Plant Science Bulletin archive

Issue: 2018 v64 No 1 SpringActions

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Star Project winners from the lat-

est PlantingScience session...p. 29

Kal Tuominen on humanizing 

the academic science career 

pipeline...p. 18

Heather Cacanindin named new 

BSA Executive Director...p. 42


Plant Blindess and a 

Plant Invasion through  


by Carol Goodwillie and  

Claudia Jolls

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                                                          SPRING 2018 Volume 64 Number 1


Editorial Committee  

Volume 64

From the Editor

Kathryn LeCroy 




Environmental Sciences 

University of Virginia 

Charlottesville, VA  22904

Melanie Link-Perez  



Department of Botany  

& Plant Pathology 

Oregon State University 

Corvallis, OR 97331 


Shannon Fehlberg 



Research and Conservation 

Desert Botanical Garden 

Phoenix, AZ 85008

David Tank 


Department of Biological 


University of Idaho 

Moscow, ID 83844

I am writing this on a cold, icy day in Omaha, 

but I am happily looking ahead to the summer.  

Abstract submission and registration is cur-

rently open for BOTANY 2018 in July in Roch-

ester, MN.  If you haven’t attended a Botany 

meeting in a while (or ever), I encourage you 

to think about attending this summer. You can 

find information about this year’s conference at and on page 

8 of this issue. There is an exciting line-up of di-

verse special lectures and an array of colloquia, 

workshops, and symposia. 
I want to personally encourage graduate and 

undergraduate students to attend the meeting. 

I attended my first meeting just after my soph-

omore year in college and my experience sig-

nificantly contributed to my choosing to pur-

sue a career focusing on plant science. I have 

since encouraged several of my undergraduates 

to attend and have continually been pleased 

with their experiences. There are several travel 

grants to support student travel. Information 

about these, as well as many other resources for 

students, can be found in this issue’s Student 

In this issue, we also tackle issues of diversity 

and inclusion in plant science (p. 18) and pres-

ent a case study in combating plant blindness 

(p. 11). Both of these address challenges that 

we, as botanists, face. 
I hope to see many of you in Rochester. As al-

ways, if you have an idea for a PSB article or a 

news item of interest to the society, please do 

not hesitate to contact 


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Public Policy Quarterly BALA recap ................................................................................................................... 2

In Memoriam - Elizabeth Farnsworth (New England WIld Flower Society) .................................. 4

Traveling to South Korea for Fieldwork (not involving plants) ............................................................ 6

Get Ready for Botany 2018 .................................................................................................................................... 8


Combating plant blindness and a plant invasion through service-learning ............................. 11

Humanizing the academic science career pipeline:  interdisciplinarity in  

service to diversity and inclusion ...................................................................................................................... 18   


Education News and Notes .................................................................................................................................. 28


 Roundup of Student Opportunities .................................................................................................................. 32


Heather Cacanindin BSA's new Executive Director ............................................................................... 42 

BSA research journals successfully move to Wiley platform ........................................................... 43

TreeTender movie  .................................................................................................................................................... 44


Development and structure .................................................................................................................................. 45

Ecology ............................................................................................................................................................................ 47

Economic botany ....................................................................................................................................................... 51

Education ........................................................................................................................................................................ 53

History ............................................................................................................................................................................... 54

Systematics................................................................................................................................................................... 56

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Public Policy News

Last year, the ASPT Environment and Public 

Policy Committee (EPPC) and the BSA Public 

Policy  Committee (PPC) awarded $1000 to 

fund a workshop titled Plant  Conservation 

and Sustainable Management by Women in 

the Jaragua-Bahoruco-Enriquillo  Biosphere 

Reserve, Dominican Republic: Community 

Workshop and Local Capacity.”  These 

funds—the 2017 Botany Advocacy Leadership 

Award—provided the necessary compensation 

for supplies for the workshop, travel, and 

compensation for the teachers involved. This 

annual award organized by the Environmental 

and Public Policy Committees of BSA and 

ASPT aims to support our members’ efforts 

that contribute to shaping public policy on 

issues relevant to plant sciences.

The workshop, held on August 31, 2017, in 

Oviedo, Perdenales, Dominican Republic, 

was a great success; participants and garden 

instruction can be seen in the figures on the 

following page. Jaragua-Bahoruco-Enriquillo 

is the only biosphere reserve in Hispaniola 

Island and is located in the southwest of the 

Dominican Republic, near the boundary 

with Haiti—including some of the poorest 

regions of this island. However, this is a very 

rich area in biodiversity and plant endemism, 

many of which are valued for their medicinal 

properties. All the biodiversity of the area 

is threatened by human activities, mainly 

deforestation for charcoal making, low-yield 

cattle ranching, or subsistence agriculture. 

These factors put at risk many locally endemic 

species, such as Pimenta haitiensis, a medicinal 

plant widely used in the country.

The first essential step in biodiversity 

conservation in any threatened area is to 

integrate the local communities. By working 

closely with rural populations who are in 

contact with the biodiversity of the reserve, 

programs like this can help promote the 

educational and economic development 

that will alleviate poverty in the region. This 

workshop promoted the conservation of 

endemic and native plants in the Jaragua-

Bahoruco-Enriquillo Biosphere Reserve and 

encouraged the sustainable use of native 

plants by women of local 

communities.  Most of the 

plants that were used for 

planting at the garden are 

endangered and rare species, 

traditionally used by local 

communities as sources of 

fruits, as well as medicinal 

and aromatic plants.

By Ingrid Jordon-Thaden (University of California Berkeley), 

ASPT EPPC Chair, Krissa Skogen (Chicago Botanic Garden), 

and Kal Tuominen (Metropolitan State University), BSA PPC 


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The Botany Advocacy Leadership Award (BALA) is in its third year of supporting a project like 

this. The deadline each year is the end of March, and announced in mid-April. See the BSA 

and ASPT award sites ( and

WphggIJG0_U, respectively) for application details.

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In Memoriam


Elizabeth Farnsworth 


On October 27, 2017, Dr. Elizabeth Farnsworth 

died unexpectedly at her home in Amherst, 

Massachusetts. She was 54. For those who 

knew and worked with her, who played music, 

paddled, or hiked with her, who cleaned 

seeds beside her while swapping stories at 

the long tables at Garden in the Woods and 

Nasami Farm, who took her online courses 

or heard her lectures, “unexpectedly” is a vast 

understatement. The words “Elizabeth” and 

“died” do not belong on the same page. That 

she was in her prime, radiating warmth and 

vitality, a vivid picture of apple-cheeked, wild-

maned health, makes this notion profoundly 

hard to accept, and bitterly unacceptable.

After all, as one can imagine her shouting in 

the face of whatever stopped her heart that 

day, she still had so much to do.

She already had packed a lot of achievement 

into her foreshortened life, as at least one 

grieving colleague observed. She was an 

accomplished botanist, educator, and scientific 

illustrator. At the time of her death, Elizabeth 

was co-leading the New England Wild Flower 

Society’s effort to conserve seeds of hundreds 

of rare plant species throughout New England. 

But Elizabeth’s many contributions to the 

Society started more than two decades ago. 

Recent members might know that she wrote, 

constructed, and taught the Society’s first 

set of online botany courses and wrote the 

ground-breaking “State of the Plants” report. 

A few years earlier, she co-led the National 

Science Foundation grant for developing Go 

Botany, the Society’s interactive online guide 

to the entire New England flora, and then 

won an additional grant from the same source 

to support student research in conservation 

biology. She coordinated planning for the 

conservation and management of more than 

100 species of rare plants. She illustrated 

dozens of entries in Flora Novae Angliae by 

Arthur Haines, the Society’s research botanist. 

And with a grant from the Institute of 

Museum and Library Services, she conducted 

an assessment of seed banking and collections 

practices at the Society and published a 

model protocol by which to prioritize target 

populations for seed collection. A natural and 

passionate teacher, Elizabeth jumped in to 

serve as interim education director in 2013, 

arranging all the courses the Society offered.

The Society is not the only institution that 

will miss her and her scholarly contributions. 

When she died, Elizabeth was serving as senior 

editor of the botanical journal Rhodora and 

on the graduate faculties of the University of 

Massachusetts Amherst and the University of 

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Rhode Island. Before that, she also had taught 

at Smith, Mount Holyoke, and Hampshire 

colleges and the Conway School of Landscape 

Design. As a writer, she displayed the rare 

ability to address both academic peers and 

novice botanists with equal clarity—and not 

a whit of condescension for the latter. To date, 

she had published 54 peer-reviewed scientific 

journal articles and 61 invited publications 

for public media. She also co-authored the 

award-winning  A Field Guide to the Ants of 

New England, which she also illustrated; the 

Connecticut River Boating Guide: Source to 

Sea; and the Peterson Field Guide to the Ferns

Her delicate, precisely rendered illustrations 

also grace the pages of Natural Communities 

of New Hampshire and three other books.

How, then, did she find time to deliver more 

than 230 invited presentations throughout the 

world, much less to sing and play guitar semi-

professionally and paddle her prized hand-

built kayak? Alas, it is too late to ask. She loved 

to travel, preferably in further exploration of 

the natural world, and, at various times in her 

career, she conducted research on ecosystems 

all over the globe, focusing on conservation, 

plant physiology, mangroves, and climate 

change. She served as a scientific consultant to 

the United Nations, the National Park Service, 

The Trustees of Reservations, the U.S. Forest 

Service, the Massachusetts and Connecticut 

Natural Heritage programs, and the Mount 

Grace Land Conservation Trust. 

Brilliance marked her early: At Brown 

University, Elizabeth earned her B.A. in 

environmental studies  in seven semesters, 

graduating with honors. She went on to study 

at University of Vermont, receiving her M.S. 

in field botany. While earning her Ph.D. at 

Harvard University, she was awarded a Bullard 

Research Fellowship and a National Science 

Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship. Her 

dissertation on mangrove seedlings launched 

a journey to 17 countries as a Harvard 

Traveling Scholar, to conduct a comparative 

survey of mangroves. She was honored to be 

chosen as a teaching assistant to E. O. Wilson, 

with whom she shared a passion for ants.

Elizabeth, a gifted storyteller, enjoyed sharing 

tales of her travels and other adventures—

about the time all the members of the Grateful 

Dead crashed at the house she shared with 

roommates in college, about sitting around 

camp with David Attenborough in a South 

American rainforest, about leeches invading 

unmentionable places (which, of course, she 

mentioned). Now her friends, colleagues, and 

students are seeking solace by sharing our 

memories and stories about her.

“She was that rare human being who was 

talented in both the sciences and the arts, who 

excelled in everything she did,” said Director 

of Conservation Bill Brumback, the person at 

the Society who has worked most closely with 

Elizabeth over the years. “And she made the 

world a little better for those who knew and 

worked with her.”

For those who would like to honor Elizabeth’s 

legacy with a donation, her family suggests sending 

donations to:

•  New England Wild Flower Society 



•  Hitchcock Center for the Environment 



•  or any other conservation organization of the 

donor’s choice.

(Reprinted with permission from the 

New England Wild Flower Society: http://


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Fieldwork, in my mind, conjures up images 

of long journeys to interesting places, 

often-inclement weather, sleeping in tents, 

exhaustion at the end of the day, and the 

exciting possibilities of discovering something 

new. Fieldwork for an editor is similar in some 

ways but is usually a little less outdoorsy. In 

late November of 2017 I went “into the field” 

to meet with editors halfway around the world 

to talk about publishing: specifically, about 

what a managing editor of a scientific journal 

does. The destination: Seoul, South Korea.

The email invitation arrived in mid August, 

soon after I returned from the International 

Botanical Congress in Shenzhen, China, which 

was a fascinating experience (and my first 

trip to Asia). The Korean Council of Science 

Editors (KCSE) and Korean Federation of 

Science and Technology Societies (KOFST) 

are two organizations headquartered in Seoul, 

which are allied with the Council of Science 

Editors in the States. They had invited my 

friend and colleague Patty Baskin, of the 

American Academy of Neurology, to present 

on aspects of publication management, and 

Traveling to South Korea for  

Fieldwork (not involving plants)

By Amy McPherson 

Director of Publications 

of Managing Editor  

Botanical Society of 


ORCID 0000-0001-7904-242X

she invited me to accompany her. In Korea, 

many journal editors work on their own, but 

there is great interest in setting up editorial 

offices with managing editors or assistants. 

I was thrilled to be invited and accepted 

straightaway. And then a bit of anxiety set in. 

News headlines were sounding the alarms of 

rising tensions between the leaders of the U.S. 

and North Korea throughout the fall months. 

Would a trip to South Korea be advisable in 

these uncertain times? 

I planned my presentations, purchased 

travel insurance (just in case), and left on an 

airplane on November 28, 2017, bound first 

for Atlanta, then on to Seoul. Despite my 

concerns, and the uncertainty of the political 

climate, it was an interesting, productive, and 

altogether enjoyable trip. [Note to self: To 

relax while traveling, turn off news alerts on 

your cell phone. It does not help to know that 

impressive intercontinental ballistic missile 

tests are taking place close to where you have 

just landed.]

My colleague and I took a long journey to an 

interesting place, with somewhat inclement 

weather, and were exhausted at the end of the 

day. The flight from Atlanta to Seoul is over 

15 hours long, and the ride from the airport 

to our hotel in the Gangnam District took 

another hour. Seoul is a vibrant, fast-moving, 

high-tech city of over 10 million people 

(over 25 million if you include the sprawling 

metropolitan area, according to the World 

Population Review). The Gangnam District 

is a hip, upscale, modern area that attracts 

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young people by the thousands on a Friday 

night. The metro was beyond crowded. The 

two days of meetings were cold (–3° C), and 

we experienced one of the first snows of the 

winter. The long flight, the intense days of 

meetings, and the considerable jet lag led to 

exhaustion at the end of the day, and that odd 

limbo when your body and mind don’t know 

whether to be awake or asleep.

Even though it was a very short trip, there 

was much to share and discover. I presented 

on journal metrics and spoke on the duties 

of a managing editor, which are essentially 

to oversee the smooth day-to-day running 

of the editorial office, and everything that 

comes with that. We manage the publication 

process, working with authors, reviewers, and 

editors from before submission through post-

publication; we copy edit manuscripts and 

handle production; we work with vendors 

and publishers; we keep up to date on all the 

various trends and concerns in the publishing 

arena; we handle ethics, copyright, plagiarism, 

permissions, instructions for authors, and 

requests for information; we seek out special 

papers and facilitate special, themed issues; we 

work on our publications and for the societies 

we serve; we promote articles, authors, and 

society members via social media; and we do 

it all in a professional manner. 

What I discovered was that our Korean 

counterparts were handling many of these 

tasks themselves and were also maintaining 

full-time positions in their research areas. 

