Past-President Karl Niklas Named One of “Best 300 Professors” ...................................51

Meetings and Conferences

The Legacy Society Celebrates!  ......................................................................................52
Celebrating 30 Years of the Flora of the Bahamas:  
     Conservation and Science Challenges  ....................................................................... 54
Missouri Botanical Garden Ethnobotanists Receive National Geographic Society Grant  .. 
     For Study At Crow Creek Indian Reservation .............................................................56 
Special Lecture at Botany 2012 . ..................................................................................... 57


Four Prominent Botanical Institutions Announce  
     Plans to Create First Online World Flora  ...................................................................58

Reports and Reviews

Blanche and Oakes Ames: A Rela tionship of Art and Science .. ......................................60

Book Reviews


Books Received


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Society News


From “Saving Plants, Saving Ourselves”: p. 3, 

column 2, line 5.  “ …reach 7 million by next spring 

(April, 2012)…” should read “…reach 7 billion by 

next spring (April, 2012)….”

The Botanical Society of 

America’s Merit Award

The Botanical Society of America Merit Award is 

the highest honor our Society bestows. Each year, 

the Merit Award Committee solicits nominations, 

evaluates candidates, and selects those to receive 

an award. Awardees are chosen based on their 

outstanding contributions to the mission of 

our scientific society. The committee identifies 

recipients who have demonstrated excellence 

in basic research, education, public policy, or 

who have provided exceptional service to the 

professional botanical community, or who may 

have made contributions to a combination of these 

categories. Based on these stringent criteria, the 

2012 BSA Merit Award recipients are: 

Dr. Patricia Gensel  

University of North Carolina

Dr. Gensel is an international leader in the 

investigation of early land plant evolution.  Her 

research, including rigorous field and laboratory 

work, has contributed significantly to our 

understanding of plant diversity at the time when 

major lineages of land plants were emerging. 

Through careful morphological and anatomical 

investigations she has brought “to life” extinct 

genera of early land plants and improved our 

understanding of the ecosystems in which these 

plants participated.  She is active as Professor of 

Botany at the University of North Carolina, where 

she has taught since 1975 and has encouraged and 

collaborated with many students and colleagues 

internationally.   Pat served as president of the 

Botanical Society of America in 2000–2001, 

during a time of great transition as the Society 

began managing its annual Botany conferences 

independently of AIBS. 


Dr. Walter Judd 

 University of Florida, 


Dr. Judd is recognized worldwide for his 

contributions to plant systematics, taxonomy, 

and phylogenetics. Although he is very well 

known for his academic achievements, where he 

has focused on the systematics of the Ericaceae 

and Melastomataceae, as well as floristics in the 

southeastern United States and the West Indies, 

Dr. Judd is also an accomplished teacher, where 

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Plant Science Bulletin 58(2) 2012

at the University of Florida, he has been awarded 

numerous times for his excellence in pedagogy. He 

also has taught an internationally renowned class 

in tropical botany for the past 30 years at Fairchild 

Tropical Botanical Gardens and The Kampong in 

Miami. Dr. Judd is the lead author of the influential 

textbook,  Plant Systematics: A Phylogenetic 

Approach, which has been adopted throughout the 

world as a model for teaching plant systematics and 

taxonomy. Dr. Judd’s passion for teaching, research, 

as well as learning, is ever influential to the graduate 

and undergraduate students he mentors. The 2012 

BSA Merit Award is a much-deserved honor for Dr. 



Dr. Richard Olmstead 

University of Washington

Dr. Olmstead is recognized for his outstanding 

contributions to reshaping the field of plant 

systematics, including his leadership on the use 

of chloroplast data in phylogenetic inference and 

angiosperm classification. His doctoral research 

with Melinda Denton resulted in a monograph of 

the  Scutellaria angustifolia complex (Lamiaceae). 

His subsequent research on Asteridae has resulted in 

major realignments in our understanding of family 

boundaries in Lamiales (especially Lamiaceae and 

Scrophulariaceae). He has published influential 

papers on a broad range of issues in systematics. 

Dick has guided the careers of numerous 

undergraduates, graduates, and postdoctoral 

fellows, fostered extensive collaborative 

research activities, and made significant service 

contributions to botanical and systematic societies. 

The integration of his excellent research program 

with public outreach activities through the Burke 

Museum of Natural History and Culture and the 

University of Washington herbarium serve as a 

model for how we should be sharing our botanical 

knowledge to improve the world. 

Dr. Allison Snow 

Ohio State University

Dr. Allison Snow is recognized for her outstanding 

contributions to botanical science in the areas 

of basic research, education, and professional 

service. Allison’s research on pollination biology, 

gene flow, and risk assessment of transgenic crops 

represent significant contributions to the field. She 

has mentored a number of students and researchers, 

and has been a strong advocate for communicating 

the importance of botany to the general public 

via the media.    Finally, Allison has been deeply 

involved both nationally and internationally in 

service to a variety of organizations, including the 

National Academy of Sciences, the World Trade 

Organization, and as president for the Botanical 

Society of America.

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Plant Science Bulletin 58(2) 2012

Darbaker Prize

The Darbaker Prize in Phycology is given each 

year in memory of Dr. Leasure K. Darbaker. It 

is presented to a resident of North America for 

meritorious work in the study of microscopic 

algae based on papers published in English by the 

nominee during the last two full calendar years. 

This year The Darbaker Award for meritorious 

work on microscopic algae is presented to: 

Dr. Walter Adey, National Museum of Natural 

History, Smithsonian Institution. Dr. Adey has been 

a pioneer of modern phycology. His development 

of modern coralline taxonomy and the structural 

analysis have provided the underpinnings for our 

present understanding of this group that is now 

being enhanced by molecular methods. He has 

further pioneered the system of using filamentous 

algae as scrubbers toward clean water production 

and biofuels generation.

Dr. Sabeeha Merchant, University of California 

at Los Angeles. Dr. Merchant has been instrumental 

in developing the genetics and genomics 

of Chlamydomonas as a model organism. Her work 

has elucidated the role of metabolic cofactors and 

iron and copper utilization in the biogenesis of the 

photosynthetic apparatus, thus providing the basic 

understanding of chloroplast development for 

green algae and plants.

Vernon I. 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.

Allison Bronson, Humboldt State University. 

Advisor: Dr. Mihai Tomescu. Botany 2012 

presentation: “A perithecial sordariomycete 

(Ascomycota) of diaporthalean affinity from the 

Early Cretaceous of Vancouver Island, British 

Columbia (Canada).” Co-authors: Ashley Klymiuk, 

Ruth Stockey, and Alexandru Tomescu.

David Duarte, California State Polytechnic 

University, Pomona. Advisor: Frank Ewers. 

Botany 2012 presentation: “Plastic responses of 

wood development in California black walnut 

(Juglans californica): Effects of irrigation and post-

firegrowth.” Co-authors: Frank Ewers, Edward 

Bobich, Shawn Pham, and Kristin Bozak.

Rachel Hackett, Central Michigan University. 

Advisor: Dr. Anna Monfils. Botany 2012 

presentation: “Prairie fen plant biodiversity: The 

influence of landscape factors on plant community 

assemblages.” Co-authors: Hillary Karbowski and 

Anna Monfils.

Matthew Ogburn, Brown University. Advisor: 

Dr. Erika Edwards. Botany 2012 presentation: 

“Anatomy of leaf succulence in the clade 

Portulacineae + Molluginaceae: Evolutionary 

jumps into novel phenotypic space.” Co-author: 

Erika Edwards.

Triarch “Botanical Images” 

Student Travel Awards 

This award provides acknowledgment and travel 

support to BSA meetings for outstanding student 

work coupling digital botanical images with 

scientific explanations/descriptions designed for 

the general public (see p. 47).

Glenn Shelton, Humboldt State University. 1st 

place, A charismatic salt rush inflorescence, $500 

Botany 2012 Student Travel Award.

Sean Gershaneck, University of Hawai’i at 

Manoa. 2nd place, ‘Ōhi’a Lehua at Akanikōlea, $250 

Botany 2012 Student Travel Award.

Andrew Crowl, University of Florida. 3rd place, 

Cocos nucifera (coconut) dispersal in action, $150 

Botany 2012 Student Travel Award.

The BSA Graduate Student 

Research Award including the 

J. S. Karling Award 

The BSA Graduate Student Research Awards 

support graduate student research and are made 

on the basis of research proposals and letters of 

recommendation. Within the award group is the 

J. S. 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 2012 award recipients are:

J. S. Karling Graduate Student 

Research Award

Matthew P. Nelsen, University of Chicago. 

Advisor: Dr. Richard Ree. “Early, on time or 

‘fashionably’ late? The comparative dating of lichen 


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Plant Science Bulletin 58(2) 2012

BSA Graduate Student 

Research Awards

Guadalupe Borja, Oklahoma State University. 

Advisor: Dr. Andrew Doust. “Integrating phylogeny, 

morphology, and population genetics: Investigating 

species relationships in Paysonia (Brassicaceae).”

Louisa G. Carter, University of Georgia. 

Advisor: Dr. Shu-Mei Chang. “Range limits and 

conservation in species of a Florida endemic plant 

genus, Polygonella.”

Gretel Clarke, University of Vermont. Advisor: 

Dr. Alison K. Brody. “Assessing the effects of 

pollinators, seed predators, and vertebrate 

herbivores on the demography of females and 

hermaphrodites in the gynodioecious plant, 

Polemonium foliosissimum.”

Julieta Gallego, Museo Paleontológico Egidio 

Feruglio. Advisor: Dr. N. R. Cúneo. “Analyses 

of diversification rates of Patagonian Paleozoic 

and Mesozoic lineages of gymnosperms through 

calibration of molecular and morphological 


Rachel M. Germain, University of Toronto. 

Advisor: Dr. Benjamin Gilbert. “Evolution of 

coexistence mechanisms in Mediterranean annual 

plant communities.”

Rachel A. Hackett, Central Michigan University. 

Advisor: Dr. Anna K. Monfils. “Influence of 

landscape and local factors on plant communities.”

Kristen Hasenstab-Lehman, Rancho Santa 

Ana Botanic Garden and Claremont Graduate 

University. Advisor: Dr. Lucinda A. McDade. 

“Testing adaptive radiation in the dry tropics: 

A phylogenetic approach to biogeography, 

inflorescence evolution, and hydraulic traits in the 

genus Varronia (Cordiaceae, Boraginales).”

Laura Lagomarsino, Harvard University. 

Advisor: Dr. Charles C. Davis. “Phylogeny and the 

eolution of vertebrate pollination syndromes in the 

Neotropical Lobelioideae, a rapid, recent radiation 

in the Tropical Andes.”

Jacob B. Landis, University of Florida. Advisor: 

Dr. Pamela S. Soltis. “Corolla length does matter: 

Investigating genetic underpinnings of size.”

Vanessa Lopes Rivera, University of Texas at 

Austin. Advisor: Dr. Jose L. Panero. “Reconstructing 

the spatiotemporal evolutionary patterns of the 

Brazilian Cerrado Eupatorieae and Lychnophorinae 


Kristen Sauby, University of Florida. Advisor: 

Dr. Robert D. Holt. “Determining the consequences 

of herbivory by the invasive South American 

cactus moth, Cactoblastis cactorum (Lepidoptera: 

Pyralidae), to native Opuntia populations in 


Brian J. Sidoti, University of Wisconsin-

Madison. Advisor: Dr. Kenneth M. Cameron. 

“Molecular phylogenetics and population 

genetics of the Tillandsia fasciculata complex 

(Bromeliaceae): Biogeographical and evolutionary 


Sarah Tepler, University of California, 

Santa Cruz. Advisor: Dr. Jarmila Pittermann. 

“Understanding drivers of variability in the carbon 

physiology of the giant kelp, Macrocystis pyrifera.”

Jinshun Zhong, University of Missouri-St. Louis. 

Advisor: Dr. Elizabeth A. Kellogg. “The evolution 

of floral symmetry across the order Lamiales.”


The BSA Undergraduate 

Student Research Awards 

The BSA Undergraduate Student Research 

Awards support undergraduate student research 

and are made on the basis of research proposals 

and letters of recommendation. The 2012 award 

recipients are:

Jenna Annis, Eastern Illinois University. 

Advisor: Dr. Janice M. Coons. “Evaluating seed 

ecology of federally threatened Pinguicula ionantha 

(Godfrey’s butterwort).”

Ian A. Harkreader, Drake University. Advisor: 

Dr. Nanci Ross. “Pollination biology and habitat 

preference of a rare native lily, Lilium michiganense.” 

Hillary Karbowski, Central Michigan University. 

Advisor: Dr. Anna K. Monfils. “Local abiotic factors 

and plant assemblages: An investigation into prairie 

fen biodiversity.” 

Caprice Lee, University of California, Davis. 

Advisor: Dr. Sharman Diane O’Neill. “Novel 

embryological study of Vanilla planifolia using 

confocal scanning laser microscopy.” 

Tess Nugent, University of Michigan. Advisor: 

Dr. Selena Y. Smith. “Investigating potential causes 

for variation in δ


C discrimination in Ginkgo 


Jennifer O’Brien, Eastern Illinois University. 

Advisor: Dr. Janice M. Coons. “Enhancing seed 

germination and determining the seed bank of the 

federally threatened Scutellaria floridana.” 

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Plant Science Bulletin 58(2) 2012

Bryan Thompson, State University of New 

York at Plattsburgh. Advisor: Dr. Chris Martine. 

“Hydroponic technology: The future of farming 

and its ecological benefits: Growth rate response 

and productivity of Ocimum basilicum and super 

beefsteak tomato within a soilless environment 

compared to a soil environment.” 

The BSA Young Botanist 


The purpose of these awards is to offer individual 

recognition to outstanding graduating seniors 

in the plant sciences and to encourage their 

participation in the Botanical Society of America. 

The 2012 Certificate of Special Achievement award 

recipients are:

Rebbecca Allington, SUNY Plattsburgh. 

Advisor: Dr. Christopher T. Martine 

Jenna Annis, Eastern Illinois University. 

Advisor: Janice M. Coons 

Maggie Brown, Miami University. Advisor: Dr. 

John Z. Kiss 

April Diebold, University of Missouri. Advisor: 

Dr. J. Chris Pires 

Garrett Dienno, Miami University. Advisor: Dr. 

John Z. Kiss 

Chloe Drummond, Oberlin College. Advisor: 

Dr. Michael J. Moore 

Patrick Ellis, Vassar College. Advisor: Dr. Mark 

A. Schlessman 

Francisco Gomez, Florida Museum of Natural 

History. Advisor: Dr. Pam Soltis 

Monica Hernandez, University of California-

Los Angeles. Advisor: Dr. Ann Hirsch 

Emilie Jordao, Central Michigan University. 

Advisor: Dr. Joanne Dannenhoffer 

Kelly Matsunaga, Humboldt State University. 

Advisor: Dr. A. Mihail Tomescu 

Britany Morgan, Rutgers University. Advisor: 

Dr. Steven Handel 

Jennifer O’Brien, Eastern Illinois University. 

Advisor: Dr. Janice M. Coons 

Gina Pahlke, Willamette University. Advisor: 

Dr. Susan Kephart 

Rachel Plumb, Oberlin College. Advisor: Dr. 

Michael J. Moore 

Audrey Ragsac, University of California. 

Advisor: Dr. Paul Fine 

Kendalee Richardson, Weber State University. 

Advisor: Dr. Barbara Wachocki 

Selina Ruzi, Rutgers University. Advisor: Dr. 

Steven Handel 

Megan Saunders, Hillsdale College. Advisor: Dr. 