They are concerned with the same issues we 

are, including journal Impact Factors and 

other evaluation metrics (but with emphasis 

on IFs); writing peer reviews for academic 

journals; establishing and following journal 

style; distinguishing between predatory and 

non-predatory Open Access journals; and 

managing scientific investigations involving 

ethics, copyright, and plagiarism (and 

beyond). They are also deeply concerned with 

their publications programs and are looking 

to compete on a much more international 

scale—and I have no doubt they are going to 


Outside of the formal lectures and 

presentations, we spent time drinking 

coffee and eating delicious food (stunningly 

delicious, fresh seafood!) and talking about 

publications, yes, and also about our cultures 

and current tensions between and among 

North and South Korea and the United 

States. It was fascinating to discuss the state 

of the world in which the concerns were real 

for all of us—immediate political concerns, 

but also the realities of climate change, the 

importance of education, and the necessity of 

global solutions to some of the problems we 

all face. I discovered during that trip hope for 

a better way forward. I left Korea with new 

friends and colleagues: we have a lot to learn 

from each other, and I look forward to future 


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Are you ready ?

Don't miss the best scientific conference of the summer!   

Join us in the vibrant city of Rochester, Minnesota!  

Timely Symposia and Colloquia 

Infomative Workshops 

Spectacular Field Trips 

Over 950 Oral and Poster presentations 


Networking Events 

Something for everyone!

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Featured Speakers

Plenary Lecturer  

Walter Judd


Flora of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-Earth

 Regional Botany Special 



George Weiblen 


Annals of Botany  




Elena Conti 

 Kaplan Memorial





Toby Kellogg



 Incoming BSA President 



 Andi Wolfe


 Pelton Award



 Neelima Sinha 

 Emerging Leader Lecture


 Benjamin Blackman


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Enhance your Conference experience  

Sign up for a field trip and experience the  

Botany of the Rochester area! 

For complete information, descriptions, and fees, go to:

New this year! 

 Botanical Society of America will reimbuse any student member  

up to $100.00 for field trip fees.  Sign up early!  

Reimbursements are first-come, first-served! 

Information on the conference website

Friday Trips

•  Join the Fern Foray - Do the overnight adventure or just come 

for the day!

Saturday Trips

•  Explore the Big Woods and go Kayaking - Check out the video 

on the site!

•  Visit the Cedar Creek EcosystemScience Reserve
•  Collect and identify Sedges at the Whitewater Wildlife 

Management Center

•  Hike the Weaver Dunes Prairie - and then canoe the marsh 

and look for the American Lotus!

•  Check out the Glacial Relics and the fire-dependent Plant 


Sunday Trips

•  Hike through Whitewater State Park
•  Visit Mystery Cave State Park 
•  Walk through the Minnesota Landsape Arboretum and then 

Prince's private estate - Paisley Park

•  Discover the New Bell Museum, the MIN Herbarium and Surly 

Brewing Company

Post-Conference Thursday Trips

•  See the Karst bedrock and tour the Whitewater Valley
•  Another chance to go Kayaking on the Cannon River

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Inspired by a critical deficit in field botany 

experiences in higher education, we developed 

an undergraduate service-learning program 

in invasive plant biology that introduces 

students to botany while they contribute 

to solving a local ecological problem. Since 

2014, undergraduate biology students at East 

Carolina University (ECU) have worked with 

the city recreation and parks department 

to control an invasion of sericea lespedeza 

(Lespedeza cuneata) along a local greenway. 

Service-learning is incorporated into sections 

of an existing lecture course in plant biology, 

with invasive plant removal accomplished in 

sessions outside of assigned class time.  During 

fieldwork, observations of plant structures 

and native plants reinforce lecture material on 

plant biology. In turn, invasive plant biology 

is used as a theme throughout lectures to 


Combating Plant Blindness  

and a Plant Invasion Through  


illustrate concepts in plant physiology and 

reproduction. Our efforts appear to be have 

been effective in slowing the invasion of 

lespedeza and inspiring students to explore 

botany and environmental issues. 


lant blindness” is a confirmed bias, 

with significant implications for con-

servation and management (Wandersee and 

Schussler, 2001; Balding and Williams, 2016). 

This bias against plants is further exacerbat-

ed by limited appreciation for and experi-

ence with the out-of-doors, argued to result 

in a range of negative consequences, the so-

called “nature-deficit disorder” (Louv, 2005). 

Outdoor settings are preferable for teaching 

species identification and concepts in ecolo-

gy (Randler, 2008; Stagg and Donkin, 2013). 

Direct field experience also has potential to 

help promote what Balding and Williams 

(2016) termed as “empathy” with plants for 

By Carol Goodwillie

Department of Biology, East Carolina University, 

Greenville, NC; e-mail: 

Claudia L. Jolls

Department of Biology, East Carolina University, 
Greenville, NC



Received for publication 27 November 2017; revision accepted 5 January 2018

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greater botanical literacy. Yet biology pro-

grams worldwide place increasing focus on 

molecular biology, often at the expense of 

organism- or species-level knowledge and 

field-based approaches, particularly in bota-

ny (Jacquemart et al., 2016). Inspired by this 

critical deficit, we initiated an undergraduate 

service-learning program in invasive plant 

biology to introduce students to field botany 

and simultaneously engage them in solving an 

ecological problem in our local community. 

Service-learning involves students in 

experiential education to combine service 

activities with reflective assignments (Eyler, 

2002). This method contributes to the 

community and cultivates civic responsibility 

“through active participation and thoughtfully 

organized service” (US National and 

Community Service Acts of 1990; Jacoby, 

1996). The concept of “community service” has 

been extended to ecological communities and 

their interface with humans, and it has been 

proposed as an approach to environmental 

education (Clayton, 2000). “Research service-

learning” engages students, faculty, and 

the public in partnerships to ask research 

questions relevant to their community (e.g., 

environmental issues related to invasion 

biology) (Reynolds and Loman, 2013).  

Invasive species management is an obvious 

focus for service-learning. Non-native invasives 

are responsible for losses of biodiversity, 

other negative ecological consequences, some 

human health threats, and economic damages 

estimated in the billions of dollars (Pimental 

et al., 2005). Invasive plants, as primary 

producers, can be particularly damaging as 

threats to habitats, native species, crop yields, 

fire regimes, interactions, and associated 

ecosystem services (e.g., pollination). Control 

of plant invasions is challenging; yet in some 

cases, simple manual removal can be an 

effective solution (Kettenring and Adams, 

2011) requiring only a willing workforce. The 

energy and enthusiasm of undergraduates can 

be harnessed for this effort. 




The problem

Soon after a 2.5-mile greenway was established 

in Greenville, NC, it was invaded by sericea 

lespedeza (Lespedeza cuneata (Dum. Cours.) 

G. Don). Sericea, a semi-woody forb in the 

pea family, was introduced from China to 

North Carolina in 1896 for erosion control and 

forage (Ohlenbusch et al., 2001). The species 

grows aggressively in the introduced range 

and poses increasing threats to grasslands 

and other natural areas, where it outcompetes 

native species (Quick et al., 2016). The sericea 

invasion along the Greenville greenway was 

evident soon after the trail was constructed 

in 2011; we suspect that seeds were present 

in sand that was brought in for fill during 

construction of the paved trail. By 2014, dense 

patches of sericea could be seen along the 

trail (Fig. 1) and the invasion appeared to be 

expanding rapidly.

Service as a solution

A service-learning program was created to 

involve students at East Carolina University 

(ECU) in efforts to stem the sericea invasion. 

Service-learning activities are integrated into 

sections of a lecture course in plant biology 

that we previously developed. Offered as a 

junior-level elective for biology and science 

education majors, the course covers plant

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Figure 1. Three years after construction of the 

greenway, dense populations of sericea lespede-

za were present in some areas.
structure, function, and diversity, including 

physiology, metabolism, reproduction, genet-

ics, evolution, ecology, and human use. Since 

2014, students in service-learning sections 

of the course have been working in collabo-

ration with the City of Greenville Recreation 

and Parks Department to control the inva-

sion of sericea along a greenway located just 

a mile from the ECU main campus. During 

field sessions, students work in teams to re-

move sericea plants by simple manual pulling 

(Fig. 2). Although extracting the entire root 

system is often difficult, removing at least the 

woody caudex is relatively easy and prevents 

the formation of multiple branches in the fol-

lowing year. To maximize our success in man-

aging the invasion, we supplement removal 

efforts with herbicide treatment when neces-

sary. Each year we have identified a few small 

patches (2-8 m


 in size) where the plants are 

too large or densities too high to make manu-

al removal feasible. The Greenville Recreation 

and Parks crew applies glyphosate to these. 

Service fieldwork is accomplished outside of 

class time, and students are required to attend 

at least two 3-hour sessions. Multiple ses-

sions are scheduled throughout August and 

September, often in late afternoons or week-

ends, to ensure that all students can partici-

pate. Field time is compensated by a canceled 

lecture period. Importantly, all plant removal 

and herbicide application is done at the start 

of the fall semester before sericea lespedeza 

seeds mature and are dispersed. 

Removal of plants is complemented by data 

collection. One student per team serves as a 

scribe in each session, recording the number 

of plants removed. Because we attempt to 

remove all sericea plants present, these data 

serve as a record of changes in population 

size throughout our project. The counts also 

motivate students to work harder, as teams 

often compete informally to see who can 

remove the most plants.

How service contributes to learning

Service-learning as a pedagogy is built on 

the idea that service can provide motivation 

and context for classroom learning; in turn, 

content learned in the classroom makes 

the service component a deeper and more 

meaningful experience (Jacoby, 1996; Eyler, 

2002). We use this interplay of field and 

classroom experiences in our program. During 

field sessions, removal work is interrupted 

intermittently to illustrate terminology and 

concepts learned during lectures using sericea 

and other plant species along the trail (Fig. 

3). Inspection of nitrogen-fixing root nodules 

on sericea plants reinforces class material on 

plant nutrients and mutualisms. Lateral buds 

visible on the sericea caudex prompt

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Figure 2. Pulling can remove sericea roots as 

well as stem and caudex, as demonstrated by 

this undergraduate student. 

discussions of plant anatomy and perenniality. 

Other species along the greenway provide 

great opportunities for exploration of plant 

structure and function. Students inspect 

doubly-compound leaves (mimosa) and 

tendrils (muscadine grape). They are asked 

to think about why bark peels (river birch), 

how epiphytes survive (Spanish moss), why 

a parasitic plant is not green (dodder), and 

what might be the benefits of seed dispersal 

mechanisms (jumpseed). 

During traditional classroom lectures, 

invasive plants are integrated as a theme 

throughout the course. During the evolution 

and diversity section of the course, students 

are introduced to angiosperm plant families 

that contain many invasive members and even 

examples of invasive mosses and ferns. We ask 

students to apply and test their knowledge of 

basic plant biology as they consider which 

species become invasive and how invasive 

species spread. The primary literature is 

rich with studies on the physiological and 

ecological properties of invasive plants. For 

example, studies compare the invasiveness of 

species with different breeding systems (e.g., 

Hao et al., 2011) and consider the role of C4 

vs. C3 photosynthesis (Martin et al., 2014) or 

mutualistic associations (e.g., Hu et al., 2014) 

in plant invasions. These studies are presented 

as capstones to lectures on each topic, with 

in-class group activities that ask students to 

interpret and discuss the results shown in 

published graphs. 

Figure 3. Field sessions are interrupted occa-

sionally to observe and explore plant structures.

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Getting a handle on the invasion

Our cumulative data suggest that we are 

making progress in controlling sericea 

along the greenway. During the three years 

of the project, counts of stems pulled by 

students have declined from 6,932 in 2015 

to 3,952 in 2017—a 43% reduction. The 

removal data give us only a rough estimate 

of the effectiveness of our efforts. Students 

are somewhat inconsistent in how they 

report data; multi-stemmed individuals are 

occasionally counted as more than one plant. 

More importantly, because our primary goal 

was to manage the invasion rather than to 

quantify the results of our work, we have 

not retained an untreated control area for 

comparison. Observations of sericea at nearby 

sites suggest that, without control efforts, the 

invasion would have advanced during these 

three years beyond the point at which manual 

removal was feasible. Moreover, demographic 

modeling of sericea lespedeza predicts that 

unmanaged populations can increase by 

more than 20-fold per year (Schutzenhofer 

et al., 2009). Despite the limitations of our 

quantitative data, documenting our results is 

an important motivator for students. Students 

are particularly engaged in their contribution 

to a longer-term dataset. In light of the 

insurmountable environmental problems we 

face, seeing that small efforts can have real 

positive effects may be the most important 

lesson that students learn. 

Stealth Botany!

The course lends itself to a lecture-plus-lab 

format, but we were concerned that requiring 

a 3-hour lab each week would whittle our 

clientele down to a small group of students 

already committed to field biology. To reach 

a broader group, we offer it instead as a 

lecture course with required service fieldwork 

done outside of class, at times arranged to 

accommodate student schedules. More than 

100 undergraduate students have participated 

since 2015, a diverse group heading for 

careers in health care, science education, 

and many other disciplines. In return for the 

inconvenience of leading multiple sessions to 

work around students’ complicated schedules, 

we have had the satisfaction of seeing pre-med 

and molecular biology students get excited 

about native plants and enjoy themselves in 

the natural world. Hearing of our approach, 

fellow plant biologist Paulette Bierzychudek 

offered, “Aha, a stealth botany course!” 

Indeed, the observations integrated into plant 

removal work appear to be powerful learning 

opportunities. Students are not required 

to memorize natural history information 

presented in the field and rarely take notes 

during these sessions. Yet they often recount 

their observations of the native plants in 

accurate detail in the reflection papers they 

write on their service experiences. To be 

sure, we are lucky to have some especially 

fascinating and charismatic plants at our 

site (baldcypress, dodder, resurrection fern, 

Spanish moss). We argue, though, that most 

plants are quite good at communicating their 

own magic; our job is mostly to get students 

outside to look at them.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that our 

program has broader impacts on student 

interest and attitudes as well. In both verbal 

and written comments, students frequently 

express their new awareness of the problems 

posed by invasive species and the satisfaction 

they feel about “making a difference.” We have 

seen students go on to other plant courses in 

the curriculum, suggesting that the program 

instills interest in botany. Students also have 

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moved on to research work in faculty labs and 

internships in science education outreach.


With the project now in place, we are 

exploring opportunities for expansion. The 

current anecdotal, qualitative data can be 

supplemented with more formal course 

evaluation. The plant biology course is 

offered with and without the service-learning 

component in alternate semesters, and we 

have an opportunity to design a controlled 

study to assess its pedagogical effectiveness. 

Questionnaires to track learning outcomes 

or evaluate targeted aspects of the course 

can be developed with the expertise of other 

colleagues in social science or education to 

promote trans-disciplinary collaboration 

among faculty. While our experiences to date 

suggest positive student outcomes, rigorous 

assessment will provide greater insight 

into how service-learning in invasive plant 

management affects student attitudes about 

plants, conservation and civic engagement 

and mastery of basic concepts in plant biology. 

We are also working to expand our engagement 

with community partners. Students often 

express a desire to educate and involve the 

public in their efforts. These discussions 

led to a project by the 2016 class to design 

educational signage that is now installed along 

the greenway, a further collaboration with 

Greenville Recreation and Parks Department 

and a non-profit community organization. In 

future semesters, we will explore the possibility 

of students leading teams of community 

volunteers to remove plants. We are fortunate 

to have supportive city resource managers and 

university Ground Services staff. The invasive 

plant project has complemented campus 

wetland restoration, University Tree Campus 

USA initiative, and a Bayer CropScience Feed 

A Bee Program project to use native plants in 

landscaping to promote pollinator forage and 


Successful long-term management of invasive 

species often involves restoration of natives in 

addition to removal efforts (Kettenring and 

Adams, 2011), and we plan to use this approach 

in our project.  A promising observation from 

the 2017 season is that native plant species 

(largely  Symphyotrichum dumosum (L.) G.L. 