Ranessa L. Cooper 

Jennifer Schmalz, Weber State University. 

Advisor: Dr. Barbara Wachocki 

Glenn Shelton, Humboldt State University. 

Advisor: Dr. A. Mihail Tomescu 

Christopher Steenbock, Humboldt State 

University. Advisor: Dr. A. Mihail Tomescu 

Lauren Stutts, Campbell University. Advisor: 

Dr. J. Christopher Havran 

Michael Terbush, Ohio University. Advisor: Dr. 

Harvey E. Ballard Jr. 

Weston Testo, Colgate University. Advisor: Dr. 

James E. Watkins Jr. 

Betty Unthank, Miami University. Advisor: Dr. 

John Z. Kiss 

Megan Ward, SUNY Plattsburgh. Advisor: Dr. 

Christopher T. Martine 

Tim Williams, Ohio University. Advisor: Dr. 

Sarah E. Wyatt 

Codi Q. Yeager, Cornell University. Advisor: Dr. 

Lee B. Kass 

Developmental & Structural 

Section Student Travel Awards

Xiaofeng Yin, Miami University. Advisor: Dr. 

Roger Meicenheimer. Botany 2012 presentation: “A 

quantitative analysis of discontinuous phyllotactic 

transition in Diphasiastrum digitatum.” Co-author: 

Roger Meicenheimer.

Christina Lord, Dalhousie University. 

Advisor: Dr. Arunika Gunawardena. Botany 2012 

presentation: “Actin microfilaments: Key regulators 

of programmed cell death (PCD) in the lace plant.” 

Co-authors: Adrian Dauphinee and Arunika 


Nelson Salinas, New York Botanical Garden. 

Botany 2012 presentation: “Uncovering venation 

patterns in neotropical blueberries (Vaccinieae: 

Ericaceae) and their value for systematics.” Co-

author: Paola Pedraza-Peñalosa.

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Plant Science Bulletin 58(2) 2012

Nicholas Miles, University of Florida. Advisor: 

Dr. Pamela Soltis. Botany 2012 presentation: 

“Virus-induced gene silencing in carnivorous 

pitcher plants.”


Co-authors: Douglas Soltis and 

Pamela Soltis.

Jacob Landis, University of Florida. Advisor: 

Dr. Pamela Soltis. Botany 2012 presentation: “All in 

the family: Pollination syndromes and floral traits 

in the flowering plant family Polemoniaceae.” Co-

authors: Douglas Soltis and Pamela Soltis.

Genetics Section Student 

Travel Awards

Michael McKain, University of Georgia. 

Advisor: Dr. Jim Leebens-Mack, for the paper “The 

effect of paleopolyploidy on genome evolution 

in Agavoideae.” Co-authors: Norman Wickett, 

Yeting Zhang, Saravanaraj Ayyampalayam, Richard 

McCombie, Mark Chase, Joseph Pires, Claude 

dePamphilis, and Jim Leebens-Mack.

Travis Lawrence, CSU Sacramento. 

Advisor: Dr. Shannon Datwyler, for the paper 

“Testing the hypothesis of allopolyploidy in the 

origin of Penstemon azureus (Plantaginaceae).” Co-

author: Shannon Datwyler.

Mycological Section Student 

Travel Awards 

Wesley Beaulieu, Indiana University. 

Advisor: Dr. Keith Clay, for the paper “Cosmopolitan 

distribution of ergot alkaloids produced by 

Periglandula, clavicipitaceous symbionts of the 

Convolvulaceae.” Co-authors: Katy L. Ryan, Daniel 

G. Panaccione, Richard E. Miller, and Keith Clay.

Eduardo Campana, Kent State University. 

Advisor: Dr. Christopher Blackwood, for the paper 

“Fungal communities of northeastern Ohio.”

Carla Harper, University of Kansas. 

Advisor: Dr. Thomas N. Taylor, for the paper 

“Antarctic wood-decay fungi in glossopteridalean 

roots and stems.” Co-authors: Thomas Taylor and 

Michael Krings.

Phytochemical Section 

Student Travel Award

Rachel Meyer, City University of New York. 

Advisor: Dr. Amy Litt. Botany 2012 presentation: 

“Molecular and chemical differences among Asian 

eggplants analyzed in a framework of their history 

of utilization.” Co-authors: Bruce Whitaker and 

Amy Litt.

Pteridological Section & 

American Fern Society Student 

Travel Awards 

Amanda Grusz, Duke University. Advisor: 

Dr. Kathleen Pryer. Botany 2012 presentation: 

“Using next generation sequencing to develop 

microsatellite markers in ferns.” Co-authors: 

Michael Windham and Kathleen Pryer. 

Stacy Jorgensen, University of Vermont. 

Advisor: Dr. David Barrington. Botany 2012 

presentation: “New insights into the heritage of 

Pacific Northwestern polyploids in the genus 

Polystichum (Dryopteridaceae).” Co-author: David 


Meghan McKeown, University of Vermont. 

Advisor: Dr. David Barrington. Botany 2012 

presentation: “A molecular phylogeny based 

on seven markers supports the inclusion of 

the Australian monotypic genus Revwattsia 

(Dryopteridaceae) in Dryopteris.” Co-authors: 

Michael Sundue and David Barrington. 

Weston Testo, Colgate University. Advisor: 

Dr. James E. Watkins. Botany 2012 presentation: 

“Comparative gametophyte ecology of the 

American hart’s-tongue fern and associated fern 

taxa: Evidence for recent population declines in 

New York State.” Co-author: James E. Watkins.

The BSA PLANTs Grant 


The purpose of these awards is to offer individual 

recognition to outstanding graduating seniors in the 

plant sciences and to encourage their participation 

in the Botanical Society of America. 

Dominique Alvis, University of Maryland-

Baltimore. Dr. Mauricio Bustos

Haydee Borrero, Florida International 

University. Dr. Suzanne Koptur

Maria Friedman, Humboldt State University. 

Dr. Erik Jules

Erin Fujimoto, University of Hawaii at Manoa. 

Dr. Tom Ranker

Victoria Hanna, University of California-Irvine.

Dr. Kailen Mooney

Sean Gershaneck, University of Hawaii at 

Manoa. Dr. Pattie Dunn

Lauren Gonzalez, University of New Orleans. 

Dr. Charles Bell

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Plant Science Bulletin 58(2) 2012

Alexandria Igwe, Howard University. Dr. Mary 


Jamie Minnaert-Grote, George Mason 

University. Dr. Andrea Weeks

Rylan Sprague, Black Hills State University. Dr. 

Benjamin van Ee

Brittany Stallworth, Howard University. Dr. 

Mary McKenna

Dori Thompson, Texas State University-San 

Marcos. Dr. Garland Upchurch

Val Yerby, Texas State University-San Marcos. 

Dr. Nihal Dharmasiri

BSA Student Activists Visit 

Capitol Hill

Marian  Chau (PhD candidate, University of Hawaii 

at Manoa) is one of the current Student Representatives 

on the BSA Board of Directors, and Morgan Gostel (PhD 

student, George Mason University) is a BSA student activist 

representing the DC  area, and recently elected as the next 

incoming Student Representative.

We recently attended Congressional Visits 

Day, sponsored by the Biological and Ecological 

Sciences Coalition (BESC), American Institute 

of Biological Sciences (AIBS), and the Ecological 

Society of America (ESA). On the first day, we 

took part in a public policy training session, and 

we visited Congress the next day. The training 

session was great, with short informative talks from 

Kei Koizumi (White House Office of Science and 

Technology Policy), Jane Silverthorne (NSF), and 

Julie Palakovich Carr (AIBS) that gave information 

on the national budget from different perspectives. 

Nadine Lymn and other folks from ESA oriented 

us for the Congressional meeting experience, and 

then we met with our smaller groups to plan the 

next day. Morgan was with other folks from mid-

Atlantic states, and Marian was placed with Florida 

(I suppose we were the tropical contingent!).

Marian’s Experience

Our Hawaii/Florida team was led by Liza Lester, 

ESA Communications Officer, who facilitated our 

day of meetings. One of our Florida constituents 

actually didn’t show up, so it was just Liza, 

Adam Rosenblatt—a grad student from Florida 

International University who does ecology in the 

Everglades—and myself. I actually really enjoyed 

being in the small group, and the three of us became 

friends who will definitely stay in touch.

We visited all  of the Hawaii and Florida 

senators’ offices, and a few representatives’ offices. 

I led meetings with Hawaii’s congressional staff, 

and Adam led meetings with Florida’s. As you can 

imagine, that made for a full and hectic day of 

meetings—we walked back and forth between the 

Senate and the House office buildings a lot, walking 

past the Capitol at least four times!—but it was 

really fun, too. Hawaii’s Congressional members 

are all Democrats, so not too surprisingly they 

were quite supportive of science, research, and the 

President’s proposed budget that would increase 

funding for NSF to $7.3 billion (4.8%) in FY 2013. 

Beyond that, what was interesting and encouraging 

to me was that the legislative assistants I spoke with 

were generous with their time and were happy 

to talk to me, and to learn about things such as 

research at UH Botany, our recently NSF-funded 

Consortium of Pacific Herbaria, and rare plant seed 

storage at Lyon Arboretum in Hawaii. They seemed 

eager to learn more about how NSF directly benefits 

our state. I also talked to a couple of them about 

PlantingScience, and what an excellent investment 

of NSF funding that has been for making strides 

in STEM education, along with how NSF funding 

has benefited other BSA students. Because Hawaii 

Sen. Daniel Inouye is now the Chairman of the 

Appropriations Committee, it is great to know that 

he is a strong proponent of funding for scientific 


Being present for the meetings with Florida 

congressional staff was very interesting too. The 

Democrats were again supportive of increasing 

funds to NSF, but even the Republicans were at 

least generally supportive of scientific research and 

open to talking to us. Only one was not supportive 

of increases (Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-FL), but at least 

Marian Chau sitting at the desk of Senator Akaka, one of 

her Hawaii Congressmen, after meeting with a staffer

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Plant Science Bulletin 58(2) 2012

already planning to visit directly with my congress-

people when they are home for August recess) and 

will encourage other BSA students to get involved, 

starting with our workshop at Botany 2012.

Morgan Gostel (far right) with other members of the 

Mid-Atlantic team visiting Capitol Hill.

Morgan’s Experience

Overall, I had the same sentiments as Marian and 

was also quite impressed with how welcoming and 

generous congressional staff were with their time. 

My group included constituents from Maryland, 

Pennsylvania, and Virginia and was led by the ESA 

Director of Public Affairs, Nadine Lymn. Our Mid-

Atlantic delegation included graduate students, 

a postdoc, and the current president of the ESA, 

Steward Pickett. We met with congressional staffers 

for both of the state senators from Pennsylvania 

and Maryland and one from my home state (Mark 

Warner, D-VA). Each of us also had meetings with 

our local state representatives, with whom we are 

constituents; a couple of folks in my regional group 

actually had a chance to speak directly with their 

representative! In all cases, the meetings were well 

received and there were opportunities to exchange 

research anecdotes that related directly to the 

central issue: funding science is important!

Some offices were, of course, more receptive 

than others, and there seemed to be a universal 

concern with uncertainty over budget priorities. 

Being an election year, it was suggested that budget 

understood the importance of scientific research 

and did not want to decrease funds to NSF. He was 

honest about his doubts that Congress would even 

manage to pass a budget before the new fiscal year, 

and thought that we’d be pretty lucky to get one that 

keeps funding level, but hey, he’s just being a realist. 

The legislative director for Sen. Marco Rubio (R-

FL) was a happy surprise, as we had a very friendly, 

entertaining, and productive meeting with her. Not 

only was she strongly in support of NSF funding, 

she was also generous with her time and even 

traded personal stories with us.

The variety of congressional staff we spoke with 

was interesting. One was an AAAS Congressional 

Fellow and an oceanographer, and it was great 

talking to another scientist. Other legislative 

assistants specialized in areas such as education, 

energy, and financial services, and the legislative 

director I mentioned before (for Rubio) was 

actually pretty high up in the chain of command—

and you could tell she had a lot more experience. 

Also interesting were the differences between the 

House and Senate. House offices were smaller and 

seemed to be rather hectic and less organized. 

At all of these meetings, we were sitting with the 

staffer in the office lobby, sometimes with several 

other things going on around us. Senate offices 

tended to be much larger, labyrinthine even, with 

a lot more staff, and we always met in conference 

rooms or offices. Although I was disappointed 

that my planned meetings with my actual senators  

didn’t pan out, we did get to meet with Sen. Daniel 

Akaka’s (D-HI) staffer in the senator’s office—and 

we got a fun photo op of me sitting at his desk. After 

our meetings were done, Liza, Adam, and I went 

back to the Capitol to visit the House gallery. By 

this time it was after 5 pm, and amusingly we got 

to watch a congressman give a passionate speech 

to an almost entirely empty House floor—if that’s 

not a metaphor for something, I don’t know what 

is! After that, Liza and I met up with Morgan 

over happy hour to decompress and trade some 

stories. An exhausting but productive, educational, 

entertaining, and great day.

I would like to thank BSA for sponsoring me 

to attend this event! It was just a great experience 

overall. Not only did I learn a lot about how 

Congress works (and doesn’t!), I also got some great 

practice at being a “people person” and interacting 

with folks who have some influence on the country’s 

purse strings—as well as other science activists. I 

will definitely stay involved in public policy (I’m 

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Plant Science Bulletin 58(2) 2012

issues probably would not be confronted in earnest 

until later in the year, closer to November and 

December. In most cases we were encouraged not 

to let this event be a one-off and to remain involved 

in scientific policy issues as they arise, even if it just 

means calling in to clarify a point or error made 

on a radio show or writing to encourage support 

of relevant legislative issues when they are coming 

up for a vote. Of course, the simplest way to have 

your voice heard is just to vote each November. As 

a student myself, I frequently hear fellow students 

mention that they either have not updated their 

voter registration or in many cases do not vote as 

an absentee (yes, we’re usually far from home). 

We’ve recently seen how much of an impact young 

voters can have and it’s important to stress the value 

of your vote and encourage your fellow students to 

vote as well! 

Overall, the Congressional Visits Day was a great 

experience and I was glad to have the opportunity 

to represent the BSA! I owe a huge thanks to Marian 

for asking me if I’d like to participate and also to 

the ESA, BESC, and AIBS for organizing such an 

important event. I look forward to staying involved 

with AIBS and BSA, and science policy issues. 

To conclude, we both strongly encourage 

students/postdocs to get more involved in public 

policy issues that concern botany and other 

biological sciences. A very easy way to start is to 

join AIBS’s Action Center online: http://capwiz.

com/aibs/home/.  You’ll receive action alerts when 

important issues come up, and you can make a 

difference simply by writing your congresspeople 

through AIBS’s easy interface. If you want to make 

a bigger impact, please register for our Botany 2012 

Workshop: “Influencing Science Policymakers: A 

Workshop for Students and Early Career Scientists” 

(WS12, Sunday, July 8, 3:15–5:15 pm). Registration 

is free for students and early career scientists, 

courtesy of BSA.

Your current BSA Student Reps (Marian and 

Megan) also have great news. At the BSA board 

meeting in April, we proposed a new BSA Public 

Policy Award that will support two students 

to attend Congressional Visits Day each year 

(including travel and accommodation expenses; 

the training/meeting support are provided 

free of charge by AIBS). The BSA Board voted 

unanimously to establish this new student award 

beginning in 2013!
-Marian Chau and Morgan Gostel

Marian Chau with a fellow grad student activist 

(the Hawaii-Florida team) visiting Capitol Hill.