Nesom and Eupatorium semiserratum DC.) 

are beginning to colonize areas where sericea 

lespedeza has been removed. In a pilot study 

this year, we are supplementing natural 

colonization by seeding open areas with native 

plants found on the trail. Long-term data can 

be collected on this process as well, to gauge 

the effectiveness of the strategy.

Service-learning programs in invasive plant 

management can be readily implemented at 

other institutions. The good and bad news is 

that most school campuses (K-12 and college) 

have adjacent properties with plenty of 

invasive plants and potential for restoration. 

The program requires little financial support 

and can build valuable relationships with 

the community and city partners. Service-

learning using invasive plants has enabled our 

students to overcome their plant blindness, 

gain awareness of a critical environmental 

problem, and recognize their own power to 

solve problems and to contribute to something 

larger and longer lasting than themselves. 


We thank G. Fenton, E. D. Foy, C. Horrigan, 

and F. Livesay at City of Greenville Recreation 

and Parks Department, J. McKinnon, T. 

Abernethy, the ECU Center for Leadership 

and Civic Engagement, the Dominion 

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Foundation, Bayer Crop Science Feed A Bee 

Program, and more than 100 undergraduate 

participants for their contributions and 

support of the project.


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Humanizing the Academic  

Science Career Pipeline:  

Interdisciplinarity in Service to  

Diversity and Inclusion  

Key Words

broadening participation; culture of science; 

epistemology of science; human diversity; 

institutional change; interdisciplinary 

research; intersectionality


cademic scientists have discussed the 

progressive loss of human diversity at 

each STEM career stage using the metaphor 

of the “leaky pipeline” (e.g., Barr et al., 2008; 

Chesler et al., 2010; Miller and Wai, 2015).  

Data on the underrepresentation of wom-

en, people of color, and people who experi-

ence disability in STEM degree completion 

and workforce participation are updated ev-

ery two years (National Science Foundation, 

2013, 2015, 2017).  Women now complete a 

greater proportion of graduate degrees in the 

biological sciences than men (National Sci-

ence Foundation, 2017), although evidence of 

overt and unconscious gender bias continues 

to be documented (Moss-Racusin et al., 2012; 

Clancy et al., 2014).  African Americans, Lat-

in Americans, and Indigenous Americans 

(Native Americans and Alaska Natives) make 

up an increasing proportion of bachelor’s and 

master’s degree students in the biological sci-

ences, but also leave STEM undergraduate 

programs at least 60% more often than white 

students (Koenig, 2009; National Science 

Foundation, 2017).  The proportion of PhDs 

completed by members of these populations 

has also stagnated, despite increasing repre-

sentation in the U.S. working-age population 

(National Science Foundation, 2017).  

The view of academic science as a pipeline 

with differential demographic leakage hints at 

underlying assumptions that have influenced 

those of us seeking to broaden STEM 

participation.  First, the idea of a pipeline belies 

a normative position that scientific career 

development should be a continual linear 

progression (Cohen et al., 2004).  This appears 

to derive partly from outdated ideas that a 

professional success is achieved in a single 

career, which consists of an unbroken series 

of jobs with increasing responsibilities in one 

field.  The metaphor can thus, at minimum, 

facilitate men’s access to STEM careers and 

perpetuate barriers to women’s (Wonch Hill 

et al., 2014; Makarova et al., 2016).  

Next, the concept of a pipeline leak suggests 

that the location and causes of divergence 

from the normative goal can be found at 

By L.K. Tuominen 

Department of Natural Scienc-

es, Metropolitan State Univer-

sity, St. Paul, MN 

Current Address:  Department 

of Biology, John Carroll Uni-

versity, University Heights, OH  


Received for publication 6 November 2017; revision accept-

ed 16 February 2018


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specific parts of the career progression, 

observed, and diagnosed through data 

collection.  For instance, a pipeline might 

leak due to “punctures,” such as experiences 

of overt bias (e.g., Ferguson Martin et al., 

2016; Clancy et al., 2017; Miner et al., 2017); 

“loose connections,” such as poor mentor-

protégé matching (e.g., Buzzanell et al., 2015; 

Dennehy and Dasgupta, 2017); or “high 

pressure,” such as balancing research time 

with caretaker responsibilities (e.g., Grunert 

and Bodner, 2011; Sallee et al., 2016; Tower 

and Latimer, 2016).  Finally, diagnosed leaks 

can be targeted so that the “plumbing” can 

be repaired using different approaches for 

populations facing different sorts of challenges 

(e.g., Tull et al., 2012; Wilson et al., 2012).  For 

these interventions, the pipeline has typically 

been viewed at the institutional level, whether 

that institution is a university, professional 

society, or government; rhetorically, a key 

phrase invoked in efforts to reduce leakage is 

institutional transformation (e.g., Handelsman 

et al., 2007; Fox, 2008; Whittaker and 

Montgomery, 2014).  This troubleshooting 

process also creates new opportunities for 

research and publication among scientist-

plumbers who pursue this much-needed area 

of study.  It’s all wonderfully scientific—and 

how else would we expect scientists to act?  

Putting scientific training to this use is not a bad 

instinct, yet we should remain concerned that 

pipeline troubleshooting efforts have not been 

as successful as we have hoped. Institutional 

efforts can improve retention of students from 

underrepresented backgrounds (e.g., Tull et 

al., 2012; Wilson et al., 2012), but these do not 

appear to be scaling up to the national level.  

The gap in the share of STEM and non-STEM 

degrees completed by underrepresented 

minorities has been growing during the 

past decade, indicating that these students 

preferentially choose against the sciences 

(National Science Foundation, 2017).  Such 

data suggest that academic science may be 

begging the question of underrepresentation:  

after studying the problem empirically and 

making empirically driven interventions at 

the institutional level, underrepresentation 

for several groups is increasing.  Why believe 

that continuing the same strategy will yield 




Sociologists of science tell us that becoming 

a scientist is partly a matter of socialization 

into the culture of science (Roth, 2001; 

Eames and Bell, 2005; Clark et al., 2008).  

What assumptions do students make about 

scientists when they view this culture from 

the outside?  Recent stereotyping tests show 

that undergraduates still most often identify 

scientists as older white men (e.g., Miele, 2014; 

Schinske et al., 2015).  Students generally 

assume scientists are intelligent (e.g., Schinske 

et al., 2015).  These stereotypes have relevance 

for students’ decisions.  Pursuit of a science 

major is related to the alignment between 

students’ ideas about scientists and their 

self-conceptions (e.g., Lane et al., 2012; Guy, 

2013).  Furthermore, many students believe 

intelligence is a fixed trait; those who do tend 

to avoid challenging themselves with courses 

they perceive as more difficult (Dweck, 2000).  

Meanwhile, new graduates with STEM degrees 

gain an economic advantage as they enter the 

workforce (Koc et al., 2016).  From cell phones 

and social media to evidence-based reporting 

requirements for nonprofit funding, the 

public is surrounded with, even regulated by, 

the results of scientific thinking.  The number 

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of U.S. jobs requiring college-level knowledge 

in science and engineering is approximately 

triple the number of jobs formally categorized 

within these fields (National Science Board, 

2016a).  Americans believe the benefits of 

scientific research outweigh its harms, that 

the government should fund basic research, 

and that leaders of the scientific community 

are more trustworthy than leaders of all 

American institutions other than the military 

(National Science Board, 2016b). Although it 

may not always feel that way to us scientists, 

the stereotypes, surveys, and the ubiquity of 

science all suggest having scientific training is 

a form of social privilege in American society.  

This raises some questions highly relevant to 

supporting diversity at every level of academic 

science.  How many academic biologists have 

formalized knowledge about the meaning 

and implications of social privilege for the 

classroom?  Could a lack of knowledge 

or training on this topic be connected 

to well-intentioned, but functionally 

counterproductive, classroom or mentorship 

behaviors?  Could the ubiquity and social 

status of the natural science paradigm itself 

contribute to the challenge of supporting 

human diversity in biology, perhaps through 

the assumption that “scientists know best” 

even outside their expertise?  Could our own 

scientific training potentially interfere with 

our goals of supporting human diversity?  

For concision, I will consider only this 

last question.  Good scientific training 

encourages certain behavioral tendencies 

while discouraging others.  First, we natural 

scientists are enculturated to value objectivity

which is useful to help us avoid cognitive biases.  

This focus can come at the cost of discounting 

individuals’ subjective experiences.  Second, 

we are enculturated to focus on weight of 

evidence from (increasingly) large sample 

sizes.  The benefit is the more accurate 

inference of general principles about a target 

population.  The cost is discarding statistical 

outliers and discounting results from small 

samples, both of which may provide unique 

insights.  Third, a focus on general cause-

and-effect patterns allows for the creation of 

interventions that can be applied at the level of 

a target population.  Yet knowledge of general 

patterns and population-level solutions do 

not necessarily provide useful insights about 

how to best support a particular student who 

is considering leaving science.  

As an example of how the trade-offs of scientific 

enculturation can manifest, consider the 

implications of NSF’s demographic reporting 

on participation in science (National Science 

Foundation and National Center for Science 

and Engineering Statistics, 2013, 2015, 2017).  

National-scale data on underrepresentation by 

race, gender, and disability are crucial to our 

understanding of diversity in STEM.  However, 

the demographic categories focus mainly on large 

populations.  The report does not provide clear 

data on individuals who transcend categories, 

such as biracial, transgender, or intersex 

individuals, nor is the highly heterogeneous 

category of disability further disaggregated.  

Other groups, such as immigrants, LGBQ 

individuals, first-generation college students, 

and students entering at a nontraditional 

age or lower economic status, are simply not 

considered.  This homogenized view of who 

is in the pipeline precludes the possibility 

of “engineering” changes attuned to the 

needs of individuals whose identities are 

not represented.  Most of these populations 

experience marginalization in American 

society at large, but scientific expectation and 

financial realities hold that we should disprove 

the null hypothesis that “everything is fine 

in STEM” before considering action.  When 

anecdotes are not considered evidence, the lack 

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of quantitative data itself can become a barrier 

to discussions about underrepresentation 

(Patridge et al., 2014).

The NSF’s reporting on the interactive 

effects of gender and race in its most recent 

reports are illustrative of an additional need 

to consider intersectionality (i.e., the effects 

of multiple aspects of identity on a person’s 

life experiences).  The results demonstrate 

that men of color have had lower rates of 

science and engineering degree completion 

than women of color for nearly 20 years, 

while the opposite is true of white men and 

women (National Science Foundation, 2017).  

If we look only at gender in the same report, 

we see approximate parity in the biological 

sciences. If we look at race, we see that African 

Americans complete biology degrees at lower 

rates than their presence in the American 

population would lead us to expect (National 

Science Foundation, 2017).  These two graphs 

would not be enough to prompt many white 

scientists to think about addressing the 

unique needs of African-American men or 

the pressures these students often face outside 

the classroom. Only the intersectional graphs 

prompt a reader to consider these features.  

In this way, intersectional data can help de-

homogenize our thinking about students 

from a wide variety of backgrounds.  

A well-designed quantitative study can identify 

underlying patterns specific to intersectional 

identities (Guy, 2013; Clancy et al., 2017).  

Nevertheless, quantitative methods will break 

down for populations, such as transgender 

and gender-nonconforming individuals like 

myself, that are not represented widely in 

the general population, let alone within the 

scientific community (Patridge et al., 2014; 

Pryor, 2015).  Another population to which 

I belong, that of individuals experiencing 

disability, is so heterogeneous that the practical 

applicability of quantitatively driven solutions 

is subject to question.  Quantitative surveys 

require that researchers generate ideas 

priori that respondents can numerically rank.  

Researchers’ beliefs may constrain or bias 

which ideas are considered relevant and the 

types of solutions proposed.  Finally, statistical 

analysis emphasizes the most common 

patterns within a group, excluding outliers 

at quality control steps.  Thus, quantitative 

methods can erase at least some experiences 

of underrepresented individuals.   

Let us return to the normative expectation 

of scientific epistemology, that the null 

hypothesis (“everything is fine in STEM”) 

must be disproven before taking action.  This 

can place a particular burden of disproof 

on scientists with stigmatized experiences.  

We who experience stigma have both deep 

awareness of how far from reality this 

hypothesis may be and the greatest incentives 

to avoid disclosure.  For example, LGBTQA 

respondents who were open to few or none 

of their colleagues or students also reported 

a higher perception of their workplaces as 

unsafe, hostile, and lacking in support for 

LGBTQA employees (Yoder and Mattheis, 

2016).  More broadly, anecdotes have long 

suggested that sexual harassment and assault 

are endemic in science, but a research study 

was necessary to highlight their seriousness as 

systemic issues in field research (Clancy et al., 

2014).  Pressure to avoid disclosure for the sake 

of job security can seriously affect a scientist’s 

quality of life.  Furthermore, non-disclosure 

means that colleagues are far less likely to have 

information dissuading them from the null 

hypothesis, allowing assumptions about both 

work climate and stigmatized experiences to 

go unchallenged.

Instances like these are where the leaky 

pipeline metaphor misdirects us:  researchers 

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can study those at risk of leaking without 

fully recognizing the way our own ideas have 

been shaped by the pipeline.  Individuals and 

institutions are reduced to data, as opposed to 

humans experiencing subjectively mediated 

breakdowns in relationships, responsibilities, 

and ethics.  Placing empiricism first can 

send the implicit message that science is 

more important than our colleagues’ well-

being, particularly when outlier feedback is 

interpreted as a personality difference rather 

than observation from a different social 

location.  We who face oppression within 

broader society and are minoritized in science 

often cannot wait for research to demonstrate 

to other scientists what we already know. 

While empiricism catches up, supporting us 

in practice requires personal conversations 

about the locations of career pitfalls that are, 

to some extent, inherently subjective.




Attempts to fix pipeline leaks solely through 

reliance on natural science can cause us to 

miss epistemological gaps that our methods 

do not address (Roth, 2001).  In particular, 

applying the scientific lens too broadly or 

without sufficient awareness of social factors 

may lead us to discard the human part of 

science, to base our efforts on statistically 

“validated” stereotypes, or to erase certain 

forms of experience.  While we can begin to 

address inclusivity and diversity using natural 

science methods, we must remain open to the 

possibility that some best practices to support 

diversity and inclusion may not be scientific.  I 

suggest we can further improve our efforts by 

(1) improving our knowledge of the dynamics 

of social privilege, (2) collaborating with 

social scientists trained in qualitative research 

methods, and (3) telling our own stories of 

navigating career challenges in science.  

Social privilege makes daily life easier in ways 

that are often invisible to one who holds it.  

Graduate mentoring is an illustrative example 

of how this manifests in scientific training.  

Students of color report a preference for a 

mentor of their own race significantly more 

often than white students (Blake-Beard et 

al., 2011).  While racial matching for all 

students appears to be correlated with higher 

student rankings of mentor support, the rate 

at which such matching actually occurs for 

students of color is about half that for white 

students (Blake-Beard et al., 2011).  As a white 

graduate student, I was privileged in two 

senses:  first, it did not occur to me to consider 

whether I wanted a white mentor.  Second, it 

would not have required much effort to make 

such a match had I wanted it.  Learning that 

many students prefer and perceive benefits 

from racial matching encourages me to 

ask undergraduates of color about their 

preferences when discussing future plans.

We who belong to groups underrepresented 

in STEM must often navigate cultural and 

structural barriers in institutional and social 

systems.  This results in greater cognitive 

loads relative to the privileged minority by 

and for whom higher education was initially 

constructed.  For instance, Indigenous 

students must reconcile cultural and 

Western understandings of science, typically 

within a Western pedagogical framework 

(Abrams et al., 2013; Wall Kimmerer, 2015).  

African-American graduate students report 

questioning their reasons for pursuing STEM 

degrees after lethal police actions (Patton, 

2014), and completing a graduate degree does 

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not end experiences of racial discrimination 

(Andrist, 2013).  Most transgender individuals 

have experienced at least one instance 

of life-disrupting discrimination such as 

severe bullying, assault, job loss, or denial 

of accommodations; nearly one in four have 

experienced at least three of these (Grant et 

al., 2011).  Individuals with disabilities may 

face pedagogical and physical barriers to 

equitable access, even when taught by faculty 

supportive of universal design (Lombardi 

et al., 2011; Vreeburg Izzo, 2013; Shanahan, 

2016).  People with invisible, intermittent, 

or chronic conditions may have gaps in their 

employment records or face difficult trade-offs 

between disclosure and stigma from advisors 

and employers (e.g., Jones and Brown, 2013).  

Given this social context, many of us who fall 

into underrepresented groups in STEM are 

also in the minority among our demographic 

peers because we have had access to scientific 

training.  Neil deGrasse Tyson has provided 

an exemplary discussion of perceived 

conflicts between interest in science and 

responsibilities to the African-American 

community (interviewed in Andrist, 2013).

Scientists who fall into multiple 

underrepresented categories must navigate the 

challenges of multiple social forces.  Each may 

compete for time we would rather be spending 

on our work; in combination, they may have 

greater-than-additive impacts (Armstrong and 

Jovanovic, 2015).  Interventions that focus on 

homogenized populations may compel those 

of us with intersectional identities to choose 

one specific facet to receive institutional 

support.  However, our multiple, linked 

cognitive loads often cannot be reduced in 

such a way, and we can take less for granted in 

our daily lives because of the ways these facets 

intersect.  If faced with sufficient challenges, 

we may not be able to fully capitalize on 

opportunities that our colleagues and the 

scientific community bring to us, even when 

we are well-prepared and deeply interested.  

Learning about these structural factors and 

demonstrating curiosity about individuals’ 

challenges both creates useful support on a 

human level and makes us better colleagues 

and advisors (Killpack and Melón, 2016). 

Because quantitative methods can exclude 

diverse experiences, additional methods 

are needed to comprehensively identify and 

address issues related to diversity and inclusion 

in science.  Most natural scientists lack training 

in qualitative methods, so collaboration with 

social scientists who do is critical in advancing 

understanding.  Qualitative research also 

allows study designs that humanize and 

create partnerships with underrepresented 

individuals, rather than viewing us as 

abstracted research samples or as scientists 

getting “distracted” from lab or field studies.  

For example, discussions among a highly 

heterogeneous cohort of underrepresented 

scientists and trainees at the 2014 Northeast 

Scientific Training Programs Retreat have 

provided valuable, wide-ranging insights on 

supporting diversity and inclusion in science 

(Campbell et al., 2014).  A prominent theme 

was a need for greater interdisciplinarity—

defined in this case as using social justice, 

communications, and the arts to guide and 

disseminate scientific research.  

This study raises the possibility of linking 

science and the humanities in service to 

diversity and inclusion.  The scientific mindset 

encourages us to look to the data to discover 

the  most likely path to a graduate degree or 

a tenured position in biology, and the most 

likely way that certain individuals may leave 

that path.  A humanistic mindset looks to 

individualized experiences to discover all 

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possible paths to success, providing a map of 

roads less traveled.  Where the scientifically 

rational “likelihood perspective” could risk 

activating stereotype threat, a humanistic 

“possibility perspective” may be a useful 

counter (Schinske et al., 2016).  Storytelling 

can therefore balance science’s homogenizing 

and depersonalizing tendencies.  A natural 

science perspective does not address practical 

questions, such as what a graduate student 

with intersectional identities should do if 

they experience a specific instance of bias 

or harm (e.g., racial harassment) from a 

colleague within an institution they perceive 

as biased in other ways (e.g., sexist or ableist).  

Here, reading narratives from or having 

conversations with scientists who have had 

similar experiences can make the difference 

between choosing to leave academia and using 

ingenuity to find or advocate for a healthier 

work environment.  Stories provide alternative 

means of understanding possible options, 

help build trust and deepen relationships, and 

become tools for healing and sense-making 

(Gold, 2008; Harter and Bochner, 2009).  

Even brief reading/writing assignments in 

introductory biology classrooms highlighting 

the diversity of scientists’ identities and 

practices can shift students’ perceptions about 

scientists in ways that are linked to higher 

performance and interest in science (Schinske 

et al., 2016).  Those of us who are in a position 

to do so should consider sharing our stories of 

navigating major career challenges, formally 

or informally.

Natural scientists spend our educations 

learning to identify where things like 

pipelines break down, while our counterparts 

in the humanities often spend their training 

considering where metaphors do so.  A critical 

place where the leaky pipeline metaphor 

breaks down with reference to diversity and 

inclusion lies in what that pipeline carries. 

Human diversity is defined by its discrete and 

overlapping heterogeneity, while water flows, 

mixes, and homogenizes.  The overuse of 

scientific thinking in this context risks treating 

students, postdocs, adjuncts, and those on 

the tenure track—our (previous) selves—as 

interchangeable droplets following universal 

rules, subject to an engineered solution 

requiring little conversation.  Interrogating 

this metaphor is not merely intellectual 

play:  I have highlighted how quantitative 

research can homogenize scientist identities, 

narrow the range of perceived need, and miss 

possible solutions.  Although those working 

in the humanities do not hypothesize the 

way that biologists do, their ways of knowing 

can generate insights on where science may 

unintentionally become part of the challenges 

we try to address.  I leave it as an exercise 

to the reader to consider how our questions 

about the leaky pipeline might change if we 

thought of students and academic scientists 

as “fish” rather than “water.”  To practice my 

own recommendation, I will write a follow-up 

essay sharing some of my own experiences as 

a fish who has navigated between pipeline and 

outside “stream” multiple times to highlight 

the most important lessons I have learned. 



The author thanks Dr. Kaitlyn Stack Whitney 

(UW-Madison), Dr. Alejandra Estrin Dashe 

(Metropolitan State University), and four 

anonymous reviewers for their helpful 

feedback on this essay.

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By Catrina Adams,  

Education Director

BSA Science Education News and Notes 

serves as an update about the BSA’s educa-

tion efforts and the broader education scene. 

We invite you to submit news items or ideas 

for future features. Contact Catrina Adams, 

Education Director, at

PlantingScience continues to grow! This 

past fall marked our largest PlantingScience 

session ever, with more than 70 teachers and 

over 3000 students participating. 

Thanks to all of our scientist mentors, new and 

experienced, who volunteer an hour of their 

time per week to inspire the next generation 

of plant scientists by mentoring students’ plant 

science investigations online. 

As part of the NSF-funded Digging Deeper 

project, we have been conducting an efficacy 

study of PlantingScience’s Power of Sunlight 

Investigation Theme. Preliminary results are 

showing statistically significant achievement 

gains regarding major plant biology concepts 

for students of teachers who participated 

in the Digging Deeper/PlantingScience 

programs. Students’ attitudes about scientists 

PlantingScience Program  

Experience Benefits Students

also improve as a result of participation. I’ll 

be sharing more news about the program’s 

efficacy as we begin publishing the research 

results in the coming months. 

Participating students recognize and 

appreciate both the plant biology and the 

soft skills they learn by conducting their 

own science investigations and collaborating 

with scientist mentors. Sharon Harris, a 

PlantingScience AP biology teacher shares:

“All of my AP students from last year said the 

PlantingScience activity was the single most 

important academic achievement for them (in 

all their courses, not just the sciences)! They spoke 

of gaining confidence, loving the independence 

of designing their own experiments, and finding 

inner strength when their experiments proved 

frustrating. Thank you for what you provide to 

these young scientists!”

Pre-service teachers are also benefitting 

from the PlantingScience program, with a 

partnership at Wright State University where 

undergraduate education majors participate as 

students in the program, making connections 

with scientist mentors and experiencing 

the process of science and the pedagogical 

techniques of inquiry learning themselves. 

You can see a star-project winning team from 

this collaboration at https://plantingscience.


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The PlantingScience 

received this fantastic 

e-mail showing the 

impact the program 

and its mentors had on 

one particular student!

Several years ago I had a very unmotivated 

student. Seriously, nothing got him excited 

about learning—not going to the creek, not 

labs, not cool environmental videos. Anyway, 

it was time to begin PlantingScience. This year 

we were doing the genetics project. Well, my 

unmotivated student suddenly became excited 

about something. He was communicating with 

his mentor scientist on several topics with 

genetics of plants. This kid who tried his best 

to sleep through his day was now pretending 

to take notes or work on assignments on his 

computer while talking to his mentor scientist. 

The mentor scientist made such a difference 

for this kid. Other teachers told me he was no 

longer sleeping in their classes. 

It must be added that this student was one that 

was considered “at risk,” meaning at risk of 

not graduating. He went on to Kennesaw State 

and got very involved with the environmental 

program there. Kennesaw’s program has grown 

so much in the past years. It grows food to feed 

the students in the cafeteria, and students do a 

lot of work in a several greenhouses. My student 

got so much from his experience with having a 

scientist mentor. I really think it changed his 

path, and possibly his life.

Mentors are so valuable. Having an expert 

who takes the time to encourage students 

is something that really helps the students 

and makes the students confident to take 

the responsibility of designing and following 

through with an experiment. The scientist 

mentors have been wonderful. Many are young 

and relate well with the students or experienced 

and patient with the students, all offering a 

positive influence that really is a special thing 

for students. It is really one of the very best 

things about this wonderful project.

Science Education

Congratulations to all of our Fall 2017 Star 

Project teams. Each session we choose 10-

15 projects to feature in our Star Project 

gallery. These projects represent projects that 

have excelled in one of several categories. 

Check out our Star Project Gallery (https:// to see 

what makes these projects exemplary (Figure 1). 

Figure 1. Team “Parasite Prognosticators,” one 

of 15 Star Project winners for the Fall 2017 

PlantingScience session, conduct an investiga-

tion comparing the effects of store-bought and 

home remedies on brown soft scale insects liv-

ing on Dieffenbachia leaves. See more from the 

team at


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QUBES Faculty Mentoring 

Network (FMN)  

“Plants by the Numbers” 

Kicks Off this Spring

Fifteen faculty members have joined the first 

QUBES/BSA Faculty Mentoring Network 

“Plants by the Numbers: Growing Quantitative 

Literacy Using Botany” (https://qubeshub.

org/groups/bsa2018). These faculty ar

interested in adopting plant-focused modules 

that address quantitative reasoning skills 

in their undergraduate life science courses. 

This spring they will work together as they 

customize and implement newly designed 

education modules on a range of botanical 

topics drawn from the PlantED digital library 

( Every other 

week they meet in facilitated virtual sessions 

to collaborate with and support others in the 

network and receive mentoring. 

The PlantED Digital library is a great place 

to submit your educational materials at


for peer-review, and to access peer-reviewed 

materials to use in your courses. Teaching 

notes from the Plants by the Numbers faculty 

participants will be added to selected resources 

in PlantED at the end of the FMN experience.

Check Out “Beyond the 

Bean Seed”: A Plant  

Exploration YouTube Channel

BSA member Melanie Link-Perez (Miami 

University, Ohio) shares a host of ways to 

bring plants into your classroom in her new 

YouTube channel:



Her aim is to help others meet the challenge 

issued in Link-Perez and Schussler (2013, 

Plant Science Bulletin) to explore the diverse, 

exciting, and intricate world of plants that lies 

“beyond the bean seed.” She is also soliciting 

requests for new resources on the Discussion 

page of the channel and is planning to produce 

episodes on demand. Support her efforts by 

sharing her channel!

Image Quiz Software Avail-

able for Visual Learning of 

Plant Identification

BSA member Bruce Kirchoff (University of 

North Carolina) has been developing effective 

software for active visual learning (Kirchoff 

et al., 2014; Burrows et al., 2014). The Image 

Quiz software he has developed is free and 

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open-source. The plant identification quizzes 

are available to download at:  https://github.

com/Jasig/ImageQuiz/releases. is the PC version and VL-PI.

dmg is the Mac version of the software. The 

two remaining files include source code 

packaged for PC/Mac.  

It is also possible to add your own images to 

the basic software to create custom versions 

for your own classes. The software is versatile 

and can be adapted to a number of different 

learning domains. Versions of the software 

that help students learn algae and vascular 

plant life cycles and plant morphology 

terminology have also been developed, and 

we’ll share links to those resources in future 

issues of the Plant Science Bulletin

For questions about the software, you can 

contact Dr. Kirchoff at


Burrows, G. E., G. L. Krebs, and B. K. Kirchoff. 

2014. ‘Visual Learning – Agricultural Plants of 

the  Riverina’  – A  New Application  for  Helping 

Veterinary Students Recognise Poisonous Plants. 

Bioscience Education 22: 1–13.

Kirchoff, B. K., P. F. Delaney, M. Horton, R. Del-

linger-Johnston. 2014. Optimizing Learning of 

Scientific Category Knowledge in the Classroom: 

The Case of Plant Identification. CBE- Life Sci-

ences Education 13: 425–436. 




60 years ago:  The BSA Committee to Study the Role of Botany in American Education, which received 

funding from NSF to recommend how and why botany should be integrated into high school and uni-

versity courses, published their report. Much of what they suggest is quite familiar. Below is an excerpt.  


“The Role of Botany in College Education of All Undergraduates: 

We believe that some study of plants should be included in the college work of all undergraduates in order: 

1. To make clear the role of plants in the nature cycles, in the maintenance of soil fertility, in erosion 

control, etc. 


2. To emphasize the dependence of human life upon plants 

3. To develop understanding of certain general principles: inheritance, evolution, interrelationships of 

living  organisms, etc., for the illustration of which plants are especially suitable. 

4. To appreciate the development of practical applications of science from research in the basic, “pure” 

sciences. Basic research in botany has led for many years to practical applications in agriculture, for-

estry. etc. 

5. To clarify the inter-relationship of structure and function in living plants, since plants are suscepti-

ble of easy and revealing experimentation.”

 - Report of Botanical Society of America Committee to Study the Role of Botany in American Education 

PSB 4(3): 1-3

50 years ago: An In Memoriam for Edmund W. Sinnott was published.  “On January 6, 1968, Edmund 

W. Sinnott, Sterling Professor of Botany Emeritus, Yale University, died at the age of 79. The death of this 

eminent scientist and scholar is a severe loss not only to the botanical world but to the academic commu-

nity and to the broad spectrum of biological sciences which his distinguished career encompassed and so 

greatly enriched.” 