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Plant Science Bulletin 58(2) 2012

2012 Triarch “Botanical Images” 

Student Travel Award Winners

A charismatic salt rush inflorescence

Glenn Shelton, Humboldt State Univeristy

Rushes and other grass-like plants are frequently overlooked amidst a landscape of showy entomophilous 

(insect-pollinated) flowers. However, up close their inflorescences can be far from drab. The flowers of this 

coastal Juncus species, J. breweri (salt-rush), possess elaborate stigmas bearing vivid pink lobes, looking 

very much like ornamented pink corkscrews. Like many other flowering plants, rushes are anemophilous 

(wind pollinated). Anemophilous flowers tend to lack showy sepals and petals like those of their insect-

pollinated relatives and instead opt for large exserted anthers and stigmas, and small pollen grains that 

are easily carried by the wind. The helical stigma lobes of these salt-rush flowers likely provide optimal 

surface area for pollen receipt.

Ōhi'a Lehua at Akanikōlea

Sean Gershaneck, 

University of Hawai'i at 


Ōhi’a Lehua (Metrosideros polymorpha

is Hawai’i’s most common native tree with a 

distribution ranging from coastal forests to the 

treeline on some of the world’s tallest mountains 

as well as bogs, swamps, and deserts. 

Cocos nucifera (coconut) 

dispersal in action

Andrew Crowl 

University of Florida

Cocos nucifera is the only species in the Cocos 

genus (Arecaceae: palm family). It is a primarily 

coastal species found throughout the tropics and 


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“The mentors posed great questions and were very 

approachable.  It seemed like the students were able 

to relate to them.”

“Despite being a long time period to commit to one 

inquiry, I felt it benefited the students in a number 

of ways.  First, their ownership and responsibility 

was heightened and very evident.  Second, they were 

thinking and discussing at a level much deeper than 

any activity prior to this experience.  As a teacher, it 

allows me to do true open-ended student-generated 

inquiry which is nice.”
Mentor feedback:

It has provided a benefit in that it counts as 

service for me in my job, but more importantly I can 

directly help students become better thinkers, which 

benefits everyone.”

“I think that learning how to talk to different 

levels to students (I am a college professor) helps my 

teaching at many levels.”

“It is a lot of fun interacting with students from an 

age group I don’t have the chance to spend a lot of time 

with. It is a good reminder of where public knowledge 

of plant science stands, and a great opportunity for 

me to practice explaining key concepts in a simple 

and straightforward way.”
As these quotes suggest, there is a special magic 

at work when students, teachers, and scientist 

mentors engage in collaborations.  We are currently 

working on major improvements to the website 

that will enhance the user experiences.  And we 

are excited to be working more closely with the 14 

partner societies and organizations as the program 

plans for the future.

BSA Science Education 

News and Notes


As the spring PlantingScience session ends, almost 

12,000 middle and high school science students 

and their teachers have collaborated on plant 

investigations.  Thanks to the Master Plant Science 

Team, sponsored by the Botanical Society of 

America and American Society of Plant Biologists, 

and the >560 scientists who have volunteered as 

online mentors since 2005.  Students value the 

chance to work hands-on with plants and connect 

with scientists online.  Here are some of the benefits 

in the words of a few participants. 

Student feedback:
“What I liked most about this experience is learning 

about the different traits in a plant and watching the 

plant grow.”
“It was fun to be able to interact with an actual 

scientist about the experiment and learn new things. 

He helped us to point our many things that we would 

have never noticed on our own and it was very 

“I liked having to figure things out on my own or with 

my group and figuring out why things happened and 

finding out what would happen if we did this or that.”
“The thing I liked most was being able to talk to a 

scientist about what we were doing, and he gave us 

helpful suggestions on how to do things. Our scientist 

also asked us questions on what we were doing that 

helped us keep our minds working.” 
Teacher feedback:

“PlantingScience has given me a framework for 

open inquiry. Students enjoy working with their 

mentors and it gives each group a chance to have 

some one-on-one feedback that I don’t always have 

time to give them. Students embrace their projects 

more than anything else I do in the class and when 

they give their final presentations, important topics 

such as finding that similar results are often found 

between different groups who did similar experiments 

to show students how bodies of evidence are built up 

by multiple people studying similar topics.”

BSA Science Education News and Notes is a quarterly update about the BSA’s education efforts and the 

broader education scene.  We invite you to submit news items or ideas for future features.  Contact:  Claire 

Hemingway, BSA Education Director, at or Marshall Sundberg, PSB Editor, at

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Plant Science Bulletin 58(2) 2012

International Graduate School 

Applications Static in the Life 


Foreign student applications for fall 2012 

admissions to U.S. graduate schools saw no growth 

in the life sciences.  In contrast, applications 

increased over last year for all other fields.  For 

example, education rose by 17%, engineering 

increased by 12%, and the arts and humanities 

rose by 4%.  The top five countries of origin for 

international graduate students are China, India, 

South Korea, Taiwan, and Canada.  The full report 

of the 242 institutions by the Council of Graduate 

Schools is available online at:



Faculty Leakage by Gender and 

the 11-Year Itch 

Although male and female faculty are retained 

and promoted at similar rates, the good news from 

a recent Science article ends there.  Less than 50% of 

science and engineering faculty hired are retained 

over the long term.  These departing tenure-track 

faculty exit at a median of 10.9 years.  The low 

retention rates pose significant direct impact costs 

and can led to disruption at universities.  Expanding 

current trends of women hires and retention to 

a long-term view, the authors note that gender 

equality in science, technology, engineering, and 

math (STEM) departments could still be 100 years 


Read an article from the Chronicle of Higher 

Education on the Science article and a related article 

in American Scientist:


See a video of  Prof. Deborah Kaminski, one of 

the study coauthors, talking about the study at:

Education Bits and Bobs

Scores up, inclusion down, and 

gender preferences in AP courses

Females take the AP Biology test in higher 

numbers than males.  This is one of the noteworthy 

statistics included in the College Board’s 8th annual 

report on the Advanced Placement program.  The 

finding may have implications down the pipeline.  

Research shows that students who take AP science 

exams are more likely to earn science degrees.  

The decade-long trend for increasing numbers of 

students taking and succeeding on the AP exams 

is also promising.  However, of the STEM exams, 

scores are lowest for Biology and Environmental 

Science.  Across all subject areas, underserved 

minority and low-income students are significantly 

underrepresented in AP classrooms.  Access the 

report online:


Read a related story:



Can Reimagining Community 

Colleges Reclaim the American 


Educating an additional five million students by 

2020 is an overall goal of a report released by the 

American Association of Community Colleges.  

The report is a roadmap for dramatic changes to 

community colleges to ensure their role in preparing 

students for education and workforce pathways.  

Currently, many students arrive at community 

colleges unprepared and take at lease one remedial 

course.  Recommendations in the report suggest 

reforms to redesign students’ experiences, reinvent 

institutional roles, and reset the system to promote 

rigor, transparency, and success.  

Access the online report:


Read a related story: http://blogs.edweek.




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An Antique Microscope Slide Brings 

the Thrill of Discovery into a Con-

temporary Biology Classroom 

Riser, Frank. 2012.  

 American Biology Teacher 

74(5): 311-317.

The author purchased a “folk art” handmade 

microscope slide from around 1890 from an on-

line antique dealer.  The slide contained 90 different 

angiosperm seeds, and other propagules, in an 

artistic arrangement. Of course there was no key 

to the species represented—thus the challenges to 

students.  How many of these seeds can we identify? 

In addition to a beautiful color close-up photo of 

the slide, there are 10 more sharply detailed images 

of seeds and seed characters.  If you don’t subscribe, 

it is worth a trip to the library just to see the images! 

Exploring Undergraduates’ Under-

standing of Photosynthesis Using 

Diagnostic Question Clusters 

Parker, J.M., Anderson, C.W., Heidemann, 

M., Merrill, J., Merritt, B., Richmond, G., and 

M. Urban-Lurain.  2012.   CBE Life Sciences 

Education 11(1): 47-57.

The authors present an assessment tool that focuses 

on common, well-documented misconceptions 

about photosynthesis and energy relationships in 

plants from the sub-cellular through ecosystem 

levels.  They demonstrate that properly constructed 

groups of multiple choice/true-false questions can 

be as effective at identifying student misconceptions 

as the more rigorous qualitative techniques of 

interviews and open-ended essays.  Questions, 

and student responses, are summarized in the 


Backyard Botany: Using GPS Tech-

nology in the Science Classroom 

March, K.A. 2012.    American Biology Teacher 

74(3): 172-177.

I work with Boy Scouts a lot and geocaching has 

become the latest thing in teaching orienteering.  

The kids love it.  The author takes the idea of 

geocaching and adapts it to field use for finding and 

identifying trees.  Adding the GPS makes keying out 

the trees much more palatable than the old walk-

around.  Why not make it a game?  Sometimes we 

need all the help we can get to make learning fun!

Editors Choice Reviews

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Past-President Karl Niklas 

Named One of “Best 300 


Random House/Princeton Review Books in-

cluded BSA Past-President Karl Niklas as one of the 

17 biologists recognized in their recently published 

book, The Best 300 Professors.  The Princeton Review 

teamed with the online site RateMyProfessors to 

identify popular professors and combined this with 

information from its own surveys and information 

from individual colleges to narrow the list to 300.  

For some inspiring comments, check out Karl at  He doesn’t rate 

very high on “easiness,” but he certainly inspires his 

students (and even gets a “hot” rating!).  

BSA Election Results

Congratulations to the newly elected officers of the Botanical Society of America

Pam Diggle 


Andrea Wolfe 


Morgan Gostel 



Susan Singer 


at Large - 


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Meetings and Conferences

The Legacy Society of the Botanical Society of 

America hosted its first regional event in April in 

Saint Louis. 

Hosted by two of the Legacy Society’s 

founders, Drs. Peter and Pat Raven, this very special 

evening took place at the historic Chase Park Plaza 

Hotel for a night of dinner, drinks, and unique 

presentations to honor and recognize the vital 

contributions and service of individual BSA 


For those of you who may not be familiar with 

the BSA’s Legacy Society, the concept for the group 

came together during centennial celebrations at 

the Botany 2006 Conference in Chico, California. 

Senior members of the Society, together with the 

Development Committee, determined it was time 

to build upon the legacy of giving initiated by 

our predecessors. This handful of Legacy Society 

founders truly understood the importance of 

building and growing an active group to create 

a sustainable financial future for the BSA. They 

demonstrated their appreciation for the over 100 

years of the Society’s history, and all that the Society 

has done for its members and the botanical sciences 

through planned legacy gifts.

In just over six years, the Legacy Society has 

quietly nurtured the vision and has grown its 

membership to more than 70 individuals


generous, individual commitments made by 

members of the group will secure the future for 

the BSA in its mission to provide members with 

research opportunities, conferences, publications, 

and awards that help build the careers of young 


Last year, the Legacy Society felt it was 

long overdue that we regularly celebrate the 

important individual contributions made 

by some of our members and began plans 

to sponsor Legacy Society Celebrates events 

in regions throughout the country. At this 

first event in the Central States region, 

historian Dr. Vassiliki 

Betty Smocovitis and 

current American Journal of Botany editor 

Dr. Judy Jernstedt provided enlightening 

presentations about the rich history of the 

AJB and the BSA.  

Saint Louis member 

and Assistant Professor of Biology at 

Saint Louis University Dr. Allison Miller 

The Legacy Society Celebrates

A night that recognized, honored, and applauded  

individual service to the  

Botanical Society of America

Dr.  Judy Jernstedt receives a plaque for her service 

as Editor of the American Journal of Botany.

Dr. Peter Raven addresses the BSA Legacy Society.

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Plant Science Bulletin 58(2) 2012

demonstrated in her presentation, “Botany in 

the Next Generation: Advancing Plant Science 

on the Shoulders of Giants,” that the botanical  

sciences continue to progress, and that our legacy 

is based on a foundation of scientific discovery 

passed on from generation to generation. She also 

shared how society in general is benefiting from 

the dynamic impact and breadth of new genomic 

research on the future of our field. 

And, since we are approaching the cusp of the 

centennial for the American Journal of Botany

the event was also an opportunity to individually 

recognize the service and dedication of our former 

and current AJB editors, Drs. Judy Jernstedt, Karl J. 

Niklas, Nels R. Lersten, and Theodore Delevoryas. 

We thanked them for all that they have contributed 

to our Society, and to the development of botanical 


Finally, the Legacy Society honored its own. 

Attending Legacy Society members from the 

Central States region were recognized and 


applauded for their long-standing commitment, 

vision, and financial generosity toward the future of 

the BSA. It was truly heartwarming to be a part of 

this first Legacy Society Celebrates event.

The BSA has a long tradition of member 

commitment and support for everything we 

do—from our annual conferences, publications, 

education, and outreach programs, to student 

awards, lecture funds, and so much more.    We 

look forward to our next Legacy Society Celebrates 

event scheduled to take place on the East Coast, 

where additional members will be recognized for 

their unique contributions to our Society. 

The important foundation of support our 

Legacy Society members have provided for the 

future of the BSA is truly a testament to their life-

long commitment to our mission, and they carry 

forth the tradition of giving that our predecessors 


To learn more about becoming a BSA Legacy 

Society member, please go to 



. We’d be honored to have you participate 

in our future!

Dr. Linda Graham 

Board Member & Chair, BSA Development Com-


Dr. Allison Miller shares her presentation, “Botany 

in the Next Generation: Advancing Plant Science on 

the Shoulders of Giants.”


Betty Smocovitis recounts a brief history 

of the Botanical Society of America.

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Plant Science Bulletin 58(2) 2012

Celebrating 30 Years of 

the Flora of the Bahamas: 

Conservation and Science 


An International Symposium 

(October 30-31, 2012) at the Bahamas 

National Trust and The College of 

the Bahamas

The Bahamas National Trust, the College of 

the Bahamas, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, 

and Florida International University are putting 

together a symposium titled “Celebrating 30 Years 

of the Flora of the Bahamas: Conservation and 

Science Challenges,” which will take place between 

October 30 and 31, 2012. This announcement is to 

invite those interested in Bahamian biodiversity to 

attend the symposium. We will have a section for 

posters and we would like to encourage researchers 

and graduate students to present their results using 

this avenue. We also have plans to publish the 

symposium proceedings in the Caribbean Journal 

of Science and, in coordination with the Editor-

in-Chief of this journal (Dr. David L. Ballantine), 

the scientific committee will be processing the 

submissions (see following submission deadline 

details). This announcement and new developments 

about the symposium will be posted regularly at 


1. Scientific Committee:
Dr. Javier Francisco-Ortega (Associate Professor, 

Florida International University and Fairchild 

Tropical Botanic Garden)

Dr. Ethan Freid (Botanist, Bahamas National 


Dr. Brett Jestrow (Herbarium Curator, Fairchild 

Tropical Botanic Garden)

Dr. Dion Hepburn (Chair, School of Chemistry, 

Environmental & Life Sciences, College of the 


2. Organizing Committee:
Tamica Rahming (Director of Science and Policy, 

Bahamas National Trust)

Eric Carey (Executive Director, Bahamas 

National Trust)

Dr. Dion Hepburn (Chair, School of Chemistry, 

Environmental & Life Sciences, College of the 


Dr. Javier Francisco-Ortega (Associate Professor, 

Florida International University and Fairchild 

Tropical Botanic Garden)

3. Symposium Background:
Sponsored by Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden 

and the U.S. National Science Foundation, the latest 

comprehensive flora of the Bahama Archipelago 

was published in 1982. This project was initiated by 

William T. Gillis, but the final work was authored 

by Donovan Correll and Helen Correll (illustrated 

by Priscilla Fawcett). Since its publication, 30 

years ago, this flora has played a major role in 

Bahamian education, research, and conservation 

because it is still the best available catalogue 

for plant biodiversity of this archipelago. The 

Bahamas National Trust has a mandate for plant 

conservation management in the Commonwealth 

of the Bahamas, and in the last 30 years it has been 

using this flora as the “manual” for its floristic 

activities. However, after recent discussions 

between conservation biologists involved in the 

symposium, we believe the time has arrived to 

evaluate what we know about plant biodiversity in 

the Bahamas and what conservation and research 

challenges lie ahead. After these discussions we 

feel that the 30th anniversary of the publication 

of the Flora of the Bahama Archipelago will be a 

good moment to organize a symposium to discuss 

these issues in an open arena. In the last 30 years 

many new research tools have been developed, but 

we also have many new environmental challenges. 