 - Wilson, Katherine S. “Edmund Ware Sinnott (1888-1968)” PSB 14(1): 6-7

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By James McDaniel and Chelsea Pretz

BSA Student Representatives

Roundup of Student Opportunities

Isn’t it hard to believe that we are already in a new year? Many of us may have created a list of 

New Year’s resolutions, and since we are already a few months into 2018, it’s the perfect time 

to re-evaluate and/or fulfill some of those goals. If you happened to make any career-focused 

resolutions, we’re betting that there was at least one pertaining to writing and/or improving 

your research. In fact, you may be trying to figure out what you can do to help you reach your 

educational, research, and career goals. Fear not, because we have compiled a list of opportunities 

that you might be interested in. Although some of the deadlines may have already passed, they 

might be opportunities that you will want to keep in mind for 2019!

Below, we have four categories for easy browsing that include the following: Grants and Awards, 

Broader Impacts, Short Courses and Workshops, and Job Hunting.

Grants and Awards

Grants and awards can help fund your research;  provide assistance for travel related to training, 

fieldwork, or conferences;  and even contribute to your cost-of-living and tuition expenses (e.g., 

fellowships). Additionally, applying for grants and awards is a great opportunity to hash-out a 

research plan as well as fine-tune your writing skills by articulating said research plan. Lastly, 

don’t forget to check with your department and university to become familiar with internal 

grants for which you can apply!

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 Student Section



BSA Graduate Student Research Awards


Botanical Society of America

Research Funds

Aim: To support and promote graduate student research in 

the botanical sciences. Includes the J.S. Karling Award.

Deadline: March 15
More info:

BSA Undergraduate Student Research Awards


Botanical Society of America

Research Funds

Aim: To support and promote undergraduate research in 

the botanical sciences. 

Deadline: March 15
More info:

BSA Student Travel Awards

Variable, up to $500

Botanical Society of America

Conference Travel

Several awards support student travel to the annual 

BOTANY conference: 

- Cheadle Student Travel Awards  

- BSA Section Awards

Deadline: April 10

More info:

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program

$34K/year + tuition 

National Science Foundation

Stipend & Tuition

Aim: To support outstanding graduate students in NSF-

supported disciplines who are pursuing research-based 

Master’s and Doctoral degrees at accredited United States 


Deadline: October

More info:

Torrey Botanical Society Fellowships and Awards

up to $2,500

Torrey Botanical Society

Research Funds & 


Aim: To support research/education of student society 

members (fund field work, recognize research in 

conservation of local flora/ecosystems, or fund course 

attendance at a biological field station). There are awards 

for undergraduate and graduate students.

Deadline: January 15

More info:

Prairie Biotic Research Small Grants

up to $1500

Prairie Biotic Research, Inc.

Research Funds

Aim: To support the study of any species in U.S. prairies 

and savannas.

Deadline: December 

More info:

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 Student Section


Botany In Action Fellowship


Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

Research Funds

Aim: To develop new, science-based plant knowledge and 

chronicle traditional knowledge of plants. BIA promotes 

interactive scientific education about the importance of 

plants, biodiversity, and sustainable landscapes. 

Deadline: January 12

More info:


The Lewis and Clark Fund for Field Research

up to $5000

American Philosophical Society

Research Funds

Aim: To encourage exploratory field studies for the 

collection of specimens and data as well as provide the 

imaginative stimulus that accompanies direct observation.

Deadline: February 1

More info:

ASPT Graduate Student Research Grants

up to $1000

American Society of Plant Taxonomists

Research Funds

Aim: To support both master’s and doctoral students 

conducting fieldwork, herbarium travel, and/or laboratory 

research in any area of plant systematics.

Deadline: March 5 

More info:

Richard Evans Schultes Research Award

up to $2500

The Society for Economic Botany

Research Funds

Aim: To help defray the costs of fieldwork on a topic related 

to economic botany for students who are members of the 

Society for Economic Botany.

Deadline: March 15 

More info:

Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research

up to $1000

Sigma Xi

Research Funds

By encouraging close working relationships between 

students and mentors, this program promotes scientific 

excellence and achievement through hands-on learning.

Deadline: March 15 

and October 1
More info:

Systematics Research Fund

up to £1500

The Systematics Association & The Linnean Society

Research Funds

Besides research focused on systematics, projects of a 

more general or educational nature will also be considered, 

provided that they include a strong systematics component.

Deadline: February 15

More info:

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 Student Section


The Exploration Fund Grant

up to $5000

The Exploration Fund Grant

Research Funds

Aim: To provide grants in support of exploration and field 

research for those who are just beginning their research 


Deadline: mid-

More info:


CIC Smithsonian Institution Fellowship

$32,700 for one year

CIC & the Smithsonian Institution


Aim: To support research in residence at Smithsonian 

Institution facilities. All fields of study that are actively 

pursued by the museums and research organizations of the 

Smithsonian Institution are eligible.

Deadline: December 1

More info:

Ford Foundation Fellowship Programs

$24K-$45K, for 1-3 


Ford Foundation


Three fellowship types are offered: Predoctoral, Dissertation, 

and Postdoctoral. The Ford Foundation seeks to increase 

the diversity of the nation’s college and university faculties.

Deadline: Mid-

More info:


Early Career Grant

up to $10,000

National Geographic Foundation

Research Funds

Aim: To support research, conservation, and exploration-

related projects consistent with National Geographic’s 

existing grant programs.  In addition, this program 

provides increased funding opportunities for fieldwork in 

18 Northeast and Southeast Asian countries.

Deadline: April 4

More info:


The Mohamed Bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund

up to $25,000

The Mohamed Bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund

Research Funds

This fund is a new and significant philanthropic endowment 

established to directly support the cause of species 

conservation. It is open to applications for funding support 

from conservationists based in all parts of the world dealing 

with plant and animal species.

Deadlines: February 

28, June 30, and 

October 31

More info:

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 Student Section


Fulbright U.S. Student Program


U.S. Department of State

Travel (abroad)

Offers a variety of grants for one year of study or research 

abroad to over 100 countries. Applicants must have 

proficiency in the written and spoken language of the host 


Deadline: October

More info:

P.E.O. Scholar Award

up to $15,000

P.E.O. Scholar Awards Laureate Chapter


Female applicant must be within two years of completing 

her doctoral-level degree and she must have one full 

academic year of work remaining at the time the award 

payment is made in August or September.

Deadline: November 


More info:


AAUW American Fellowships


American Association of University Women


Aim: To support women scholars who are completing 

dissertations, planning research leave from accredited 

institutions, or preparing research for publication.

Deadline: November 

More info:



Broader Impact Opportunities

These opportunities are not just for NSF grants! Sharing your passion for plant science 

with a wide range of audiences will help develop speaking skills as well as help you re-

connect with why you decided to go to graduate school in the first place.

The Arnold Arboretum Awards for Student Research


The Arnold Arboretum

Research Funds 

Multiple awards and/or fellowships are offered for 

undergraduate and graduate students with topics that focus 

on Asian tropical forest biology and comparative biology 

of woody plants (including Chinese-American exchanges). 

Be sure to check the website for full information on each 


Deadline: February 1

More info:

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 Student Section






Garden Club of America Scholarships


Garden Club of America

Research or Training 


Many awards are offered to support botanical research, with 

foci ranging from public garden history/use, field botany, 

medicinal botany, and horticulture. Be sure to check the 

website for full information on each award.

Deadline: January- 

More info:



National Science Foundation and Botanical Society of 


Conference Travel

The PLANTS program will pay the expenses of up to 12 

undergraduate students to participate in the BOTANY 

2018 meetings (Rochester, Minnesota from July 21-25, 

2018) as well as provide mentoring from both peer and 

senior mentors in the plant sciences.

Deadline: March 1

More info:

SMART Program


+ tuition

American Society for Engineering Education

Stipend & Tuition

Aim: To increase the number of scientists and engineers 

in the DoD. The program is particularly interested in 

supporting individuals that demonstrate an aptitude and 

interest in conducting theoretical and applied research.

Deadline: December

More info:


What it is:

A learning community where scientists provide online mentorship 

to student teams as they design and think through their own inquiry 


What you can 


Interact with grade school to college-level students online as they 

work on plant-focused learning modules in the classroom.

More info:

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Science Olympiad

What it is:

Competitions are like academic track meets consisting of a series 

of 23 team events in each division (middle school or high school). 

Each year, a portion of the events are rotated to reflect the ever-

changing nature of genetics, earth science, chemistry, anatomy, 

physics, geology, mechanical engineering, and technology.

What you can 


Mentor local students in person on a variety of science and 

engineering oriented topics and skills as well as help organize and 

run competitions.

More info:

Local Arboretums, Parks, Museums, and Herbaria

What it is:

These institutions often depend on volunteers to donate their time 

and expertise to help people of all ages enjoy their collections and 

grounds. They may already have programs in place that allow you 

to lead tours or interact with visitors at special events so that you 

can share your interests and passion.

What you can 


Lead tours as well as help organize and run events

More info: 

Look up local parks/arboretums/museums/herbaria online or 

inquire at visitors’ centers.

Short Courses and Workshops

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

or resume. Here are a few of the many options available to graduate students for part 

of a semester or summer.

Advanced Field Botany

University of Idaho This two-week course is open to upper division undergraduates 

and early career graduate students. In the course, you’ll gain 

valuable experience and botanical knowledge in the field. 

You’ll also get acquainted with the flora of Idaho in the 

Inland Northwest. Interested students should look for an 

announcement in the spring. 

June or July

More info:



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 Student Section


Tropical Botany Summer Course

University of 


This course highlights the biology and systematics of tropical 

plants, specifically the extensive holdings of tropical vascular 

plants at Fairchild Tropical Garden, The Kampong of the 

National Tropical Botanical Garden, and the Montgomery 

Botanical Center. Field trips will also be offered to the 

Everglades, the Florida Keys, and other adjacent natural areas. 

Be on the lookout for an announcement during the winter 


June or July

More info:

OTS Courses in Tropical Field Biology

Organization for 

Tropical Studies

Courses through the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) 

are a well-renowned way to spend a summer or semester in the 

field, learning about the biology of tropical ecosystems in Costa 

Rica and South Africa. Course offerings include Tropical Plant 

Systematics, but check their website for the full list of offerings.

Variable dates

More info:

Molecular Evolution Workshop

Marine Biological 

Library at Wood’s 


This 10-day course features a series of lectures, discussions, and 

bioinformatics exercises. Included are sessions on phylogenetic 

analyses, population genetics analyses, databases and sequence 

matching, molecular evolution, and comparative genomics. 

Applications for participation are due in April.

July 19 to July 29

More info:

Bodega Bay Applied Phylogenetics Workshop

UC Davis and the 

Bodega Marine 


This week-long course will cover topics in statistical 

phylogenetics and give students the opportunity to complete 

a project during the course. The schedule will likely include 

sessions on Bayesian inference, divergence-time estimation, 

MCMC diagnosis and model selection, biogeography, 

continuous and discrete trait evolution, species tree inference, 

and rates of lineage diversification.

To Be Announced

More info:

The R Basics Workshop

Missouri Botanical 


This workshop is one way to get exposure and experience 

working with R, a powerful statistical software package. 

Scientists from the Center for Conservation and Sustainable 

Development in St. Louis will teach June 5-7, 2018. Look out 

for formal announcements in December or January and watch 

their website.

To Be Announced

More info:

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 Student Section


edX: Data Analysis for the Life Sciences


edX, a free online course provider, offers a 7-part course on data 

analysis for the life sciences (PH525.1-7). These courses are a 

self-paced way to learn R for statistical analysis, starting with 

basic R use to dealing with genomic datasets. These courses 

combine video lectures, practical exercises, and a discussion 

board monitored by course developers. 

Variable Times

More info:

search “PH525” on

What’s Next: Looking for a Job in Botany

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

consider your next step—whether it be finding a PI and lab to work in for continuing 

your education, finding a postdoctoral research opportunity, or finding a job that suits 

your goals and skills. Finding out about jobs often happens through personal contacts, 

but there are great online resources as well.

Masters/PhD/Post-Doctoral Opportunities

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

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

newest to the oldest. This site shows positions from across the biological sciences, but it 

is a great option for plant evolutionary biologists.

Academic Teaching Positions

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

doctoral, Fellowship, and Career Opportunities” link to see a current list of a variety 

of job postings. The BSA website is a great resource for one-stop shopping for careers 

and other opportunities in a variety of botanical sciences. Another good resource for 

finding jobs (including postdoctoral opportunities) can be found through AAAS, at the 

Science Careers site.
Botanical Society of America
AAAS Science Careers

Government Positions and Non-Academic Jobs

Searches for government jobs can begin at and A 

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

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

LinkedIn and ResearchGate will help you connect with and organize your professional 

contacts, so be sure to keep your profile pages updated and polished!
Government Positions

Conservation Job Board

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Use your University!

Many academic institutions have offices that focus on helping alumni succeed 

after graduation. Check with your department or institution for resources on job 

announcements, workshops focused on personal development (such as CV/resume 

writing or getting a teaching certificate), and networking opportunities.

As you take on another year of research, make sure to spend time working on the skills 

that are necessary for becoming a researcher. These “soft” skills are learning to engage 

with the public, successfully obtaining funds, and writing. A large part of student training 

is learning how to write well and concisely. This isn’t a skill that can be learned overnight, 

and it requires hours of practice and editing. This task can seem daunting to a biology 

student since there are often other things that can take us away from writing. Something 

to keep in mind is that clear thinking doesn’t create clear writing; however, learning to 

write and spending time thinking about your research will give you the ability to think 

clearly. [Paraphrased from Josh Schimel’s Writing Science: How to Write Papers That Get 

Cited and Proposals That Get Funded.] In the long run, if you invest substantial time 

in your writing early on, skills associated with thinking clearly will trickle into clearer 


Joyous Garden

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Heather Hales Cacanindin 

Named Botanical Society of 

America Executive Director

St. Louis, MO—The Botanical Society of 

America’s Board of Directors is pleased to 

announce that Heather Hales Cacanindin, 

former BSA Director of Membership and 

Marketing, has been named as the Society’s 

new Executive Director, effective March 19, 

2018. Cacanindin, who served as Interim 

Executive Director since October 2017, has 

played a key role in the Society since 2007. 

Prior to joining the BSA, Cacanindin served 

as Program Manager for the United Soybean 

Board, a farmer-led nonprofit that invested a 

budget of over $60 million. 

Following an extensive search, BSA’s Board 

selected Cacanindin from an impressive 

field of candidates based on her excellent 

management skills, extensive knowledge 

of scientific societies and association 

management, as well as her deep commitment 

to the members of the BSA and to fulfilling 

the Society’s mission. 

“I have spent my entire career in association 

work mostly because I enjoy working in a 

mission-driven type of environment, and 

after ten years at the Botanical Society of 

America, I have a deep understanding of the 

organization, its culture, our staff and our 

members’ needs,” Cacanindin said. “This is a 

dynamic time for our organization as we build 

new partnerships, transition our financial 

business model, and seek ways to draw more 

attention to the critical work of our members 

and to plant science research.  I look forward 

to working with our members and volunteer 

leadership as we re-imagine how we attract, 

mentor, engage, and deploy a diverse new 

generation of botanical scientists and how we 

can best support our members in all career 


Cacanindin’s previous experience as a 

Membership and Marketing Director 

included evaluation and improvement of 

the society membership experience and 

related messaging and marketing for three 

international associations (BSA, as well as 

the Society for the Study of Evolution and 

the Society for Economic Botany); creating 

and analyzing multiple member surveys that 

drove strategic planning processes; managing 

relationships with a diverse group of sponsors, 

donors, librarians, and contractors, and 

reconciling and providing financial oversight 

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for budgets, income and expenses; and 

providing strategic direction and oversight of 

the successful government-funded diversity 

and mentoring program, PLANTS.

BSA President Loren Rieseberg commented, 

“We are thrilled that Heather was willing to 

take over as Executive Director of the BSA 

and are confident that she is the right person 

to successfully implement the strategic goals 

of the organization.”

Cacanindin holds a B.A. in History and 

French from St. Louis University, and an M.A. 

in History from the University of Wisconsin, 

Madison, as well as a Graduate Certificate in 

Nonprofit Management from Washington 

University in St. Louis, and a Certificate in 

Financial Management from the American 

Society of Association Executives (ASAE). She 

is a member of ASAE and the St. Louis Society 

of Association Executives and has served on 

the board of the nonprofit Center for Women 

in Transition. 

Cacanindin succeeds William Dahl, who 

retired in October 2017 after serving 15 years 

as the BSA’s first executive director. 

BSA Research Journals  

Successfully Move to  

Wiley Platform

Authors and readers of the American Jour-

nal of Botany and Applications in Plant 

Sciences see updated look, better author tools

The recent partnership between the Botanical 

Society of America (BSA) and John Wiley & 

Sons, Inc., to publish and promote the BSA’s 

two research publications, the American 

Journal of Botany (AJB) and Applications in 

Plant Sciences (APPS), kicked off successfully 

in January. This partnership provides support 

for the BSA’s publications that will allow the 

Society to better serve the journals’ authors 

and readers—and ultimately to better serve 

the mission of promoting botany. 

“We bring to the table our people, our 

scientific and editorial expertise, and our 

passion; Wiley brings a wealth of publishing 

and technological expertise and services,” said 

AJB editor-in-chief Pamela Diggle and APPS 

editor-in-chief Theresa Culley, in a recent 

jointly written editorial that appeared in both 

journals. “We will work together to expand 

our reach, enhance our online presence, and 

support our authors, reviewers, and editors, 

while keeping the journals accessible and 


The challenges of a rapidly changing publishing 

landscape prompted BSA leadership to 

deliberate on how to best adapt its journals 

to better meet the needs of authors and BSA 

members. A committee was formed over two 

years ago to analyze the benefits and costs 

of self‐publishing versus partnering with an 

outside publisher. After careful consideration 

and much discussion, Wiley was chosen as 

BSA’s publishing partner based on its record of 

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Animated Short “TreeTender” released online

The University of Florida and Florida Museum of Natural History have released “Tree-Tender,” 

an engaging and visually stunning animated film that examines the interrelationships among 

living things and the importance of protecting biodiversity. The goal of the film is to engage 

the general public and increase understanding of complex scientific topics. BSA members Pam 

and Doug Soltis, as well as Robert Guralnick, served as the Science Team behind the film. The 

film and additional educational resources are freely available a

“TreeTender” is a Digital Worlds Production. 

successful partnerships with similar scholarly 

and professional societies and its reputation as 

a strong publisher of academic journals. 

What will this partnership mean for you, as a 

reader and author? Much of what our authors, 

reviewers, and readers already experience 

at both journals will remain the same. The 

Society retains control over content and all 

editorial processes. Costs (subscription and 

Open Access fees) have been negotiated to 

remain affordable, and authors, reviewers, 

and editors will continue to interact with 

their BSA editorial staff (Amy McPherson, 

Richard Hund, Beth Parada, Sophia Balcomb, 

and Benjamin Merritt). Copyediting will, as 

always, be handled through the BSA’s careful 

and knowledgeable team. The Plant Science 

Bulletin will continue to be self‐published by 

the BSA.

The editorial team encourages you to 

explore the new homes of the American 

Journal of Botany and Applications in Plant 

Sciences at

journal/15372197 and https://onlinelibrary., respectively. 

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Development and Structure

IAWA List of Microscopic Bark Features Ecology ........................................................................................


Middle East Ecology .......................................................................................................................................................

The Tallgrass Prairie: An Introduction) .................................................................................................................

Evolutionary Ecology of Weeds ...............................................................................................................................

Nature’s Fabric: Leaves in Science and Culture ...........................................................................................

Economic Botany

Forest Management and Planning .........................................................................................................................


What’s in the Garden (Education) ...........................................................................................................................

In a nutshell .........................................................................................................................................................................


Flora of Middle Earth: Plants of J.R.R. Tolkien's Legendarium ..............................................................

Flora of Florida Volume IV  .........................................................................................................................................

Plants of the World  ........................................................................................................................................................

Syllabus of Plant Families: A. Engler’s Syllabus der Pflanzenfamilien, 13th ed.  2/1 Photo  

 autotrophic Eukaryotic Algae: Glaucocystophyta, Cryptophyta, Dinophyta/Dinozoa,  .............  

Haptophyta, Heterokontophyta/Ochrophyta, Chlorarachniophyta/Cercozoa, Euglenophyta/

Euglenozoa, Chlorophyta, Streptophyta .............................................................................................................



IAWA List of Micro-

scopic Bark Features

Veronica Angyalossy, 

Marcelo R. Pace, Ray F. Evert, 

Carmen R. Marcati, Alexei 

A. Oskolski, Teresa Terrazas, 

Ekaterina Kotina, et al.


DOI: 10.1163/22941932-


journals/10.1163/22941932-20160151. 99 pages

IAWA Journal, International Association of Wood 

Anatomists, Leiden

International Association of Wood 

Anatomists (IAWA) is an international forum 

that has made a tremendous contribution in 

the field of wood anatomy since 1931. The 

publications brought by the association are 

held high for their quality. For instance, IAWA 

list of microscopic features for hardwood 

identification and softwood identification 

was a ready reckoner for wood researchers 

(Wheeler et al., 1989; Richter et al., 2004). 

The present publication deals with one of the 

lesser-focused aspects of wood anatomy: the 

bark. There is no skepticism that the present 

book forms an authoritative list for bark 

microscopic characters. 

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Different from the conventional books, 

this book is a sort of report brought out 

by the committee established by IAWA, 

following the Brazilian initiative of IAWA 

bark committee. The team members of 16 

experts from 10 different countries have come 

together for this work. Henceforth, in terms 

of the language as well as content, it is made 

universally readable in simple English. There 

is a brief acknowledgement of previous works 

as well as the areas that need future research. 

The detailed preface can make the beginner to 

cherish the uniqueness of the book.
Bark features can be a great tool in the 

identification of wood as that of the 

anatomical features. However, the committee 

acknowledges the shortcomings—the editors 

themselves made a list of these limitations—

in the preface, which makes the reader more 

informed about the content of the book. 

The colorful pictures come in handy in 

identification. Illustrations and explanations 

for all 173 anatomical characters have been 

meticulously detailed. The authors do give an 

introductory description of each character as 

well as comments based on their experience 

to help out the researchers. Among with the 

illustrations, the transverse section on the 

outgrowths of the bark such as prickles were 

One of the major difficulties in the bark 

anatomy is getting a very good histological 

section, since the bark is composed of hard, 

lignifed cells, as well as soft, unlignifed cells. 

The committee has also addressed this issue 

by incorporating an appendix, which specifies 

certain methods along with their references 

for benefits of the readers. Some of the 

researchers (such as Kotina et al., 2017) are 

carrying out full-fledged research on the bark 


There is the huge economical potential of 

bark for pharmaceutical and other industries, 

which may justify the need for this special 

publication. Despite good planning and 

execution, the short communication by  Lev-

Yadun (2017) points out a feature that was 

missed in this publication. In this regard, 

readers may also need to have a look at it. In 

all regards, I would recommend this book as 

a primary framework for anyone interested in 

plant anatomy as well as a good start for the 

beginners in wood anatomy. The open access 

nature of this publication will delight many 



Kotina, E. L., A. A. Oskolski, P. M. Tilney, and 

B.-E. Van Wyk. 2017. Bark anatomy of Adanso-

nia digitata L.(Malvaceae). Adansonia 39: 31–40.

Lev-Yadun, S. 2017. Periderm tubes: an addition 

to  the  List  of  microscopic  bark  features.  IAWA 

Journal 38 (4): 571-572.

Shibui, H., and Y. Sano. 2018. Structure and for-

mation  of  phellem  of  Betula  maximowicziana. 

IAWA Journal 39 (1): 18–36.

Wheeler, E.A., P. Baas, and P. E. Gasson. 1989. 

IAWA list of microscopic features for hardwood 

identification. IAWA Bulletin 10 (3): 219-332.

–S. Suresh RamananM.Sc. (Forestry), College 

of Forestry, Kerala Agricultural University, 

Kerala, India

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Plant Ecology in the Middle East

Hegazy, A., and J. Lovett-Doust

2016. ISBN-13: 978-0-19-966081-0   

Hardcover, US$55.00. 339 + xxix pages

Oxford University Press, New York

This work emphasizes deserts of the Middle 

East, a region broadly considered to include 

South Sudan to Azerbaijan and Libya to the 

Caspian Sea. These deserts studied in detail 

are chiefly in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Libya. 

The book is, in fact, a handbook of desert 

ecology. Of the eleven chapters, five deal 

almost exclusively with deserts.
This emphasis is not surprising, of course, 

considering the extent of deserts in the region. 

Although the Saharan and Arabian deserts 

are best known, there are severe albeit lesser-

known deserts in Iran and other places. The 

term “Syrian desert” is consistently used in 

the book, although it’s an arid region probably 

better considered as a steppe. 
As noted, eleven chapters comprise the book. 

Most of these provide detailed information 

on a broad range of topics dealing with 

plant ecology, from continental drift to seed 

biology. Global climate change and continents 

in motion (Chapter 3) would be a good 

introduction of these topics to a general 

audience and could be reduced in length. 

Other chapters, with similar depth and extent 

of treatment, include adaptations for aridity, 

seed biology, chemical ecology, and “Sex in a 

hot dry place.”
This group of chapters is followed by a review 

of agriculture, again with detail including the 

Fertile Crescent and other widely known facts 

that add breadth to the book but with much 

that is not essential. The penultimate chapter 

is timely and details human impacts and 

efforts at conservation.

I have lived and worked in numerous countries 

of North Africa, the Levant, and Iraq, so I was 

eager to determine how plant ecology for 

these countries fared in this treatment. Sudan 

(including South Sudan) was well covered 

though with diminished information on the 

northern half of the country. While smaller in 

size but with as much or greater diversity, Syria 

is allocated only about a page. Lebanon has the 

highest mountains in the region and a great 

diversity of plant communities yet is limited to 

about half a page. These examples and others 

indicate the bias toward Saharan countries. 

Coverage of non-desert communities in 

greater depth would be desirable.
The authors have apparently missed some 

recent floristic treatments of several countries. 

Examples include the first edition of Tohmé 

and Tohmé’s flora of Lebanon (2017), the 

exhaustive flora of Qatar (Bary, 2012), and a 

flora of the United Arab Emirates (Karim and 

Fawzy, 2007). 
A well-researched book—carefully edited 

with helpful graphs and images (including 

a collection of sharp, clear color images)— 

with an overall excellent bibliography, this 

should be on the bookshelf of anyone with an 

interest desert ecology. It will also be of value 

to students of biodiversity, especially since the 

regions covered in the book include some of 

the earliest examples of intensive agriculture 

and its impact on the environment. 
The authors’ stated goal “is to provide a solid 

baseline and stimulate further research”. 

Mission accomplished—though one would 

like to see more non-desert ecology included.


Bari, E. M. M. 2012. The Flora of Qatar. Volume 

1: The Dicotyledons. Volume 2: The Monocotyle-

dons. [2013]. Environmental Studies Center, Qa-

tar University, Doha, Qatar. Vol. 1, 704 pp. Vol. 2.

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Karim, F. W. and N. M. Fawzi. 2007. Flora of the 

United Arab Emirates. United Arab Emirates Uni-

versity, Al Aimn, United Arab Emirates.

Tohmé, G. and Tohmé H. 2017. Illustrated Flora 

of Lebanon. Second Edition. National Council for 

Scientific Research, Beirut, Lebanon. 

–Lytton John Musselman, Department of 

Biological Sciences, Old Dominion University, 

Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0266

The Tallgrass Prairie: 

An Introduction 

Cindy Crosby  

2017. ISBN-13: 978-


Paperback, US $19.95.  

144 pp. 

Northwestern University 

Press, Evanston, IL

Native grassland habitats are among the areas 

most in need of conservation throughout 

North America. In Illinois, where the author 

Cindy Crosby works and resides, 3000 acres 

of tallgrass prairie remain from what was 

once 22 million acres. In her new book, The 

Tallgrass Prairie: An Introduction, we learn 

that this decline in natural grassland habitat 

can be traced to blacksmith John Deere’s 1837 

invention of a plow—one that could efficiently 

cut through the densely rooted prairie sod—

that facilitated the largescale conversion 

of these fertile soils into cropland. For this 

reason, a principal theme of The Tallgrass 

Prairie is the urgent need to protect, restore, 

and care for what remains of these prairies. 

As the reader is conveyed to the tallgrass 

prairies through stories of its history, biology 

and culture, we are grounded by connections 

to the relevance of this information for the 

conservation of these habitats.
Crosby is a writer, teacher, interpreter, as well 

as a steward supervisor at the Schulenberg 

Prairie, and a steward at Nachusa Grasslands 

in Illinois. Her expertise in communicating 

to a broad audience is displayed by her deft 

ability to simultaneously address an audience 

of readers both new and experienced with 

tallgrass prairies. 
The book opens by describing the 

characteristics that define a prairie, starting 

with some of its signature grasses and forbs. 

We are taught that the Great Plains has 

different kinds of prairies. From west to east, 

the distribution of shortgrass, mixed grass, 

and tallgrass prairies reflects a gradient of 

increasing precipitation cast by the rain 

shadow of the Rocky Mountains.  We also 

learn that there is a diversity of types of 

tallgrass prairies, the classification of which is 

largely based on the soils on which they are 

found. Each of these types of tallgrass prairie 

has unique communities of plants worth 

The second chapter of the book  presents a 

brief overview of the history of the American 

prairies. We are given glimpses of what it 

must have been like to encounter seas of grass 

in their pristine state. As the overview moves 

to the present, this history unfortunately 

necessitates the reader to become familiar 

with the concepts of remnants, restoration, 

and reconstruction as they pertain to the 

tallgrass prairies. 
“Why should I care about the tallgrass 

prairies?” is the title of the third chapter. The 

author presents ways to look at these habitats 

from different perspectives, including: for 

enjoyment, ecological value, research subject, 

and spiritual nourishment. This chapter 

encourages the reader to consider why our 

natural habitats are important to us. This 

basic question is an active area of discussion, 

but what is widely appreciated today is that 

there are many dimensions of value to natural 

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Book Reviews

habitats and the author encourages the 

recognition of those dimensions.
Throughout the book, Crosby consistently 

accompanies stories of natural history, told 

in an easy colloquial style, with a means 

for the curious reader to delve further into 

those stories. In particular, each organism 

mentioned is typically followed by a species 

name in parentheses that permits a quick 

search for images and more information. 