This is particularly relevant in the Bahamas, where 

in the last 30 years: (1) a network of national parks 

has been established, and (2) new botanical gardens 

with a strong conservation mission have been 

recently created or are about to be established.

4. Symposium Agenda:
October 30 (Tuesday):
Morning and afternoon at the College of 

the Bahamas (New Library of Oakes Field 

Campus, Thompson Boulevard). Oral and poster 

presentations (see following list of speakers and 


October 31 (Wednesday):
A. Morning: Field-trip (tentative depending on 

number of interested participants and available 

funding) to visit at least one of the New Providence 

national parks (Primeval Forest National Park 

and/or Harold and Wilson Ponds National Park); 

led by Ethan Freid. We are not certain about the 

number of slots that we will have available in the 

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Plant Science Bulletin 58(2) 2012

6. Symposium Fees/Registration, 

Accommodation, Abstract, Poster, Proceeding 


6.1. There are no symposium attendance fees. 

We are aiming for school teachers to also attend 

the symposium; therefore, the event aims to have 

a strong community and outreach component. To 

register for the symposium, send an e-mail to Javier 

Francisco-Ortega at We would also 

appreciate receiving details of: (1) the hotel where 

you will stay, (2) if you plan to join the field trip to 

the National Park (October 31), (3) if you plan to 

attend only the symposium talks at the College of 

the Bahamas (October 30), (4) if you plan to attend 

only the reception at the Retreat (October 31), and 

(4) if you plan to attend the activities offered both 

at the College of the Bahamas and at the Bahamas 

National Trust (October 30 and 31).

6.2. There are no hotels near the College of the 

Bahamas or the Retreat Gardens. However, there 

are several hotels along W Bay Street and Bay Street 

where you should be able to find accommodation. 

We are planning to provide transportation from a 

designated point near the hotel area to the College 

of the Bahamas and to the Retreat. A passport is 

required to travel to the Bahamas, but visa is not 

needed for U.S. citizens and legal residents.

Potential hotels are:
British Colonial Hilton - Nassau (Number One 

Bay St., Nassau N 7148, Bahamas, Phone: (242) 


Towne Hotel (40 George Street,  Nassau PO BOX 

N-4, Bahamas, Phone: (242) 322-8451)

Nassau Palm Hotel (West Bay Street, Nassau 

19055, Bahamas, Phone: (242) 356-0000)

El Greco Hotel (West Bay Street, Nassau, 

Bahamas, Phone: (242) 325-1121)

Nassau Junkanoo Resort (West Bay & Nassau 

Street, Nassau, 8191, Phone: (242) 322-1515)

There are also several hotels near the airport, 

but transportation from this area to Nassau is not 


6.3. Abstracts of posters and lectures from 

speakers should be send by e-mail to Javier 

Francisco-Ortega at before 

September 15, 2012. Each abstract should have a 

maximum of 250 words. Although the talks of the 

symposium have a focus on the Bahamian flora, 

buses; therefore, please indicate in your registration 

e-mail if you are interested in joining this field trip. 

Participants will be registered for this field trip on a 

first-come, first-served basis.

B. Afternoon (starts at 5:00 PM). Reception at 

the Retreat Gardens, Headquarters of the Bahamas 

National Trust.

B.1. Tour to the garden living collections; led by 

Ethan Freid.

B.2. Welcome words by Neil McKinney, President 

of Bahamas National Trust.

B.3. Lecture: “Bahamas National Trust Program 

to Advance Botanical Education, Research, and 

Conservation” by Eric Carey (Executive Director of 

the Bahamas National Trust)

5. Oral/Poster Presentations and Speakers 

(Symposium, October 30):

1. Dion Hepburn: Welcome words
2. Javier Francisco-Ortega: Introduction to the 


3. Keynote speaker: W. Hardy Eshbaugh, Miami 

University (Peter Raven Award recipient, 2008): 

“The Flora of the Bahamas, Donovan Correll, and 

the Miami University Connection”

4. Ethan Freid: “Plant Endemicity on the Bahama 


5. Lee B. Kass, Cornell University: “Historical 

Aspects of Correll & Correll’s flora of the Bahama 


6. Michael Vincent, Miami University: 

“Systematics, Taxonomy, and the new Flora of the 

Bahamian Archipelago”

7. Brett Jestrow: “From Plant Exploration to 

Phylogenetic and Biogeograpical Studies in the 


8. Eric Carey, Director of the Bahamas National 

Trust: “Plant Conservation Challenges in the 


9. Carl Lewis, Director of Fairchild Tropical 

Botanic Garden: “Establishing Bridges Between 

Science, Education, Community Involvement, and 


10. Poster Presentations

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Plant Science Bulletin 58(2) 2012

we want the symposium to also be an opportunity 

for biologists and environmental scientists to show 

their results. Therefore, we welcome posters in any 

area of environmental biology pertinent to the 

Caribbean Islands and South Florida, including 

both marine and terrestrial systems. Abstracts will 

be posted in the website of the symposium as we 

receive them.

6.4. Posters should not be more than 4 feet (121 

cm) wide by 4 feet (121 cm) high.

6.5. The deadline to submit manuscripts to 

the Caribbean Journal of Science is December 16; 

however, we encourage participants to send their 

submissions to this journal just around the time 

of the symposium. We will have a limited number 

of pages for the issue of the Caribbean Journal of 

Science devoted to the symposium proceedings. 

Manuscripts need to be sent to the Editor-in-Chief 

of the journal, Dr. David L. Ballantine, at david. Please indicate in the cover 

letter that the manuscript is part of the symposium 










Project Explores Traditional 

Ecological Knowledge of the 

Dakota Sioux People

ST. LOUIS, MO—The National Geographic 

Society’s Committee for Research and Exploration 

has awarded a one-year, $15,150 grant to Dr. Wendy 

Applequist, an ethnobotanist at the Missouri 

Botanical Garden’s William  L. Brown Center, 

who will collaborate with fellow ethnobotanist 

Karen Walker and Peter Lengkeek, tribal member 

of the Crow Creek Indian Reservation, to collect 

information about the traditional ecological 

knowledge of the Dakota Sioux People living on 

the Crow Creek Indian Reservation in central 

South Dakota. Native Americans have accumulated 

knowledge about their environment for centuries, 

developing skills in using plants that grow around 

them for food, medicine and shelter. Faced with 

an overwhelming potential for this knowledge to 

be lost in our modern society, project organizers, 

together with tribal members, seek to empower 

communities within the reservation to promote 

the preservation and use of traditional ecological 


Historically, Native Americans have passed 

their knowledge from one family to the next 

through oral traditions of storytelling, songs and 

teaching. Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) 

is a rich part of the cultural heritage of the Dakota 

People, who have used the prairie bioregion’s flora 

and fauna for food, medicine, dyes, ceremonies 

and building materials. In recent times, tribal 

members have grown concerned that their valuable 

traditional knowledge is being lost as community 

elders pass away. Together with former tribal 

council member Lengkeek, the Missouri Botanical 

Garden designed a research plan to document 

the native plant knowledge of their reservation to 

ensure this knowledge is continuing to be passed 

on for future generations.

The Crow Creek Indian Reservation was 

established in 1862, the result of the exile of the 

Dakota People formerly living along the lakes 

and rivers of Minnesota in the early 1800s. The 

400-square-mile area is located in central South 

Dakota bordering the Missouri River, and its 

terrain includes prairie bioregion, woodlands, 

rivers, Missouri Hills and watershed areas. The 

reservation is home to over 2,000 people.

Although several ethnobotanical studies have 

been conducted with the Sioux Nation in the 

past, no such study has ever been conducted on 

the Crow Creek Indian Reservation. William  L. 

Brown Center (WLBC) staff member Karen Walker 

and two students from the local tribal high school 

are conducting interviews with members of the 

reservation to ascertain their native plant use, both 

today and in the past. Project organizers predict 

that the diversity of species currently used by 

the tribe will be reduced due to ongoing cultural 

change, but that some plants native to their vicinity 

will be newly recorded.

WLBC staff will invite tribal elders who are 

considered knowledge holders in the community to 

join them in the field, collecting and vouchering all 

useful native plants mentioned during interviews 

and documenting the traditional process of plant 

collection and harvesting management techniques. 

Voucher specimens will be housed at the Missouri 

Botanical Garden, with duplicates remaining on the 

reservation. Staff will also conduct a floristic survey 

of the reservation, emphasizing the presence and 

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Plant Science Bulletin 58(2) 2012

explaining and disseminating information about 

the diverse and dynamic relationships between 

people and plants throughout the world. Today, 153 

years after opening, the Missouri Botanical Garden 

is a National Historic Landmark and a center for 

science, conservation, education and horticultural 

display. With scientists working in 35 countries 

on six continents around the globe, the Missouri 

Botanical Garden has one of the three largest plant 

science programs in the world and a mission “to 

discover and share knowledge about plants and 

their environment in order to preserve and enrich 


distribution of culturally important 


The resulting information will be 

amassed in a database and shared with 

the tribe at a native plants workshop 

this fall. All members of the tribe will 

have access to the voucher specimens 

and compiled interview data for 

purposes of learning and education.

“It is a great honor and privilege to 

work with the Dakota Sioux People,” 

said Walker. “As we visit with the elders 

and community members, recording 

TEK, it reinforces the important role 

plants have played in traditional diet, 

health and religion. The information 

that is being shared with us is a 

valuable resource to the whole community. It is 

also rewarding to see the excitement and energy 

from the students involved—there is no better way 

to preserve traditional ecological knowledge than 

to have the younger generation learning it directly 

from their tribal elders.”

With the William L. Brown Center, the Missouri 

Botanical Garden is a global leader in discovering, 

The inaugural American Journal of Botany 

special lecture at Botany 2012 will feature Gar 

Rothwell (Ohio University), who will present 

“Integrating Plant Evolution, Paleontology, 

and Molecular Genetics: A Developing 


Rothwell’s talk will focus on how, within 

the developmental framework, evolution can 

be interpreted as proceeding by the successive 

alteration of ontogeny, which is mediated 

via regulatory genetics. Neither genetic 

sequences nor experimental manipulations 

of development are directly available to the 

paleontologist. Nevertheless, by identifying 

structural “fingerprints” of developmental 

regulatory mechanisms, ontogenetic patterns 

can be inferred from the morphology and 

anatomy of extinct plant species. 

For more information on this talk, go to

Special Lecture at Botany 2012

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task, but with many contributors we can deliver 

what is needed.” 

“The world’s great botanical gardens are proud to 

lead this effort,” said Gregory Long, Chief Executive 

Officer and The William C. Steere Sr. President 

of The New York Botanical Garden. “Thanks to 

advances in our botanical knowledge and in digital 

technology, an online World Flora is within our 

grasp. It is imperative that we create this resource, 

which will help us assess the value of all plant 

species to humankind and be effective stewards to 

ensure their survival.”

 “There are few institutions in the world that have 

the capacity to foster this project, and no one of us 

could do this alone,” added Dr. Peter Wyse Jackson, 

President, Missouri Botanical Garden. “We all 

want to see this come to fruition, and the entire 

international community will benefit from it. With 

the botanical resources and knowledge we each 

possess, it was implicit that our institutions would 

step forward to collaborate on this project.”

Plants are one of Earth’s greatest resources. 

They are sources of food, medicines and materials 

with vast economic and cultural importance. 

They stabilize ecosystems and form the habitats 

that sustain the planet’s animal life. They are also 

threatened by climate change, environmental factors 

and human interaction. There are an estimated 

400,000 species of vascular plants on Earth, with 

some 10 percent more yet to be discovered. These 

plants, both known and unknown may hold 

answers to some of the world’s health, social and 

economic problems. A full inventory of plant life 

is vital if their full potential is to be realized before 

many of these species, and the possibilities they 

offer, become extinct.

The critical situation for plants, where at least 

100,000 plant species are threatened by extinction 

worldwide, has been recognized by the U.N. 

Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). In 2002, 

a Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC) 

was developed and adopted by the Convention.

In 2004, a Global Partnership for Plant 

Conservation (GPPC) was formed, involving 

leading environmental, conservation and botanical 

organizations who came together to support the 

achievement of the GSPC. The four botanical 

gardens involved in this new project are all 

members of the GPPC.


Four Prominent Botanical 

Institutions Announce Plans 

to Create First Online World 


Missouri Botanical Garden; 

The New York Botanical Garden; 

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; and 

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh 

Leading Effort to Develop World 

Flora by 2020

World Flora meeting (ST. LOUIS): The Royal 

Botanic Gardens, Kew (RBG Kew), the Royal 

Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE), The New 

York Botanical Garden (NYBG) and the Missouri 

Botanical Garden (MBG), have announced plans to 

develop the World Flora—the first modern, online 

catalog of the world’s plants—to be made available 

by the year 2020. This massive undertaking will 

include the compilation of information on up to 

400,000 plant species worldwide. It will also achieve 

a primary target of the Global Strategy for Plant 

Conservation, an ambitious effort first adopted 

by the United Nations’ Convention on Biological 

Diversity in 2002, to halt the continuing loss of plant 

biodiversity around the globe. Representatives of 

the four botanical gardens recently met to organize 

a framework to guide their efforts and respond to 

this need for a baseline survey on the plants of the 

world that has been called for by the international 

community. A Memorandum of Understanding 

(MOU) detailing plans to create the World Flora was 

recently signed into effect by the four institutions.

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Professor Stephen 

Hopper, Director, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew 

said, “Using the wealth of resources available at our 

institutions, we will help to provide the baseline 

data needed to develop plant-based solutions for 

a rapidly changing world. Botanical institutions 

worldwide have much expertise to contribute to 

this effort to capture the information necessary 

to better conserve and sustainably use the planet’s 

plant diversity.”

“Botanic gardens have led the way in spearheading 

international conservation strategies and programs, 

and are a natural partnership for mobilizing much 

needed information on plant biodiversity,” said 

Professor Stephen Blackmore, Regius Keeper of the 

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. “This is a large 

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Plant Science Bulletin 58(2) 2012

and create a structure and program able to 

incorporate data from institutions and individuals 

all over the world. In some cases, existing electronic 

data sets will be combined and augmented with the 

results of botanical research published over more 

than a century around the world. Much historic 

information will require a thorough review and 

update, along with a conversion to an electronic 

medium. As new plants are subsequently collected, 

named and described, they too will be added to the 

World Flora.

“We look forward to working with institutions 

worldwide to produce a sustainable resource to aid 

conservation globally, regionally and nationally,” 

said Hopper.

New York Botanical Garden “An online Flora 

of all known plants” is the first of the GSPC’s 

targets for the period 2011-2020. Earlier work by 

the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and the Missouri 

Botanical Garden addressed one of the GSPC’s 

earlier targets for 2010 with the launch of The 

Plant List, an online portal containing the accepted 

names and synonyms of all known plant species. 