The identification of organisms, mostly 

plants, is not an afterthought, as the author 

has dedicated a chapter to her passion for 

binomial nomenclature and having others 

learn it. Crosby argues rather strongly for the 

importance of standardized names, and her 

personal anecdotes drive home how common 

names change between places and over 

time. For example, in 1960s central Indiana, 

“mangos” referred to what we now usually call 

“green peppers.” The chapter on nomenclature 

closes with the author teaching the reader 

tricks to remember scientific names, much 

like people might learn birdcalls. 
Other chapters include coverage of 

topics ranging from ethnobotany, prairie 

management (e.g., prescribed burns, 

weeding), prairie seed ecology and harvesting, 

and prairie animals. As in the rest of the book, 

Crosby pairs descriptions of what the reader 

might expect to see or do on a trip to the 

tallgrass prairies with key biological concepts, 

all the while maintaining a strong sense of how 

these things are important to conservation.  
In the last third of the book, the reader 

is taught practical knowledge on how to 

experience the tallgrass prairies. Crosby takes 

the role of guide, mentor, and friend to those 

who have not had the fortune to spend much 

time outdoors. She suggests wearing pants 

and long sleeves so the “blades” of prairie 

cordgrass (Spartina pectinata) do not give you 

the feeling of countless paper cuts. Crosby 

also reminds us to listen silently, and to take 

deep breaths to become aware of smells as 

part of becoming personally connected with 

the tallgrass prairies. 
The final chapter covers the topic of building 

a native prairie garden in one’s own backyard. 

Drought tolerance and suitable flowers for 

native pollinators are among the benefits of 

this kind of garden. The book has a glossary of 

terms, which are bolded in the main text, and 

a nicely curated list of suggested readings and 

contacts for an inspired reader to continue 

their prairie journey. The Tallgrass Prairie: An 

Introduction is a well-written and passionate 

introduction to the tallgrass prairie intended 

for all enthusiastic readers.  
–Tan Bao, Department of Biological Sciences, 

University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.

Nature’s Fabric: 

Leaves in Science and 


David Lee  

2017. ISBN-13: 978-0-226-


Hardcover, US $35.00. 512 


The University of Chicago 

Press, Chicago, Illinois, USA 

Leaves are everywhere. They adorn the crowns 

of trees, crackle under our feet in the fall, and 

bring life to our homes and gardens. Besides 

providing beauty to our environment, leaves 

play an important role in the production of 

food, shelter, and oxygen for most organisms. 

However, due to their omnipresence, leaves 

can often be overlooked and underappreciated. 

Dr. David Lee, an emeritus professor and leaf 

aficionado, has long been an advocate of these 

extraordinary “green machines.” His newest 

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book, Nature’s Fabric, takes readers through 

the science, culture, and history surrounding 

leaves, in hopes of enhancing their interest in 

nature and the humble leaf.
The book is organized into 15 chapters that 

range from leaves in history and culture, to 

leaf economics, and the science behind the 

creation, evolution, and function of leaves. 

The chapters seem to seamlessly transition 

from one topic to another, weaving together 

fascinating stories and facts about leaves 

that will undoubtedly leave the reader more 

aware and appreciative of the leaves that they 

encounter daily. 
Lee eases the reader into the book with stories 

of the green men and Garden of Paradise, 

two topics that many people have likely 

encountered at least once in their lives. Next, 

Lee details the rise of the leaf, starting with 

the creation of the Earth and detailing the 

first living cells and multicellular organisms, 

early land plants, and leaf evolution over time. 

The third chapter explores the history of plant 

physiology research, including the discovery 

of radioisotopes, chloroplasts, plasticity, and 

adaptation. The fourth chapter expands on 

adaptation through discussion on how the 

climate influences leaf function, phenology, 

and connections with the water, carbon, and 

nitrogen cycles.
Lee should be praised for his ability to 

eloquently synthesize and apply information 

so readers with different perspectives can 

appreciate the knowledge that he is trying 

to instill. This is best expressed in Chapter 

Two when he discusses the creation of Earth, 

and takes into consideration creationism, 

scientific, and other cultural perspectives 

of how Earth was created. He also expresses 

this skill in Chapter Five when he explains 

the functions of a leaf using economics. In 

short, leaves run like factories. They have 

Book Reviews

construction costs and need to think about 

longevity, efficiency, and profitability just as a 

factory would. 
Chapter Six gives readers some insight into 

leaf models (e.g., Arabidopsis), mutants, and 

math (e.g., relation of the Fibonacci series to 

leaf and flower formation). Chapter Seven 

continues some of the focus on math with 

a discussion of leaf and tree architecture, 

including the development of quantitative 

plant architectural models. In this chapter, 

Lee also includes some references to how 

architects and artists, such as Leonardo da 

Vinci, were inspired by plants. 
“Bioinspirational” plants remain a trend in 

Chapters Eight through Eleven, which focus 

on leaf shapes, surfaces, veins, and colors. For 

example, some readers may not know that 

Velcro was influenced by cockleburs, or that 

plants have influenced pesticide products, 

water repellents, and even 3D glasses. The 

diversity of leaf shapes and surfaces that help 

leaves with defense, water collection, and 

other functions, are the same traits that have 

inspired scientists, engineers, artists, and 

many others for a long time.
Chapters Twelve and Thirteen fixate on plants 

as food and shelter for other life forms. Leaves 

are a key source of nutrients for many animals. 

Because of this herbivory, plants have evolved 

defense mechanisms (e.g., trichomes, chemical 

compounds, thick cuticles, and colors that 

indicate unpalatable texture or taste) to try 

to avert herbivores. Lee also delves into plant 

communication and intelligence, a topic 

that is still gaining ground in the scientific 

community. The discussion on leaves as shelter 

in Chapter Thirteen takes the reader into a tiny 

wonderland of bromeliad tank gardens that 

shelter frogs and other plants; plant domatia 

that provide refuge for small ants, spiders, and 

mites; and leaf roosts that shelter bats. This 

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Book Reviews

image of plants as caretakers of the wildlife 

quickly turns in Chapter Fourteen when Lee 

discusses carnivorous plants and their role in 

understanding plant movement via similar 

methods as animals. 
The final chapter of Nature’s Fabric focuses on 

the importance of nature for our well-being. 

Lee includes some personal stories in this 

chapter, and reflects on the value of nature 

as a form of rehabilitation and stress control. 

He recalls E.O. Wilson’s biophilia hypothesis, 

and ponders whether some cultures are more 

deeply connected to other organisms than 

other cultures. In modern-day America, 

we often surround ourselves with nature 

“fakery” to try to simulate the feelings we get 

from going outdoors without having to go 

outdoors.  Lee contends that we all need to 

drop the technology and get back to nature to 

improve our well-being and appreciation for 

our environment. 
There are many positive things to say about 

this book. Nearly every turn of the page is 

filled with vibrant images that immerse the 

reader in the stories within each chapter. Lee 

also provides appendices that are filled with 

invaluable information for the general reader. 

Appendix A provides leaf terminology, and a 

lot of great photos to aid in plant identification. 

Appendix B teaches the reader how to dry 

and preserve leaves for crafts. Appendix C 

provides a list of K-12 science projects that 

will help students learn more about leaves. At 

the end, Lee dedicates just under 100 pages 

to notes and citations from the chapters for 

those wanting to learn more about the figures, 

history, and research contained in each 

In the preface, Lee indicates that his purpose 

in writing this book was to help nonscientists 

enhance their appreciation of leaves, and 

improve their connection with nature. He 

certainly has accomplished this and more. 

Nature’s Fabric not only makes an excellent 

addition to the libraries of nonscientists, but 

should also be read by natural historians, 

professional botanists, curators, researchers, 

teachers, and students.
– A.N. Schulz, Department of Biological 

Sciences, Arkansas State University, Jonesboro, 

Arkansas, USA 


Forest Management 

and Planning

Pete Bettinger, Kevin Boston, 

Jacek P. Siry and Donald L. 


2017. ISBN-13: 978-0-12-


Hardcover, US $105.00. 343 

+ xi pages

Academic Press (imprint of 


The subject of forest management has not 

changed since its wide acceptance in the 1900s. 

However, the objective of forest management 

has drastically shifted from production 

forestry to protection forestry, incorporating 

the aspects of wildlife management, soil and 

water conservation, carbon sequestration, 

etc. This book with 16 chapters has been 

well conceptualized and brings in the latest 

development of forest management such as 

forest certification, linear programming, and 

remote sensing without belittling the classical 

concepts. Summary and questions at the end 

of each chapter will be exhilarating to readers, 

especially students. With elaborate content, 

coverage on each of the topic in a precise 

manner reveals the trust and teamwork the 

authors had between them. 
The first chapter has slammed the hardcore of 

the forest management, i.e., the management 

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Book Reviews

plan. The authors have to be appreciated for 

hitting the hardest concept in the beginning 

with relatively large examples from various 

part of the globe. The technical terms and 

details in the second chapter are usually 

explained elaborately in forest mensuration 

books, yet the authors’ maintained brevity 

in the content for their objective is to deal 

with the valuation of benefits from the forest. 

Appropriate examples for explaining the 

economical concept does distinguish the 

book from other management books. The 

subsequent chapter broke the continuity of 

the subject content; still, it elaborated on 

the accomplishment of remote sensing and 

GIS (geographic information system) in 

forest management. Furthermore, the book 

keeps on elaborating some concepts that are 

not currently trendy, such as volume table 

and yield table. Even though these concepts 

are very important, the authors have well-

planned weightage that has to be devoted, for 

growth and yielding modelling has completely 

replaced the former. 
As all of the entire forest management is about 

achieving the objective of the owner, a chapter 

has specifically dealt with the priority list that 

a forester or a silviculturist should focus. Apart 

from the conventional yield optimization 

techniques, the authors have included the 

latest tools such as decision tree analysis, 

dynamic programming, and mathematical 

modelling for yield optimization. This part 

of the book will be very new even for the 

professional forester and academia around 

the globe. Furthermore, chapters following it 

offer real-time lessons and solutions for the 

present-day forest management problems, 

which developing countries such as India 

should take up and exclude some very 

outdated classical techniques. As a forester, 

I appreciate the authors including the latest 

developments in forest management in their 

book. In the mean time, they should have 

written these chapters more elaborately, for 

these concepts are very new to many foresters. 
Sustainability has been incorporated and 

stressed globally. This concept in relevance 

to American context has been explained, but 

it would be really interesting if the authors 

did compare/contrast the sustainability 

concept across different countries/regions 

(e.g., in line with the former, the concept of 

“Normal Forest,” which aims at maximum 

production within given limits). Chapter 11, 

which has been given a gloomy title, deals 

with the concept of yield regulation. Still, 

it has covered the classical concept of Von 

Mantel’s formula in glorious simplicity with 

better real-time examples, where many of the 

forest management books fail to do so. Once 

again, the latest development in the field 

forest management is explained in the book 

in an elaborate manner. Chapter 12 is not easy 

for beginners in the subject but is a mandate 

for professionals. The forest supply chain 

management concept, with many flowcharts, 

does take readers to the next levels. The authors 

have maintained their brevity and given only 

a glimpse in supply chain management and 

planning, which suffices for the time being.  
Forest certification and carbon trading are the 

new avenue for researchers and academia to 

balance the economic and ecological views 

of production forestry. Each concept with 

relevant examples and data indicates the 

dedication and commitment involved. Each 

book does leave an impression, even multiple 

impressions, on the readers. The topics such 

as linear programming, heuristic planning, 

and forest management planning software 

are really new to foresters of the developing 

world. Yet the authors made their level best 

in explaining the content. The book emerges 

as a new door in explaining the latest vista 

of forest management, which can aid policy 

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Book Reviews

makers, students, and researchers. A book 

of this sort is recommended for forestry 

students, park managers, or rangers, for it 

can widen the perspective of management of 

forests both natural and man made, thereby 

paving a better way toward sustainability.
--By S. Suresh Ramanan (M.Sc., Forestry) and 

T. K. Kunhamu (Professor and Head, Depart-

ment of Silviculture and Agroforestry), College 

of Forestry, Kerala Agricultural University, 

Kerala, India


What’s in the Garden

By Marianne Berkes, Illus-

trated by Cris Arbo

2013. ISBN-13 978-1-58469-



Hardcover, US $16.95. 32 


Dawn Publications. 

What’s in the Garden is 

a children’s book about 

vegetables and fruits that 

may be found in a backyard garden and would 

be most suited for children 3-8 years old. It 

would be a perfect addition to any school or 

home library. The book is made up of poems 

about common garden fruits and vegetables, 

includes full-page illustrations and a fun recipe 

using the fruit or vegetable. The pictures often 

feature children baking, picking, or eating the 

The poems allow the child to interact with 

the book, or an adult reading to him or her, 

by answering the questions posed by the 

poem. Each page is filled with a full-color 

drawing of the plant growing in the garden. 

The illustrations are biologically accurate 

including details of the parts of the plant and 

inclusion of pollinators or beneficial insects. 

At the back of the book, there is a section 

describing the difference between fruits and 

vegetables, and good ideas about how to get 

involved in growing plants and using the 

I could see What’s in the Garden being a 

favorite at a nature center, school, or preschool 

or at home. It would be a great tool to instill 

the love of plants and gardening in the next 

generation of botanists.
-Rebecca Bowen 

In a Nutshell

Joseph Anthony, Illustrated 

by Cris Arbo

1999. ISBN-13 978-


Hardcover, US $4.99. 32 pp.  

Dawn Publications.

In a Nutshell is a 

children’s book, suitable 

for ages 3-10, that tells the life story of an oak 

tree. An acorn that falls to the ground, grows 

into a young tree, and endures hardships of 

cold, fire and the changes of time. It grows 

up, eventually dies and replenishes the soil 

for future trees and life. It is a nice “circle-of-

life” story that includes death and decay as an 

inevitable (but not scary or sad) part of life. 
The illustrations are beautiful, full-page, full-

color drawings of the different stages of the 

tree’s life, which also includes humans. The 

illustrations capture the botanical accuracy 

and a snapshot in human history, from 

colonial to modern day. 
My one critique of the book is that the term 

“forest” was used throughout, but many of 

the illustrations did not show a forest. By 

the time the tree dies, the area is a suburban 

neighborhood, not a forest. However, the 

sentiment is still valid. In a Nutshell would be 

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Book Reviews

a good addition to a nature center, home, or 

school library. Reading this book with a child 

and then going outside and seeing acorns 

and trees would be a good way to connect 

children to nature, putting the pieces together 

for themselves. 
-Rebecca Bowen


Tropical Plant Collec-

tions: Legacies from 

the past? Essential 

tools for the future?

By Ib Friis and Henrik Balslev 



Hardcover, 300 DKK. 320 pp. 

The Royal Danish Academy 

of Sciences and Letters. 