The forthcoming Flora will use The Plant List as a 

building block for something much more detailed, 

containing not just names but also descriptions, 

images and distribution information about every 


The team tackling the World Flora will build a 

collaborative partnership for this work worldwide 

From L to R: Dr. Bob Magill, Senior Vice President, Science and Conservation, MBG; Melissa 

Tulig, Associate Director of the William and Lynda Steere Herbarium, NYBG; Professor Stephen 

Blackmore, Regius Keeper, RBGE; Chuck Miller, Vice President, Information Systems, Missouri 

Botanical Garden; (front) Dr. James S. Miller, Dean and Vice President for Science, NYBG; 

(back) Dr. Mark Watson, Co-ordinator of RBGE’s Major Floras Programme, RBGE; (front) Dr. 

David Simpson, Assistant Keeper and Head of Systematics, RBG Kew; Dr. Alan Paton, Assistant 

Keeper and Head of Biodiversity, Information and Conventions, RBG Kew; Dr. Peter Wyse 

Jackson, President, MBG; Nicholas Turland, Associate Curator, MBG. Photo taken on site at the 

Monsanto Center research facility of the Missouri Botanical Garden, January 24, 2012. Photo by 

Jeff Ricker, courtesy Missouri Botanical Garden.

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new species.  He amassed a large herbarium 

focused on orchids with 64,000 specimens (Sax, 

1950).  He donated this to Harvard, along with 

his economic botany collection and his botanical 

library, providing a substantial endowment for its 

maintenance.  Oakes published scores of articles 

and such books as Orchidaceae: Illustrations and 

Studies of the Family Orchidaceae (1905), Orchids of 

Guatemala (with D.S. Correll, 1952), and Economic 

Annuals and Human Cultures (1939).  This last was 

based on a course he taught in Harvard’s general 

education program and stressed the long and 

pivotal role of agriculture in human history.  The 

book became a classic and a major contribution 

to the field that Ames helped to found.  He also 

developed a large economic botany collection 

that is still housed at Harvard and that was used 

in his teaching.  His approach in the classroom 

was different from what might be expected in an 

economic botany course.  His former student Edgar 

Anderson (1952) writes that Ames spent little time 

on topics like agriculture, but a month on arrow 

poisons.  Yet somehow he got across the message 

that economic botany was an important part of 

human history and an intriguing field to explore.  

Blanche Ames and Her Many 


Blanche Ames was born in 1878 in Lowell, 

Massachusetts.  Her father, Adelbert Ames, 

was also a Governor, of Mississippi during the 

Reconstruction Era after the Civil War.  Even 

though Oakes and Blanche shared a surname, they 

were not related.  A graduate of Smith College, she 

married Oakes in 1900.  They had four children, 

and early in their marriage they lived with Oakes’s 

mother, in an admittedly spacious house, but under 

less than ideal conditions.  While Oakes was on a 

trip to Europe in 1905 doing research on orchids, 

Blanche went house hunting, reporting to Oakes 

by letter on a lovely home she was considering.  

Oakes wrote back telling her not to be too hasty, 

but upon his return, he got the message clearly 

enough that they bought property in North Easton 

with a farmhouse where they lived for several years 

until Borderland was built.  Oakes’s mother wasn’t 

happy about the move and threatened to prevent 

him from taking his orchids, though she eventually 

relented after an exchange of tense letters.  

Blanche Ames is one example among many of 

wives who supported their husband’s botanical 

work artistically.  Marion Ruff Sheehan documented 

Blanche and Oakes Ames: A Rela-

tionship of Art and Science

Maura C. Flannery

Professor of Biology

St. John’s University, Bent 268

Jamaica, NY 11439


Submitted 15 October 2011 

Accepted 8 March 2012

Blanche and Oakes Ames are a fascinating 

couple, as is evident in Jottings of a Harvard 

Botanist (1979), a collection of Oakes Ames’s 

writings, from letters to speeches to diary entries.  

All these deal with his life as a Harvard botanist and 

his relationship with his wife, Blanche.  Almost 30 

years after his death in 1950, his daughter Pauline 

Plimpton assembled these materials, and her son 

George Plimpton wrote the Foreword.  Particularly 

interesting from the viewpoint of their relationship 

are the letters that Ames wrote to Blanche, as 

well as the stories about their home, Borderland, 

which she designed to include a two-story library, 

a laboratory, and a herbarium for Oakes to use for 

his orchid research.  Blanche was an accomplished 

artist who did hundreds of illustrations for her 

husband’s botanical publications.  Several of her 

drawings are included in Jottings as is her portrait 

of Oakes.  There are also the details of her many 

other endeavors, ranging from politics to invention. 

Oakes Ames was born in 1874 in Easton, 

Massachusetts to a family that had made its 

money producing shovels—for the Pacific Union 

Railroad.  They had a greenhouse on their property, 

and Oakes’s father, Oliver Ames, who had been 

Governor of Massachusetts, grew orchids among 

other plants.  It was the orchids that attracted 

Oakes.  From an early age, he grew his own orchids 

and developed an extensive collection, which he 

donated to the New York Botanical Garden in 

1906, relatively early in his career.  Thereafter he 

relied primarily on herbarium specimens for his 

research.  He attended Harvard University and 

went on to spend his entire working life there, 

becoming professor of botany, chair of the botany 

department, and director of the Botanic Museum 

and the Arnold Arboretum.

Oakes participated in collecting expeditions to 

Central and South America, Florida, the Philippines, 

and the Caribbean, naming over a thousand 

Reports and Reviews

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Plant Science Bulletin 58(2) 2012

the work of his husband Thomas Sheehan, also 

an orchid expert; Joseph Hooker’s wife, Maria, 

did engravings for his publications; and both the 

wife and eldest daughter of the agronomist and 

botanist Lewis Sturtevant created illustrations for 

his writings.  While some women’s contributions 

were hidden by the fact that their works were 

unsigned, Blanche signed everything she produced.  

In addition to doing illustrations for Oakes, she 

also did them for his colleague Donovan Correll’s 

Orchids of North America North of Mexico (1950).

It is evident in many ways that Blanche did not 

sit quietly drawing orchids.  She managed a family 

of four children with several homes and had time to 

seriously support causes from women’s suffrage to 

birth control, including creating a series of cartoons 

for the suffragist cause (Clark, 2001). Since both her 

parents had been inventors, Blanche saw design as 

a normal response to practical dilemmas.  When 

the architect who was designing their house proved 

impossible to work with, she undertook the task 

and worked with contractors.  She also devised 

the drainage system for the property—with dams, 

and time has proven its practicality.  During World 

War II, she patented an apparatus to trap enemy 

planes, and when 90 years old, she developed an 

antipollution device for toilets (Crane & Haff, 1982).  

Blanche obviously didn’t see age as a barrier.  When 

in her eighties, she wrote a biography of her father, 

Adelbert Ames (Ames, 1964).  She undertook this 

project in response to John F. Kennedy’s (1956) 

Profiles in Courage where Adelbert was labeled as a 

carpetbagger governor of Mississippi.

With another family member, her brother 

Adelbert (Del) Ames II, Blanche developed a series 

of color charts, with about 3300 color variations, 

making it more comprehensive than the Musell 

Color System.  It took them over a year to create 

the entire scheme, and Blanche employed it in her 

paintings to illustrate its usefulness.   This work 

led them to an investigation of perception, and 

in particular of binocular vision (Behrens, 1998).  

Their collaboration yielded a device to replicate 

binocular vision, and Blanche painted several still 

lifes to test it out.  Del published three papers on 

their work, two with co-author Charles Proctor, 

but Blanche was not included as a co-author on 

any of these.  When he showed her the draft of a 

fourth paper, she rebelled; they had heated words 

during which Del claimed that she had contributed 

nothing to his ideas.  This resulted in several 

letters between the two that eventually calmed the 

situation.  Blanche became co-author on the paper, 

but the siblings never collaborated again (Ames, 

Proctor & Ames, 1923).  

Throughout their marriage, while serving as 

Ames’s chief illustrator, Blanche also painted 

portraits and a number of commissioned pieces, 

including a mural (Orchids and Artists, 1991).  She 

worked in several different media from watercolor 

to oils to etchings to relief sculptures, as well as in 

pen and ink—the staple of botanical illustrators.  

There are many examples of two types of her work 

at the Oakes Ames Herbarium at Harvard.  First are 

her pen and ink drawings that are frequently found 

on the herbarium sheets, sometimes as copies, 

documenting the drawings she did for Oakes’s 


Secondly, there are a number of her watercolors 

that are also included on herbarium sheets.  Some 

were done while she and Oakes were visiting 

herbaria including the Botanical Museum Berlin-

Dahlem in 1922.  One of these is a watercolor 

of  Stanhopea ruckeri Lindl.  This was based on 

a flower that the botanist and orchid authority 

Rudolf Schlecter had been carrying as a means 

of identification when he met them at the Berlin 

railroad station on the evening of August 25.  

Blanche lost no time getting to work.  She did 

a number of watercolors of individual species 

over the next few days—several a day—including 

Stanhopea.  On the herbarium sheets at Harvard, 

there are not only the watercolors, each dated, but 

cuttings taken from the Berlin collection that were 

used as models for Blanche’s art and then pressed by 

Ames.  These sheets are now particularly significant 

because almost all the specimens in Dahlem where 

destroyed in a bombing raid in 1943 (Angell & 

Romero, 2011).  

Oakes Ames was obviously not a purist who 

thought that only specimens should be put on 

herbarium sheets.  He included photographs of 

live plants and of herbarium specimens from 

collections he’d visited, as well as Blanche’s 

drawings and some of his own, which are simpler 

and rougher.  Frequently a copy of one of Blanche’s 

published drawings with her exquisite lettering 

is included; sometimes there is a portion of a 

published article or even on the entire article pasted 

to a sheet.  There are also sketches by others such 

as Charles Schweinfurth, a botanist who worked 

with Ames for 35 years.  The sheets sometimes 

look rather cluttered, but they are obviously rich 

sources of information and are indicative of Oakes’s 

philosophy that an herbarium sheet was a working 


The Charts

Among the most impressive illustrations that 

Blanche created are the “Ames Charts” done in 

1916 and 1917 for Oakes’s economic botany course.  

They are kept in the archives of the Harvard Botany 

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Plant Science Bulletin 58(2) 2012

Libraries and are very well-preserved.  They were 

hanging in the Nash Lecture Hall, the economic 

botany classroom, until it was dismantled in the 

late 1980s.  They had been framed under glass, 

which explains their excellent state of preservation, 

as does the fact that Blanche obviously used the best 


These are amazing works, varying in size but 

approximately three by four feet.  They are India ink 

with watercolor renderings of phylogenetic trees 

showing the relationships among species of useful 

plants.  The largest has the title, “Economic Plants 

of the Archichlamydeae arranged in accordance 

with the System of Engler & Gilg.,” presented in a 

decorative calligraphed label at the bottom of the 

chart, reminiscent of labels on old maps (Figure 

1).    The label includes the title, bordered on either 

side with a cornucopia and a vase of flowers at 

the bottom center; there is also a tiny peanut after 

“Gilg.”  This small touch suggests that Blanche had 

fun on this project and that she enjoyed working 

with Oakes.  The base of the tree is marked 

“Sub-Class 1,” with the stump of another trunk, 

“Dicotyledoneae Class 2,” pushing out to the side; 

Figure 1. Economic Plants of the Archichlamydeae arranged in accordance with the System of Engler & Gilg.

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Plant Science Bulletin 58(2) 2012

the latter is presented in a separate chart.  The major 

trunk is labeled Archichlamydeae with several 

branches and sub-branches also labeled.  There 

are 30 branches, numbered 1 at the bottom to 30 

at the top.  The branches are of varying thicknesses 

representing higher taxa; a genus name is noted by 

an ink line extending to a drawing with the species 

name alongside the drawing.  

On the tree there are dozens of sketches of plants, 

fruits, nuts, representing species of economic 

importance.  The entire chart is covered with these 

small watercolor drawings of plants; some of the 

pencil marks from underlying sketches remain.  

The arrangement of the drawings on the tree is 

extraordinary.  It must have taken Blanche a long 

time, and many preliminary sketches, to develop 

the layout.  This is truly a labor of love as well as a 

masterpiece of scientific illustration.  I can imagine 

Blanche and Oakes putting their heads together 

over the sketches, she blocking out individual 

branches, and he making changes, suggesting which 

plants he would like to use as examples. When it 

was completed, she signed it “Blanche Ames 1916.” 

The chart titled “Economic Plants of the 

Metachlamydeae arranged according to the system 

of Engler & Prantl” is the companion to the first.  

This has the best of the labels, rivaling that of a fine 

Renaissance map.  On one side of the label’s text 

there is an ink drawing of a woman representing 

Ceres, goddess of agriculture, and on the other a 

Native American surrounded by baskets, smoking 

pipe, corn, etc. This chart is not as large or elaborate 

as the other, but it still fills the page.  The base of the 

trunk is labeled “Class 2 Dicotyledoneae.”  Going up 

the trunk is the label:  “Subclass 2  Metachlamydeae 

or Sympetalae.”  There are no numbers on the 

branches here as there are on the other chart, but 

branches are labeled “order” at the point where each 

attaches to the trunk.   The chart is again signed 

“Blanche Ames 1916” and her humor, or his, again 

shows itself, this time in a drawing of Ecballium 

elaterium, the squirting cucumber, in the process 

of squirting.

 The patience and the detail found in the 

drawings—all the tiny hairs and the stippling—are 

exceptional.  In addition to ink and watercolor, 

Blanche used graphite for very subtle shading in 

places, so she really wanted to get it right.  There 

is still greater detail in the chart labeled “Genera 

of the Gymnospermae with the more important 

Economic Species arranged after Engler & Gilg. 

modified.”   It is an amazing production; there is 

much more work here because of the pinecones. 

There is also more detailing on the branches to 

highlight all the texture.  This sheet is signed 

“Blanche Ames, 1917,” so it must have been 

completed in the year following the other charts.  

There was obviously a limit to what even she could 

accomplish in a year.  

Other Work

Blanche did a different type of art for another 

of her joint enterprises with Oakes, the Christmas 

cards they sent from 1937 to 1949.  Each year’s card 

included an etching by Blanche of an orchid—of 

course—as well as a poem or other quote from 

writers such as Wordsworth, Whitman, and 

Robert Browning, which were chosen by Oakes.  

The etchings often had imaginative backgrounds, 

such as the interior of a cathedral.  All these cards 

were reprinted in a small book called Orchids at 

Christmas originally published in 1975 and then 

reprinted in 2007 with additional commentaries.  

It is a lovely little book and indicates that even 

though more than a generation had passed since his 

death, Oakes was still admired and remembered at 

Harvard, as was Blanche.  

In 1947, Blanche and Oakes jointly published 

Drawings of Florida Orchids, with Blanche as first 

author.  As usual, she supplied the illustrations 

and Oakes the text of short descriptions of the 

orchids pictured.  Whereas in his scientific works 

the illustrations complement the text, here the 

illustrations take center stage as they were intended.  

The two came up with the idea for this publication 

in late 1946, in preparation for a talk that Blanche 

was planning to present to the Garden Club of the 

Halifax Country in Ormond Beach, Florida where 

they spent winters after Oakes retired from Harvard 

in 1941.  In a matter of months, they had completed 

the manuscript, and it was published by the press at 

the Botanical Museum of Harvard University, which 

Oakes had founded.  The illustrations include some 

that Blanche did specifically for this book, but also 

a selection of works from their lifetime together 

studying orchids.  It is a lovely monument to their 


Blanche also did an number of sculptural reliefs 

of botanical interest.  One was the official seal of 

the American Orchid Society, which she and Oakes 

helped to found in 1921 (Crane & Haff, 1982).  The 

seal depicts an American Indian kneeling down 

to look at an orchid plant.  She also created a seal 

that Oakes Ames used in publications of Botanical 

Museum of Harvard Press.  Perhaps her most 

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Plant Science Bulletin 58(2) 2012

ambitious sculptural work was the monument she 

designed as a gravestone in the months after Oakes 

died of heart failure in 1950.  She sculpted it in clay, 

then had it cast in plaster and finally in bronze.  

It is set above her grave and that of Oakes in the 

Unity Cemetery in North Easton, Massachusetts.  

Of course, it is decorated with orchids, including 

tropical species as well as lady’s slipper orchids 

native to the Northeast.  It’s easy to imagine that 

creating this masterpiece was a way for Blanche to 

continue her 50-year relationship with her husband 

and his work.

Finally, an oil still life that Blanche painted 

deserves mention.  It relates to the other types of art 

she produced.  It includes—along with the requisite 

orchids—a microscope, a magnifying glass, and a 

flask that appears to contain an orchid specimen 

preserved in alcohol.  Many of the drawings Blanche 

did of the reproductive parts of orchids were based 

on such specimens; Oakes had thousands of them.  

I like to think that this painting is an idealized 

view of the materials Blanche used in creating her 

artwork for Oakes.  The book in the painting might 

be a reference on orchids, perhaps written by Oakes 

himself.  The entire orchid as well as its dissected 

parts are at hand; the microscope and hand lens are 

there for getting the details right.  When they were 

courting, Oakes presented Blanche with the gift of 

a microscope—what a romantic devil.  Perhaps it is 

this very microscope that’s pictured in the painting.
Note:  I would like to thank Lisa DeCesare, 

Irina Ferraras, Gustavo Romero, and Judith 

Warnement for their gracious assistance at 

the Harvard University Herbaria and Botany 

Libraries, as well as the reviewers for their 

useful comments.  This article was written with 

the support of the St. John’s University Faculty 

Writing Initiative.


Ames, A., Proctor, C. A., & Ames, B. 1923. Vision 

and the technique of art. Daedalus 58: 3-47.

Ames, B. 1947. Drawings of Florida orchids. 

Botanical Museum of Harvard University, 

Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

Ames, B. 1964. Adelbert Ames, 1835-1933: General, 

Senator, Governor. Argosy-Antiquarian, New 

York, New York, USA.

Ames, O. 1905. Orchidaceae: Illustrations and 

studies of the family Orchidaceae. Houghton, 

Mifflin, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Ames, O. 1939. Economic annuals and human 

cultures. Botanical Museum of Harvard 

University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

Ames, O. 1979. Jottings of a Harvard botanist. 

Botanical Museum of Harvard University, 

Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

Ames, O., & Ames, B. 2007. Orchids at Christmas 

(Reprint edition). Botanical Museum of 

Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 


Ames, O., & Correll, D. S. 1952. Orchids of 

Guatemala. Chicago Natural History Museum, 

Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Anderson, E. 1952. Plants, man and life. University 

of California Press, Berkeley, California, USA.

Angell, B., & Romero, G. A. 2011. Orchid 

illustrations at Harvard. The Botanical Illustrator 

17: 20-21.

Behrens, R. 1998. The artistic and scientific 

collaboration of Blanche Ames Ames and 

Adelbert Ames II. Leonardo31: 47-54.

Clark, A. B. 2001. My Dear Mrs. Ames: A study 

of suffragist cartoonist Blanche Ames Ames. P. 

Lang, New York, New York, USA.

Correll, D. S. 1950. Native orchids of North 

America north of Mexico. Chronica Botanica, 

Waltham, Massachusetts, USA.

Crane, B. L., & Haff, E. C. 1982. Blanche Ames: 

Artist and activist (1878-1969). Brockton 

Art Museum/Fuller Memorial, Brockton, 

Massachusetts, USA.

Kennedy, J. F. 1956. Profiles in courage. Harper, 

New York, New York, USA.

Orchids and Artists: Five centuries of botanical 

illustrations from Peter Schoeffer to Blanche 

Ames ’99. 1991. Smith College Museum of Art, 

Northampton, Massachusetts, USA.

Sax, K. 1950. Oakes Ames, 1874-1950. Journal of 

the Arnold Arboretum 31: 335-349.

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Book Reviews

Developmental and Structural

The Shaping of Life: The Genera-

tion of Biological Pattern

Lionel G. Harrison

2011. ISBN-13: 978-0-521-55350-6

Cloth, US$99.00. 247 pp.  

Cambridge University Press, New York, New 

York, USA

When it comes to life on our planet, humans 

have made significant progress in exploring 

what  and  where, more or less distilling when

ever busying ourselves with whom  and  why. In 

The Shaping of Life:  The Generation of Biological 

Pattern, Lionel G. Harrison delivers a compelling 

look at how. Growth is a tremendous and complex 

realm of study, and here Harrison reaches beneath 

the more common analysis of structures and their 

functions to uncover the processes responsible for 

the living forms that exist. In a rich combination 

of theory, experimentation, mathematics, and 

metaphor, Harrison expands his first book, Kinetic 

Theory of Living Pattern (1993) with his own work 

and further research, compiling into one volume 

the questions, philosophy, and methodology of 

physical chemistry in the quest for understanding 

how chemistry and physics on the microscopic level 

develop into the biological life we recognize.  

Harrison is methodical and thorough in his 

approach. In each of the three parts, a brief and 

primary exposition addresses the fundamental 

theories of the subject, the conflicts therein, and the 

possible paths of study. The explication that follows 

each includes his own experiments and the models, 

images, and differential equations derived thereof. 

Throughout his work there is frequent reference 

to a number of scientists, from Aristotle in his 

Generation of Animals to Harrison’s own student M. 

J. Lyons and his work with stripe selection in pattern-

forming models with linear systems and electron 

microscope imaging (1992). Harrison’s background 

in physical chemistry is pronounced, but in his 

integration of metaphors from the operatic works 

of Offenbach to the elementary truths of Isaac 

Newton, he demonstrates a broad appreciation for 

creative inquiry. The organization is clear, from the 

concise table of contents to the expansive library of 

resources in which he consistently draws specific 

and pertinent references. 

The heart of Harrison’s investigations is the 

movement within and between that which creates 

organization and that which is organized. In his 

first pages he asserts, “I am concerned mainly 

with how the tiny, partly fragmentary and partly 

one-dimensionally ordered genetic beginnings are 

transformed into the three-dimensional organism 

by the processes of development.” From there, 

he delves into the dynamics of the chemical and 

Books Reviewed

Developmental and Structural

The Shaping of Life: The Generation of Biological Pattern ............................................65


Fire in the Forest  ..............................................................................................................67
The Last Great Plant Hunt: The Story of Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank  .......................68


21st Century Guidebook to Fungi ....................................................................................69


Early Flowers and Angiosperm Evolution  ......................................................................70


Light and Photosynthesis in Aquatic Ecosystems  ...........................................................73


Hardy Heathers from the Northern Hemisphere: 

Calluna, Daboecia, Erica ..............................


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Plant Science Bulletin 58(2) 2012

physical reactions in a number of growths in minute 

detail. Plants are his first subjects, in which he 

dissects the nature of cell division and anisotropic 

changes of shape. Much of his research focused on 

Acetabularia acetabulum, a lengthy aquatic plant 

(at 4 cm) with a single nucleus, whose propensity 

for developing vegetative whorls elucidated the 

possibility for reaction–diffusion mechanisms 

as a source of such development, rather than the 

“mechanical buckling” that is favored by some 

scientists. The more complex nature of higher 

order plants was studied in the same vein with 

somatic embryos of conifers, whose generation in 

vitro  allowed visibility in another level of vegetal 

complexity. Within this venture, Harrison sought 

a “natural continuity” between unicellular and 

multicellular plants. His studies complemented the 

work of P.B. Green et al. (1996) and their work in 

phyllotactic patterns to develop the proportions 

and interactions between the aforementioned 

reaction–diffusion process and mechanical 

buckling. Studies of the latter involved the genus 

Microasteras, another aquatic marvel in the desmid 

family of algae that is renowned for its repeated 

dichotomous branching. 

In its second part, the text explores the likenesses 

in development mechanisms in plants and 

animals, once again questing for interdisciplinary 

compatibility. There is a powerful merger here 

of two of the other pioneers in the field, V. B. 

Wigglesworth (1940) and A. M. Turing (1952), 

where Harrison synthesizes their theories of 

activation–inhibition dynamics with extensive 

detail into diffusion-driven stability and how 

patterns of chemical concentration yield harmonic 


There is much attention throughout the book 

to the classification of processes and then their 

integration. His three largest considerations from 

an aspect of physical chemistry are structure, 

equilibrium, and kinetics. Within this framework, 

he develops his own “pseudo phyla” of reaction–

diffusion, mechochemical, self-electrophoretic, and 

complex intercellular systems. As he moves into the 

animal kingdom, he continues with these features 

on the microscopic level, first with the attractive 

forces that distribute cells into layered spheres 

and later to the expression of stripes and spots, 

onward until the paraxial mesoderm of the axolotl 

(amphibian) during somite formation. He makes 

clear the two singularly animal behaviors of having 

precise placement of specific cell types that produce 

a function and the movement of cells during 

development. The final chapter on gastrulation is 

not of his research, but an assembly of information 

about the body plans of most metazoa that 

cumulates the similarities in the kingdoms Plant 

and Animal, almost apologizing for the fact that 

he was unable to understand or explore all of each 


This book is by no means intended for the faint 

of heart. While its title might provoke thoughts of 

the wholesome passage of pupae to butterfly, its 

pages reveal the seemingly infinite complexity of 

physical chemistry and formation biology. While 

he does present a thorough introduction to each 

investigative tool in his arsenal, the differential 

equations and intricacy of mathematical models 

can be a steep climb. Broad theory of scientific 

disciplines intermingles with uncommonly exact 

investigation, and it is really the responsibility of 

the reader to ponder that middle ground in his or 

her own applications. To those specifically seeking 

evidence and methods of inquiry into cell sorting 

and pattern forming of “simple” plants, hyphae, 

embryonic development, and the dynamic theories 

therein, The Shaping of Life is an excellent resource. 

To those with interest in the evolution and theory 

at the interface of physical chemistry and the 

biological sphere, this book offers a pithy and well-

informed perspective. For those who hope for 

beautiful pictures, it would be best to put down the 

book and go outside. 

Harrison does not give answers or paint pictures, 

but his clarity of thought and his holistic approach 

to education are intended to inspire others in 

the pursuit of understanding. Indeed it has, for 

when Lionel Harrison passed in 2008 his book 

was unfinished; it was his team of colleagues and 

students who shaped and delivered his work to 

the world. Harrison’s distinctive writing style 

is evident in his sharp wit and fervent love of 

physical chemistry, but it is Harrison’s desire for 

collaboration and integration that really makes his 

final work appropriately the work of many. 



1996. Phyllotactic patterns: A biophysical 

mechanism for their origin. Annals of Botany 

77: 515–527.

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Plant Science Bulletin 58(2) 2012

HARRISON, L. G. 1993. Kinetic Theory of 

Living Pattern. Cambridge University Press, 

Cambridge, United Kingdom. 

LYONS, M. J., and L. C. HARRISON. 1992. Stripe 

selection: An intrinsic property of some pattern-

forming models with nonlinear dynamics. 

Developmental Dynamics 195: 201–215.

TURING, A. M. 1952. The chemical basis of 

morphogenesis.  Philosophical Transactions of 

the Royal Society of London, Series B, Biological 

Sciences 237: 37–72.

WIGGLESWORTH, V. B. 1940. Local and general 

factors in the development of “pattern” in 

Rhodnius prolixus (Hemiptera).  Journal of 

Experimental Biology 17: 180–200.

–Rebecca Bender, Department of Civil Engineer-

ing, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, 

Michigan, USA


Fire in the Forest

Peter Thomas and Robert McAlpine

2010. ISBN-13: 978-0-521-82229-9

Hardcover, US$49.00. 225 pp. 

Cambridge University Press, New York, New 

York, USA

Fire in the Forest is an interesting international 

introduction to the intriguing and sometimes 

enigmatic role that fire plays in natural and 

increasingly human-inhabited ecosystems. It is 

presented from a nontechnical, but well-referenced, 

point of view by the two primary authors, who are 

well positioned to provide such insights on this topic.  
The text is divided into a logical progression of 

subjects beginning with an examination of the 

occurrence of fire in both geologic and historical 

landscapes throughout the world. Next, the physics 

of fire is examined in general terms, and these 

factors are placed within the context of various 

forests within American, Eurasian, and Australian 

landscapes. Impacts on abiotic and biotic 

components of ecosystems subject to periodic 

fire are then explored. A guest chapter by Peter 

Hobson examines the benefits and challenges of 

using fire as a landscape management tool within 

our contemporary society, in which the wild 

land–urban interface continues to expand. An 

informative look at current methods of monitoring 

and making decisions to let burn or suppress 

wildfires is provided, and the different methods and 

approaches that are utilized on various continents 

are compared. The book concludes with a guest 

chapter by Kelvin Hirsch, director of the Climate 

Change and Forests Research Program of the 

Canadian Forest Service, who examines via three 

case studies, and some hypothetical scenarios, 

the potential ways that we may learn to live with 

and eventually utilize fire within our increasingly 

human-dominated natural forested environments. 
For those readers who are inspired to pursue this 

subject from a more intense research-oriented 

perspective, the book provides a list of more 

in-depth treatises on the role of fire in various 

ecosystems throughout the world. Each chapter 

includes judiciously placed references, so that 

readers seeking a more in-depth account of various 

subjects can pursue these at will. The frequency of 

these citations is appropriately spaced so that the 

text reads more like an informative nonfictional 

account than a research-oriented textbook. The 

color illustrations serve to clarify or illustrate 

the main points being made by the authors in an 

effective manner. The boxed tables and highlighted 

detailed studies blend well with the themes of each 

chapter. The text is well indexed, although why 

most scientific binomials reference a common 

name, rather than a page number, escapes this 

reviewer. In short, it is a well-constructed book that 

will engage the reader at multiple levels.
In summary, this book does an excellent job of 

attaining its stated objective of providing the reader 

with a nontechnical introduction to the mechanics 

of fire and the role that fire has played and will 

continue to play in various forest ecosystems 

throughout the world. This reviewer found the 

international perspective especially informative, 

and the authors do an excellent job of making the 

reader aware that management of fires throughout 

the world’s forests is and will remain an important 

management challenge for the foreseeable future. 

The text provides sufficient references so that 

readers who are stimulated to pursue this topic 

on a more detailed research level are provided 

with handy entry-level citations. It is highly 

recommended for the shelves of every well-stocked 

educational library, especially those facilities that 

are frequented by high school and undergraduate 

students interested in entering environmental and 

ecosystem management–related professions. 
–Roger D. Meicenheimer, Department of Botany, 

Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, USA

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Plant Science Bulletin 58(2) 2012

The Last Great Plant Hunt: The 

Story of Kew’s Millennium Seed 


Carolyn Fry, Sue Seddon, and Gail Vines

2011 ISBN-13: 978-1-84246-432-8

Cloth, US$45.00. 192 pp. 

Kew Publishing, Royal Botanic Gardens, 

Kew, Richmond, Surrey, United Kingdom

The Millennium Seed Bank at the Royal 

Botanic Gardens, Kew, is the world’s largest plant 

conservation program. This book, published by 

the Royal Botanic Gardens, commemorates the 

Millennium Seed Bank Project (MSBP), a 10-year 

effort completed in 2010, and the Millennium Seed 

Bank Partnership (confusingly, also referred to 

as MSBP), an ongoing global project to catalogue 

seeds from plants threatened by extinction (the 

official goal is to gather seeds from 25% of global 

plant species by 2020). The book is written well, 

but organized clumsily, and the bureaucratic 

spirit that seems to accompany the altruistic 

efforts of nongovernmental organizations—such 

as the Royal Botanic Gardens—permeates this 

book. It is an unusual work, at times seeming 

like a government report, replete with statistics 

indicating past courses of action, at other times 

sounding like a school textbook or museum 

display, explaining a particular “plant hunt” 

through maps, panoramic photographs, and 

interviews with affected locals. The book doesn’t 

rely on a straightforward, A-to-Z description of 

what the Millennium Seed Bank Project and/or 

Partnership are; instead, it is a loose collection of 

related short essays connected by the common 

theme of the MSBP. Interspersed throughout these 

essays are accompanying photographs, some of 

which are incredibly beautiful. The reader has to do 

quite a bit of work assembling the diverse tidbits of 

information describing the MSBP and integrating 

them into a unified account of what exactly the 

program is about. On the other hand, the diversity 

of subprojects involved is staggering, and perhaps 

a single account would have related this fact less 


The Last Great Plant Hunt tells the reader two 

stories: firstly, it impresses upon the reader the 

importance of plant biodiversity; and secondly, 

it explains how seed banking, along with other 

conservation efforts, can act as a bulwark against 

extinction. Ostensibly, the book is divided into six 

sections: what the “last plant hunt” is; the global 

scale of the MSBP; a series of semi-independent 

accounts of how seeds are recovered from 

environments across the world; a primer on how 

seed banking works; what kinds of applications are 

possible using banked seeds; and how to begin to 

restore “degraded ecosystems” using seeds. In actual 

fact, these sections are broken up with numerous 

short features and full-page photographs.

One of the interesting parts of this book are the 

“Job Profile” features describing the role of specific 

workers at the MSBP. For example, International 

Coordinator Michael Way is introduced to the 

reader as a botanist working with scientists in Chile 

to help bank seeds from endangered local flora; 

a short background on his work is accompanied 

by some of the best photographs in the book. 

Laboratory and Building Manager Keith Manger 

is introduced as a senior leader at the Seed Bank. 

Seed Germination Specialist Rosemary Newton 

is presented as the MSBP’s resident germination 

problem solver, identifying ideal germination 

conditions for some of the seed bank’s tough 

cases. Some of the one-page descriptions of MSBP 

employees are interesting and some aren’t, but the 

intention seems to have been to put a human face 

on the conservation efforts of the seed bank, and 

with respect to this goal, the profiles are successful. 

Perhaps more interesting to the average botanist 

are the descriptions of the seed banking processes 

themselves. There is a short description of the 

seed vault (“The Most Biodiverse Building on 

Earth”), the storage procedures, the research being 

performed on seed germination, and many other 

topics relating to the science of banking seeds. 

These sections are definitely the high points of 

the book. Although a good portion of the book is 

devoted to this topic, the tour seems a little short 

on detail, and the reader may be left wanting more. 

Accompanying nearly every section of this book 

are photos. Pictures of seeds, of plants, of scientific 

equipment, of the MSBP personnel, of the Wellcome 

Trust Millennium Building, of landscapes—all are 

present in abundance, as The Last Great Plant Hunt 

contains over 150 color photographs. These photos 

are the other main strength of this book—many of 

the pictures are eye-catching and beautiful. It isn’t 

just that the photographers only snapped shots of 

strange and unique plants either, although there are 

some of these, including a great two-page spread of 

traveller’s palm (Ravenala madagascariensis) seeds 

wrapped in bright blue casings—some of the best 

shots are of relatively common species. 

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for understanding growth and development of 

fungi. The operating manual is very detailed with 

excellent instructions. The user can install the 

program or directly start the application and work 

with it using the IE browser. Everything is designed 

to be either downloaded or used directly from the 

browser, and is very user friendly. The Neighbour-

Sensing applet is computationally demanding, so 

it is important to have a reliable computer with 

good speed. The CD is a great feature of the book, 

making this an outstanding resource.

The book starts with an overview of fungal 

communities and microbial diversity, including 

the importance of fungi in agriculture. A table 

describing the roles and activities of fungi in 

biogeochemical processes serves as the appetizer 

for what is yet to come. The diagrams included 

are nicely done, and the photomicrographs are of 

excellent quality.  The description of evolutionary 

origins in Chapter 2 is delightful. The authors 

manage to put together the “big picture,” including 

a history of the universe from its formation and 

the developmental changes that resulted in the 

formation of Earth and the origin of the Earth–

binary system, creating the perfect conditions for 

life. It was a very enjoyable chapter to read, showing 

fungi in the context of the universe, something that 

few books are able to address. The authors include 

tables with additional terminology to allow readers 

to grasp the material better. 

The description of the members of the Kingdom 

Fungi is nicely done. The authors include 

information about mechanisms such as sirenin that 

allow male gametes to find the female gametes. The 

writing familiarizes the reader with the intricacies 

of the world of fungi and allows experts to keep this 

book as a reference. The writing is appropriate for 

both students and experts; it will be an excellent 

textbook for teaching because it introduces the 

concepts with great narration and points of interest 

about the world of fungi. The life cycles of the 

fungi are described clearly for the novice and the 

expert. The photomicrographs are of superb quality 

and serve as a great source of information for the 

identification of diagnostic characteristics in fungi. 

Several of the most important photographs are 

provided in both black and white and color (after 

pages 149 and 340); perhaps it would have been 

better to see those color pictures the first time they 

were shown, but reduction of costs sometimes 

requires doing things like this. 

All in all, this is a strange book. It isn’t really a 

coffee table book, despite its size and being stuffed 

with gorgeous pictures, since it consists largely 

of essays. The book has no real introduction, 

where the authors typically describe the purpose 

of the book; bizarrely, the closest that any part 

of the book comes to an overview is the short 

foreword from HRH Prince Charles, the Prince 

of Wales, in which he outlines what he thinks the 

book is about. Furthermore, this book appears to 

have been ghostwritten by the authors working 

alongside scientists and bureaucrats at the MSBP, 

and at times sounds more like an advertisement 

than an in-depth look at what the Millennium Seed 

Bank Partnership is all about. That being said, the 

book is interesting even when the material isn’t, 

and manages to get the reader inspired about seed 

banking, which may not, even among botanists, be 

the sexiest topic imaginable. Although unsuitable 

for a serious, in-depth academic study and at times 

somewhat confused in terms of its organization, 

this book is an exciting and visually appealing look 

at the purpose and practice of seed banking, a vital 

practice in modern plant conservation biology. 
–P. William Hughes, Biology Department, Carleton 

University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada


21st Century Guidebook to Fungi

David Moore, Geoffrey D. Robson, and An-

thony P. J. Trinci

2011. ISBN-13: 978-0-521-18695-7

Paperback, US$65.00. 626 pp. 

Cambridge University Press, New York, New 

York, USA

This book originated from many years of 

the authors’ teaching experience. It is a written 

in delightful prose, integrating concepts and 

interdisciplinary knowledge. When a particular 

topic is not covered extensively, the authors direct 

the readers to additional literature. This facilitates 

its use as a textbook in the classroom and as an 

independent learning tool. The book comes with 

CD that, when started, opens in Internet Explorer. 

The CD contains a hyperlinked version of the entire 

book, the integrated World of Cyberfungi website, 

and a great growth simulator program called the 

Neighbour-Sensing program. Tropisms models 

included are outstanding sources for learning and 

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The description of the kinetics of colony 

formation and hyphal branching is clear and 

concise. If the book is used in the classroom, it 

will help students understand how these kinetic 

analyses are done, allowing students to design 

their own experiments if inquiry-based exercises 

form part of the coursework. The authors provide 

resources such as virtual cell animations in shaded 

boxes that are useful for both teachers and students. 

One full chapter is dedicated to the fungal cell wall, 

which is useful given this structure’s wide range 

of functions. In addition, the authors address the 

“far side” of the cell wall with a discussion of the 

presence of mating proteins (agglutinins), cell 

adhesion proteins (adhesins), hydrophobins, and 

glomalins. Furthermore, the authors discuss the 

fungal cell wall as a target for chemotherapy, a topic 

they address in more detail in Chapter 18. 

 Fungal genetics and diversity are nicely 

discussed and the concepts are illustrated with 

clear diagrams that are easily understood by both 

novices and experts. The sexual reproduction 

chapter describes mating systems and provides 

examples in Saccharomyces, Neurospora, 

Basidiomycota, among others; however, the list 

of references from this section (8.7) could benefit 

from more recent publications. The section on 

biochemistry and developmental biology of fungi 

includes a discussion of the contribution of fungi to 

ecosystems leading to the biochemistry, including 

a discussion of primary and secondary metabolites 

with clear diagrams illustrating key pathways. 

The authors give special attention to illustrating 

concepts that are difficult to understand without 

such resources.

One of the more delightful sections to read 

includes Part V (ecosystem mycology, pathogenicity 

of fungi in plants and animals), which discusses 

many facets of the uses of fungi and the ecosystem 

connections and intricate relationships between 

fungi, plants, and animals. Two additional sections 

discuss fungal applications in biotechnology and 

commercial applications at the industrial level; 

these sections include useful diagrams of the 

production process of some of the products. The 

bioinformatics section is clear and succinct, with 

flow charts of key processes that guide the reader 

and allow for easy understanding of the material 

discussed. The book ends with a very nice outline 

of the classification of fungi (adapted from the 

Dictionary of the Fungi [Kirk et al., 2011], but 

amended to include emerging phylogeny) and 

another appendix describing mycelia and hypha 

differentiation that will serve as an invaluable guide 

for taxonomists and fungi enthusiasts.

21st Century Guidebook to Fungi combines clear 

explanation of details with descriptions of big 

concepts, bringing together interdisciplinary areas. 

The authors were successful at integrating fungi 

with other organisms and describing fungi as a part 

of biological systems. The CD is a great resource, 

and the overall result is a very useful book for 

fungi aficionados, experts, students, and classroom 

teaching. This book could become a classic in 

the field and will be an enjoyable read for anyone 

wanting to learn more about fungi. 

Literature Cited

KIRK, P. M., P. F. CANNON, D. W. MINTER, and 

J. A. STALPERS [eds.]. 2011. Dictionary of the 

Fungi, 10th ed. CABI, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, 

United Kingdom.

–Olga R. Kopp, Department of Biology, Utah Valley 

University, Orem, Utah, USA


Early Flowers and Angiosperm 


Else Marie Friis, Peter R. Crane, and Kaj 

Raunsgaard Pedersen

2011. ISBN-13: 978-0-521-59283-3

Cloth, US$160.00. 585 pp. 

Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 

United Kingdom

Darwin’s “abominable mystery” has been used 

to describe a number of open questions focused 

on the origin and evolution of the angiosperms. 

While Darwin was likely referring to the sudden 

appearance of diverse angiosperm lineages, which 

was counter to his view of gradualism (Friedman, 

2009), questions centered on the nearest living 

or extinct angiosperm outgroup and homologies 

with flowers, among other conundrums, have also 

been assigned to the mystery shelf. This book is 

to my knowledge the most scholarly treatment of 

Darwin’s “abominable mystery (sensu Friedman, 

2009),” providing the most complete compilation 

of fact and interpretation of the angiosperm fossil 

record. In toto, the book demonstrates that during 

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the early history of the angiosperms, extending 35 

million years, there is a “clear and orderly pattern 

of increasing phylogenetic diversity, increasing 

structural complexity, and increasing abundance” 

(p. 498). It also does a fine job of discussing the 

available evidence of outgroups and what might 

or might not be homologs to flowers in these 

outgroups. This book, read along with Soltis et al. 

(2005) and Stebbins (1974), will both introduce you 

to outstanding unanswered fundamental questions 

and provide you with the information to synthesize 

a more complete understanding of angiosperm 

floral evolution. They accomplish this by providing 

an “overview and initial critical analysis of the 

paleobotanical record” (p. 168) integrated with 

information from living plants, thus providing a 

fuller understanding of floral evolution.

The book begins with a description of the 

phylogenetic position of the angiosperms as well 

as the characteristic features of the group. The 

next several chapters introduce the reader to a 

historical (biological) perspective, discussing 

the environmental context of early angiosperm 

evolution as well as the stratigraphic framework 

and key locales for Cretaceous angiosperms. Next 

follows the heart of the book, 14 chapters that 

describe the fossil evidence of seed plants, critically 

evaluating the evidence for the nearest outgroups 

to the angiosperms, and continuing the critical 

evaluation of the fossils defining the stem and crown 

groups of the angiosperm from the ANITA grade 

(or ANA grade by some) through the core Eudicots. 

The last five chapters build upon the foundation 

chapters by placing the findings in a broader 

evolutionary context: diversification of the flower 

in terms of key structural features, the role of pollen 

and fruit dispersers as mediators of selection, the 

ecological context of early angiosperm evolution, 

and a summary of the appearance and frequency 

of the various angiosperm clades. Each chapter 

begins with a broad introduction and overview of 

the topics. Because each chapter is well referenced, 

the book provides as complete a synthesis of the 

fossil record of the early angiosperm as I am aware. 

To reiterate, this book provides not only facts but 

also many potential questions and thus can serve as 

both an inspirational textbook (more below) as well 

as a recipe for future research investigations. 

Each reader will take from this tome depending 

on his or her unique intellectual perspective. My 

research is split between understanding the forces 

that determine the type and amount of standing 

genetic variation and how natural selection shapes 

genetically based phenotypic variation, using 

flowers as models for studying the evolution of 

adaptations. Before reading this book, I could not 

tell you what the different stages of the Cretaceous 

are, and I still have to carefully think through the 

distinction between calyx, sepals, and perianth. 

Nevertheless, despite my limited formal training 

(but not limited interest) in paleobotany and plant 

morphology, my understanding of the adaptive 

significance of floral features was greatly expanded 

by taking into consideration the evolutionary 

history of flowers as reconstructed through the 

fossil record. 

For example, this book demonstrated to me 

once again the importance of simultaneously 

considering pollination and mating system 

evolution (Harder and Barrett, 1996; Holsinger, 

1996; Fenster and Marten-Rodriguez, 2007). 

Bisexual flowers currently predominate in 

frequency (Barrett, 2010), yet the fossil record 

reveals that unisexual and bisexual flowers were 

found in equal proportions until late into the 

Cretaceous (about 70 mya), when bisexual flowers 

began to obtain their current frequency (p. 392). 

This timing also roughly corresponds to the first 

appearance of flowers with distinct corolla and 

calyx, threadlike filaments (facilitating herkogamy 

and protandry; Friis and Endress, 1990; Endress, 

2011), nectary disks, sympetally, and zygomorphy, 

as well as the appearance of pollinators more 

dependently capable of precise pollination. In the 

contemporary flora, dioecy is associated with less 

precise pollination systems, i.e., with smaller flowers 

that are often radially symmetric with generalized 

animal or wind pollination systems (Barrett, 

2010). Thus, the historical record of sexual systems 

provides circumstantial evidence that the evolution 

of separate sexed flowers reflects, in part, selection 

to avoid inbreeding and inbreeding depression, 

while the advent of precise pollination and the 

ability to separate male and female function within 

the same flower through protandry and herkogamy 

allows precise (highly directional) placement of 

pollen on the vector while avoiding self-pollination. 

Obviously there are also other factors to consider, 

since half of the early Cretaceous flowers are 

bisexual, bennettitaleans had bisexual flowers, 

and evidence suggests that the Gnetales did once 

upon a time as well. Whether these early bisexual 

flowers (angiosperms) or bisexual reproductive 

structures (non-angiosperms) had precise 

pollination and what their mating systems were 

are open questions, suggesting that there should 

be continued efforts to quantify the appearance of 

floral structures promoting precise pollination as 

well as continued study of the role of pollination 

precision in the evolution of inbreeding avoidance. 

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Another astounding feature of the fossil record is 

that monocot and eudicot lineages diverge some 

120 mya, yet the first appearance of zygomorphy 

occurs roughly 70 mya, clearly demonstrating the 

independent evolution of zygomorphy in these 

two clades (although they may reflect similar gene 

expression patterns of CYC/TB1-like genes; Bartlett 

and Specht, 2011), which heightens my interest in 

the outcome of future studies directed at the genetic 

and developmental basis of zygomorphy in these 

two groups. 

This is not to say that the book is without its 

faults. The authors are very reserved in their 

conclusions, concordant with their highly critical 

(in a positive sense) evaluation of the fossil record. 

It often seemed to me that they were willing to 

give you all the information that they know so that 

you could “take away” what they know. Given the 

combined intellectual strengths of Friis, Crane, and 

Pedersen, I would have welcomed more input or 

guidance from the authors, even if speculative and 

eventually wrong. Many of the chapters, especially 

through the descriptions of the fossil record of the 

major clades (15 of the first 20 chapters), do not end 

with summary points, so one can be left in some 

bewilderment as to what one just slogged through. 

The figures are variable in quality and should 

uniformly have arrows, etc., pointing to key features 

of the fossils, but they do not. The ages of the fossils 

should be referred to in millions of years ago along 

with the eras, but this is rarely done. The book does 

assume a paleobotanical and plant morphology 

background, so jargon abounds for those of us 

seeking insight into floral evolution through the 

fossil record, e.g.: “This biphyletic interpretation 

of seed plant evolution with the recognition of 

Devonian progymnosperms and the hypothesis 

that aneurophytalean progymnosperms … while 

the archaeopteridalean progymonosperms…” (p. 

141) and “A key issue with respect to the origin 

of angiosperms is the evolution of anatropous, 

bitegmic ovules from the orthotropous, unitegemic 

ovules of most other extant and fossil seed plants” 

(p. 152). I would have welcomed boxed text that 

clarified these statements. 

Furthermore, the adaptive, or potentially 

adaptive, or at least speculatively adaptive basis 

of many key features of seed plant evolution is 

not discussed, e.g., the different types of ovules 

mentioned above or the relevance of tectate-

granular pollen, nor is the defining feature of 

angiosperms—the lack of a distinct laminated 

endexine in the pollen.  All of the above criticisms 

weigh against using this book as an undergraduate 

textbook, though it would be wonderfully 

stimulating at a higher level. From the perspective 

of using this book as a resource for future research, 

there are some glaring inconsistencies that 

potentially lessen its impact. For example, my 

enthusiastic explanation of the role of pollination 

precision in the evolution of sexual systems was 

not based on any presented data, per se, but rather 

from the statement, “Bisexual flowers, which 

predominate among extant angiosperms, only 

become dominant in fossil floras during the Late 

Cretaceous” (p. 392). The scholarship of the book 

would have been elevated if the statement was 

based on trend lines with actual means and ranges 

from the different extinct communities, as they do 

for seed and fruit volumes in 25 fossil floras across 

the Cretaceous through the Neogene (= 135–2.6 

mya) (p. 452). 

Criticisms notwithstanding, this is an important 

book for those wishing a fuller understanding of 

floral evolution. Buy it, read it, discuss it, and you 

will achieve sexual enlightenment of the floral kind. 

Literature Cited

BARTLETT, M. E., and C. D. SPECHT. 2011. 

Changes in expression patter of the TEOSINTE 

BRANCHED1-like genes in the Zingerberales 

provide a mechanism for evolutionary shifts in 

symmetry across the order. American Journal of 

Botany 98: 227–243.

BARRETT, S. C. H. 2010. Darwin’s legacy: The 

forms, function and sexual diversity of flowers. 

Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of 

London, Series B 365: 351–368.

ENDRESS, P. K. 2011 Evolutionary diversification 

of the flowers in angiosperms. American Journal 

of Botany 98: 370–396. 


2007. Pollination specialization and the 

evolution of reproductive assurance mechanisms 

through autonomous selfing. International Journal 

of Plant Sciences 168: 215–228.

FRIEDMAN, W. E. 2009. The meaning of Darwin’s 

“abominable mystery.” American Journal of 

Botany 96: 5–21.

FRIIS, E. M., and P. K. ENDRESS. 1990. Origin and 

evolution of angiosperm flowers. Advances in 

Botanical Research 17: 99–162.

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HARDER, L. D., and S. C. H. BARRETT. 1996. 

Pollen dispersal and mating patterns in animal-

pollinated plants. In D. G. Lloyd and S. C. H. 

Barrett [eds.], Floral Biology: Studies on Floral 

Evolution in Animal-Pollinated Plants, 140–190. 

Chapman & Hall, New York, New York, USA.

HOLSINGER, K. E. 1996. Pollination biology and 

the evolution of mating systems in flowering 

plants. Evolutionary Biology 29: 107–149.


M. W. CHASE. 2005. Phylogeny and Evolution of 

Angiosperms. Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, 

Massachusetts, USA.

STEBBINS, G. L. 1974. Flowering Plants: Evolution 

Above the Species Level. Belknap Press, 

Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

–Charles B. Fenster, Department of Biology, Univer-

sity of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA


Light and Photosynthesis in Aquatic 


John T. O. Kirk

2011. ISBN-13: 978-0-521-15175-7 

Paperback, US$90.00. 649 pp. 

Cambridge University Press, New York, New 

York, USA

Since the first edition in 1983, Light and 

Photosynthesis in Aquatic Ecosystems has provided 

to all those interested in aquatic sciences a 

comprehensive synthesis on the physical and 

biological factors related to photosynthesis in 

aquatic media. Since its previous edition 18 years 

ago, the development of new techniques and 

increasing interest in the effects of global warming 

on the primary production in the ocean have 

boosted research in this field, leading to major 

advances in some of the main areas covered in 

the book. This considerable amount of new data 

and the new techniques developed during the past 

decade have been incorporated in this new edition 

and can be seen in the updated reference list, which 

has increased to 1506 references from 1022 in the 

previous edition. 

The new edition has no major structural changes 

from the previous edition and still presents a total of 

12 chapters divided in two sections. The first section 

focuses on the properties of light and its behavior 

in the aquatic media, while the second section 

specifically deals with underwater photosynthesis. 

In the first seven chapters, the book provides a 

comprehensive introduction to the physics of light. 

The author provides a well-structured revision 

of the topic, starting with the concepts related 

to the basic properties of light and its behavior 

at the atmospheric level, and then focusing on 

the specific interactions of light in the aqueous 

medium. These chapters are highly recommended 

to anyone interested in photosynthesis without 

regard to their specific field of study. The major 

improvements in this revised edition are found 

in the final chapter of Part I, “Remote Sensing 

of the Aquatic Environment,” as the drastic 

development in this area in recent years made an 

update necessary. The chapter includes a historical 

perspective, summarizes new information, and 

provides examples illustrating the development 

of new methodology and improvement of pre-

existing technology. The only four color plates in 

the book are in this section and the chapter really 

benefits from their inclusion.  It could be argued 

that the text would benefit from a more detailed 

(or lively) explanation of the examples selected, 

but it is clear that the author intends the book to 

be a scholarly text and assumes a certain level of 

understanding by the reader. The author presents 

a solid but brief overview of a variety of essential 

concepts and refers the reader to a thorough list of 

relevant literature for further reading. 

This trend continues in the five chapters 

comprising Part II of the book, which focus on 

the biological concepts of photosynthesis in the 

aquatic environment. At the beginning of this 

section, the author gives a brief overview of the 

essential topics, including all the concepts that 

would be expected in a textbook on photosynthesis: 

chloroplast morphology, pigments, reaction 

centers, and the photosynthetic process itself. 

The utilization of next-generation sequencing 

in recent years has increased our knowledge of 

the chloroplast genome organization in aquatic 

organisms, providing new insights that in further 

editions might be an interesting addendum to the 

morphological and pigment-related information 

detailed in this chapter. Later on, special emphasis 

is given to the effect of light on photosynthesis 

and an ample revision of other limiting factors is 

also provided. This section, one of the liveliest in 

the entire book, contains relevant examples of the 

effects of carbon dioxide, temperature, iron, and 

anthropogenic eutrophication. In the last chapter, 

“Ecological Strategies,” chromatic adaptation is 

discussed in detail, both from a phylogenetic and 

an ontogenetic point of view. This chapter also 

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presents the only change in the structure of this 

new edition as it incorporates an independent 

section on microphytobenthos. As in previous 

editions, the book does not contain any specific 

chapters on pollution or anthropogenic action, 

although information on these topics is scattered 

throughout the text. 

This new edition of Light and Photosynthesis in 

Aquatic Ecosystems is indispensable for any science 

library and for anyone interested in photosynthesis 

in aquatic organisms. However, it is not an easy 

read; this is definitively a textbook for academic use, 

as is clearly stated in the preface. The book succeeds 

in every feature essential in a textbook—it is well 

organized and provides a historical perspective, a 

high level of complexity, relevant figures, detailed 

and updated references, and a comprehensive 

–E. L. Peredo, Department of Ecology and Evolu-

tionary Biology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, 

Connecticut, USA


Hardy Heathers from the Northern 

Hemisphere: Calluna, Daboecia, 


E. Charles Nelson

2011. ISBN-13: 978-1-84246-170-9

Hardcover, US$95.00. x + 442 pp. 

Kew Publishing, Royal Botanic Gardens, 

Kew, Richmond, Surrey, United Kingdom

The genera Calluna (one species) and Daboecia 

(two species) occur natively only north of the 

Tropic of Cancer; Erica  has 21 species in the 

northern hemisphere. Mostly in southern Africa, 

there are a further 800 or so species of Erica, which 

are not considered here.

The author is an administrator of the Heather 

Society, in the United Kingdom. If, like me, you 

hadn’t known there was such a group, you will want 

to visit their website, http://www.heathersociety.

org/. There are also heather societies in Germany, 

Holland, and North America. The author has spent 

a goodly portion of his adult life chasing after 

heathers and writing about them: he is author or 

co-author of about 100 articles on heathers, as 

cited in this book. It appears that he has personally 

visited wild populations of every species discussed 

in this work. One can see this book, adorned with 

hundreds of color pictures, paintings, and black-

and-white line drawings, as a sort of culmination 

of the author’s interest and passion over many 

a decade. There are also range maps, where 


I found no keys. The three genera of interest 

here can easily be distinguished using the key in 

Flora Europaea. The species of the first two genera 

are easily discernible, but the species of Erica are 

a whole other matter. The author describes each 

species in admirable detail, with the descriptions 

accompanied by a highly detailed, elegantly 

wrought plate of drawings. The etymologies are 

all explained, the naturally occurring and artificial 

hybrids are all accounted for, and the nomenclatural 

histories of every species are properly given. But 

for identification purposes, one will have to turn 

to other sources, such as The European Garden 

Flora. The paintings, 23 plates, are beautifully done. 

There are no nomenclatural innovations, but there 

are some fascinating discourses on nomenclature, 

especially concerning Erica vagans L., nomen 


As one would expect, there is an abundant 

folklore surrounding these plants, and the author 

clearly delights in searching it out and explaining it. 

The role of these plants in poetry and fiction is not 

scanted, either. The briar (or brier) pipe, beloved of 

historical figures like Albert Einstein, is made from 

the roots of Erica arborea; the word is derived from 

the French bruyère (heather), and has nothing to do 

with prickly shrubs.

Appendix I (34 pp.) is devoted to recommended 

and interesting cultivars, all very carefully done. 

There is no mention of nurseries that offer any of 

these for sale. The work concludes with two indexes, 

the first to scientific names, the second to general 

topics. The book is dedicated to Patrick David 

Coker, who was the author’s undergraduate mentor 

in a study on Erica vagans L. The excellent general 

index leads one quickly to the story, on page 132. I 

think Professor Coker would have been gratified.
–Neil A. Harriman, Biology Department, University 

of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA.

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The Beauty of Houseplants.  Gough, Tom and David Longman.  2011.  ISBN 978-1-889878-30-0.  (Cloth 

US$22.95)  118 pp.  Botanical Research Institute of Texas, 1700 University Drive, Fort Worth, Texas 76107.

Dates: Production, Processing, Food, and Medicinal Values. Manickavasagan, A.,  M. Mohamed Essa, 

and E. Sukumar.  2012.  ISBN 978-1-439-84945-3. (Cloth US$149.95) 442 pp. 978-1-439848-37-1. CRC 

Press, Taylor and Francis Group, 6000 Broken Sound Parkway NW, Suite 300, Boca Raton, FL 33487.

Fungal Cell Wall: Structure, Synthesis, and Assembly, Second Edition. José Ruiz-Herrera. 2012.  

ISBN 978-1-439-84837-1. (Cloth, US$129.95) 203 pp.  978-1-439848-37-1. CRC Press, Taylor and Francis 

Group, 6000 Broken Sound Parkway NW, Suite 300, Boca Raton, FL 33487.

Out of Nature: Why Drugs from Plants Matter to the Future of Humanity.    Rogers, Kara.  2012.  

ISBN 978-0-8165-2969-8. (Paper US$19.95) 216 pp.  The University of Arizona Press, 1510 E. University 

Blvd., PO Box 210055, Tucson, AZ 85721-0055.

Plant Fungal Pathogens: Methods and Protocols. Bolton, Melvin D. & Bart P.H.J. Thomma (eds).  

2011.  ISBN: 978-1-61779-500-8 (Cloth US$159.00) 648 pages, 138 illustrations.  Humana Press, 333 

Meadowlands Parkway, Secaucus, NJ 07094.

Plant Metabolomics: Methods and Protocols.  Hardy, Nigel W. & Robert Hall. 2012. ISBN: 978-1-

61779-593-0  (Cloth US$139.00) 340 pp. Humana Press, 333 Meadowlands Parkway, Secaucus, NJ 07094.

Plant Nutrition and Soil Fertility Manual, Second Edition.  J. Benton Jones, Jr. 2012.  ISBN 978-1-439-

81609-7. (Paper US$79.95) 304 pp.  CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Group,  6000 Broken Sound Parkway 

NW, Suite 300, Boca Raton, FL 33487.

Plant Physics.  Niklas, Karl J. and Hanns-Christoff Spatz.  2012.  ISBN 978-0-226-58632-8 (Cloth 

US$55.00)  448 pp.  University of Chicago Press, 1427 E. 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637.

Recombinant Gene Expression: Reviews and Protocols, 3rd Ed. Lorence, Argelia.  2011.  ISBN: 978-1-

617-79432-2 (Cloth US $159.00) 649 pages, 105 illustrations.  Humana Press, 333 Meadowlands Parkway, 

Secaucus, NJ 07094.

Spring Wildflowers of the Northeast: A Natural History.  Gracie, Carol. 2012.  ISBN 978-0-691-14466-

5. (Cloth US$29.95).  290pp.  Princeton University Press, 41 William Street, Princeton, New Jersey, 08540-


Books Received

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Plant Science Bulletin 

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Summer 2012 Volume 58 Number 2

Plant Science 


ISSN 0032-0919 

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