This volume, published 

in 2017, contains 24 papers as the proceedings 

from an international symposium held at The 

Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters 

in Copenhagen, May of 2015. It was edited by 

Ib Friis and Henrik Balslev and divided in five 

themes with an introductory chapter. 
Tropical Plant Collections presents an 

excellent historical summary of centuries 

of botanical enterprises carried out by 

explorers at the service of European empires 

sent to their colonies to document the 

wonders found in those distant lands. The 

first chapters of Herbaria in the North and 

South take the reader from the 15th century’s 

mostly medicinal use of plants, to curiosity 

cabinets, and onwards to private, state, and 

national collections. Thousands of herbarium 

specimens were transported back to Europe 

and became the foundation of our current 

botanical knowledge carefully stowed away 

in personal bounded books at first, latter 

becoming loose herbaria sheets as known 

today. European herbaria flourished and 

became the centers of plant descriptions. A 

little known Italian Jesuit priest, Luigi Sodiro, 

would travel to Western South America to 

teach at the school of botany in Quito in the 

1870s. However, collaborators in the colonies 

were mostly locally based expatriates. The 

burst of exuberance and exploration during 

the era of Enlightenment and the naming 

of every plant species glorify Linnaeus, de 

Candolle, and the likes. Seeds and living 

plants from the four corners of the earth made 

it back across the oceans on long tedious 

voyages and eventually became attractions at 

nascent botanical gardens. 
The second part of the North and South 

collaboration focuses mainly on post-

colonial times. The ~2885 herbaria worldwide 

contain an amazing 376 million specimens! 

While Europe enriched their museums both 

with collections from their colonies, it is 

only in the mid-1800s that herbaria came 

into prominence in North America. The 

concentration of large collections in the top 33 

herbaria in North America is noticeable, and a 

large piece of the pie (about 40%, p. 83) is from 

the tropics. Collections from sub-Saharan 

Africa dating from the 1670s were deposited 

in European herbaria, since no academic 

institutions with herbaria existed in that 

region until 1870. It is surprising to find out 

that 11 sub-Saharan countries (out of 49) still 

do not have a herbarium (officially registered 

in Index Herbariorum)! After a long colonial 

history, the relatively small herbaria at Limbe 

and the National Herbarium of Cameroon 

(which apparently derives from Portugues 

“Rio dos Cameroes,’ river of prawns) are now 

contributors to the Flora of Cameroon. In 

contrast, South African botanical institutions 

collectively house large herbarium collections 

and advanced from floras into the modern era 

of molecular studies. The botanical history 

in India goes back to references in Sanskrit, 

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and projects in my home country. I can only 

emphasize the positive results of this program 

leading to an all-Ecuadorian scientific staff 

managing the herbarium since 2002 and 

teaching a new generation of botanists at the 

Catholic University in Quito.
Tropical plant collections and big data are 

represented in chapters on the modern 

availability of enormous amounts of data and 

how to tackle simple to large scientific questions 

using those data. Plant migration, effects of climate 

change, functional traits, phylogenetics, and 

historical biogeography are all integrated toward 

a better understanding of plant diversity patterns 

aiming at a sustainable conservation planning. 

The trend in publications using herbarium data 

has grown exponentially, as shown on p. 229. 

However, our knowledge of the natural world is 

still surprisingly limited. One starts to dream 

about the wealth of information we currently 

have stored in various botanical databases 

and potential uses and applications (see, for 

example, Ulloa Ulloa et al. [Science 358: 1616, 

2017], the first list of almost 125,000 species of 

vascular plants for the Americas).
Modern DNA techniques like barcoding are 

urgent to authenticate herbal products and 

the importance of interdisciplinary efforts 

and complementary expertise in modern 

drug discoveries. The old concept of ‘dead’ 

herbarium collections is revived as next-

generation sequencing becomes a new tool 

of using these collections toward complete 

genomic sequences with a gentle although 

slightly destructive approach. This fascinating 

volume ends with a perspective on the role of 

botanical gardens as engaging institutions to 

educate the public on plant diversity towards 

a better, greener world. The map of botanical 

gardens globally (p. 289) reflects, however, the 

strong inequality of botanical institutions and 

resources worldwide.  

Book Reviews

but it is the establishment of the Botanical 

Survey of India in 1890 that is the keystone 

to all aspects of present day botany. The 

creation of the Naturalis Biodiversity Center 

in Leiden reminds us of the current struggle 

botanical institutions and museums are 

facing, with small herbaria closing or being 

amalgamated into others willing to save these 

precious samples each with so much history 

on each label and twig. The era of digitization 

of specimens like GBIF, Tropicos, and IPNI 

have made a world of difference, especially for 

scientists with reduced travel budgets or other 

institutional priorities. 
The chapters on North-South collaborations 

once again point out the long botany disparity 

since colonial times until just a few decades 

ago in the 1970s. Four collaborations from 

Thailand, North Africa, Ecuador, and 

Brazil are highlighted as very collaborative 

in nature rather than just one-way North-

South. The Flora of Thailand exemplifies 

the increased participation of Thai botanists 

towards completion of their own flora, using 

modern standards through international 

collaborations. It will, however, take a century 

to complete this country flora since its 

inception in 1969 (graph on p. 183). Norwegian 

collaborations in various African countries 

have evolved into an equal partnership with 

exchange of knowledge both ways benefiting 

researchers and the studies of biodiversity. 

The graduate courses in botany at Brazil’s 

Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia 

(INPA) empowered students by completing 

masters or doctoral degrees. I personally 

benefited from the adventurous trip of Holm-

Nielsen and Jeppesen to Ecuador in 1968 

that resulted in a fruitful mutualistic Danish-

Ecuadorian collaboration. I obtained my 

PhD in Denmark and have made my career 

at the Missouri Botanical Garden in the last 

25 years, continuing with strong connections 

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This delightful volume is richly illustrated 

with historical and modern images of plant 

specimens, botanical institutions, maps, 

graphics, sailors, and botanists. I loved seeing 

Benjamin Øllgaard, one of my botany teachers, 

on the cover; quite curious is the piece of stem 

of Clusia rosea, which looks like a mummified 

hand (p. 21). The official portrait of H. van 

Rheede in tight armor made me wonder 

if he wore that during field work. Last, the 

traditional red iron spiral staircase of the old 

giant, Kew herbarium (p. 30), in contrast with 

the budding QCA herbarium (p. 203) bridges 

current botanical knowledge and gives me a 

personal satisfaction of having embraced the 

legacies from the past and using tools for the 

–By Carmen Ulloa Ulloa, St. Louis, Missouri

Book Reviews


Flora of Middle-Earth: 

Plants of J.R.R. Tolk-

ien’s Legendarium 

Walter S. Judd and Graham 

A. Judd  

2017. ISBN-13: 978-0-


Hardcover, US $34.95. 406 


Oxford University Press, 

New York, NY

Middle-earth is known to many as the 

fictional setting for some of our most 

beloved adventures of J.R.R. Tolkien’s greatly 

celebrated works (i.e., The Hobbit, The Lord 

of the Rings, and The Silmarillion). The Flora 

of Middle-Earth: Plants of J.R.R. Tolkien’s 

Legendarium draws from this Legendarium to 

give life to its plants in a way that I can only 

imagine Tolkien himself would have been 

altogether captivated by. This well-executed 

and creative collaboration between father and 

son is a treat to the minds of Tolkien devotees 

and botanical enthusiasts alike.   
Its authors, Walter S. Judd and Graham A. 

Judd, are uniquely suited to this task, as 

they are not only avid readers of Tolkien’s 

works, but they are well established in 

their specialized disciplines. Walter Judd 

has spent a distinguished career studying 

plant systematics and evolution; thus, his 

comprehensive understanding of the world 

of botany gives him a clear advantage when 

it comes to researched and educated guesses 

about the identity of plants in Tolkien’s 

Legendarium, even when it is not altogether 

obvious. Graham Judd holds an MFA degree 

in Printmaking and works as an artist, 

illustrator, and educator. He handles the task 

of illustrating the flora with great care to 

honor Tolkien by choosing a style befitting the 

Legendarium. Early in the book, the authors 

bring attention to a vital piece of information 

that readers of popular books by Tolkien may 

not fully appreciate. Namely, “Middle-earth” 

should not be interpreted as a fictional place, 

but instead, the Old World of our beloved 

and very real, Planet Earth. They emphasize 

that Tolkien did not intend for his writing to 

serve as a means to escape; to the contrary, he 

envisioned his works to cultivate curiosity and 

connectedness to the natural world. Knowing 

this, as well as bringing our awareness to 

Tolkien’s love for plants, sets the stage to take 

an in-depth look at the plants that exist in the 

realm of his writing, both real and imagined. 
The first chapter is an introduction outlining 

the importance of plants to Tolkien’s 

Legendarium. Chapter Two provides 

descriptions of the plant communities that 

make up Middle-earth. In this chapter, we 

learn that the world created by Tolkien is 

likely botanically similar to today’s Europe, 

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temperate North America, and Northern 

China. This understanding provides a 

foundation for the authors to explore the 

possible identities of the plants of Tolkien’s 

Chapters Three and Four offer an overview 

of the tree of life and an introduction to 

plant morphology. The latter includes a 

primer for understanding terminology 

and content typically included in plant 

species descriptions. The fourth chapter is 

particularly important for any reader who has 

not studied plants and will be worthwhile for 

some readers to prepare them for the pages 

ahead. Chapter Five introduces the crucial 

botanical identification tool: the dichotomous 

key. The identity of any important plant from 

Middle-earth should be discernible by using 

the two keys constructed by the authors. One 

is a key to the flowering herbs of Middle-earth 

and the other for every other type of plant 

included in the text. Telperion and Laurelin 

are two important fictional trees of Tolkien’s 

writings. The authors use Chapter Six to 

thoughtfully explore the mythological and 

religious significance of these two trees.  
Chapter Seven is the main body of the book. 

It includes each important plant in Tolkien’s 

Legendarium with a few explained omissions 

and a few groupings of plants that have a lesser 

importance. To better accommodate all readers, 

the flora is arranged in alphabetical order by 

common name. Each treatment includes the 

common name, scientific name, and the plant 

family to which it belongs. Next, the authors 

offer extensive explorations of each taxon. 

First, the authors include a short quote from 

one of Tolkien’s works referencing the plant. 

This quote precedes a detailed explanation 

as to how the plant is significant to Tolkien’s 

Legendarium. Fascinating observations infuse 

this section of the treatment, such as insights 

into how the authors identified species that 

Book Reviews

Tolkien was most likely referring to. For 

example, as a part of the account of Clovers 

(Trifolium spp.), interactions noted between 

the plants and the different types of bees 

that were visiting them become significant 

indicators of the plant’s more specific identity. 

Another thought-provoking insertion is the 

morsel of trivia stating that grasses are the 

most commonly referenced plant in Tolkien’s 

Legendarium. The treatments also include 

a detailed examination of the etymology, 

geographical distribution, economic uses, and 

a scientific description of the plant. A botanical 

illustration accompanies most entries, many 

of which include insets depicting scenes from 

the Legendarium. 
Chapter Eight is a note from the book’s 

Illustrator, Graham Judd. He is responsible 

for all of the roughly 160 masterfully designed 

figures that bring the many plants of Middle-

earth to life in an imaginative and scientifically 

descriptive way. His printmaking experience 

has successfully informed his ability to 

maintain the look of traditional relief wood 

carving and printing techniques, even though 

he explains that he used digital tools as his 

medium for this project. 
This book provides a creative melding, 

elucidation, and analysis of the imagined 

Middle-earth combined with the botanical 

understanding of our Earth. It would be a 

welcome addition to the bookshelves of any 

Tolkien fan as well as any botanist, and an 

unexpected delight for a person who falls 

into both of those categories! If anyone is 

hungry for more, the authors provide ample 

suggestions for further study, including many 

references to publications they reviewed 

during the process of writing this impressive 

–Maggie Sporck-Koehler, Department of 

Botany, University of Hawaii, Manoa, Hawaii, 


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Come and Meet 

Walter Judd,  

Plenary Speaker 


Graham Judd

at Botany 2018 

Sunday, July 22, 7:30 pm

with a book signing 

immediately afterward

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Flora of Florida, Vol-

ume IV

Richard P. Wunderlin, Bruce 

F. Hansen, and Alan R. 


2017. ISBN 978-0-8130-


Hardcover, US$69.95. 384 


University Press of Florida

Florida, with over 4300 

species of native and naturalized vascular 

plants, is the third most floristically diverse 

state in the U.S. This series, which will 

include ten volumes, aims to be the “go-

to” reference for the state. The first volume 

(published in 2000) covers ferns, lycophytes, 

and gymnosperms. The volume reviewed here 

covers 31 Eudicot families, mainly Rosids and 

Like the other volumes I reviewed in 2016, this 

volume has a short Introduction detailing how 

the book is laid out. This section is seemingly 

identical to that of the previous volumes. 

The systematic arrangement of the families 

follows Angiosperm Phylogeny Group 

III (APG III), with “slight modifications.” 

This volume includes the following orders: 

Myrtales, Crossosomatales, Picramniales, 

Sapindales, Malvales, Brassicales, Santalales, 

and Caryophyllales. However, some families 

of these orders are excluded from the 

volume (e.g., Cactaceae, Portulacaceae). 

No reason for this omission is provided. 

My main gripe with the taxonomy is the 

authors’ circumscription of the Brassicaceae. 

The closely related families Brassicaceae, 

Capparaceae, and Cleomaceae are all included 

in a broadly defined Brassicaceae. Only two 

(puzzling) sentences give a rationale for this: 

“Recent molecular and morphological data 

reveal that the Capparaceae as traditionally 

circumscribed is paraphyletic with the 

Brassicaceae and embedded within it (sic). 

This has resulted in some workers recognizing 

three monophyletic lineages as families: 

Capparaceae, Cleomaceae, and Brassicaceae 

s.s.” The authors cite the introduction of the 

Capparaceae in Flora of North America, vol. 

7 (2010), written by Gordon C. Tucker, as 

justification for this. However, Tucker notes, 

“Chloroplast sequences strongly support 

the monophyly of each of the three lineages 

Brassicaceae, Capparaceae, and Cleomaceae, 

with strong support for a sister relationship 

of Cleomaceae to Brassicaceae. Rather 

than merging the three families into one, 

all-inclusive Brassicaceae (in the sense of 

Angiosperm Phylogeny Group 1998, 2003), 

it might be more acceptable to recognize 

the three clades as separate, amply distinct 

families.” I am very confused that the authors 

state that the families should be kept together 

as one, citing a source that argues otherwise. 

Then their second sentence seems to agree 

with the rationale put forth by the source they 

cite! APG III (and its recent update) keeps 

these three families distinct, which makes the 

most sense. The families are easily recognized 

and merging them should only confuse users 

of the volume.
As with previous volumes, each family has 

a full description and a brief synopsis of its 

size and distribution worldwide. A key to the 

genera found in the state follows, with each 

genus treatment then arranged alphabetically 

afterwards. The species within each genus 

(if more than one) are treated alphabetically 

as well. As before, one thing that gets a little 

burdensome is the (sometimes long) list of 

synonyms for a taxon (e.g., Chenopodium 

album). Descriptions of taxa are thorough and 

useful, just like in previous volumes. It is nice 

to see consistency across the volumes, even if 

both good and bad features are consistent!

Book Reviews

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The keys themselves seem to work and do 

not have any ambiguous terms or confusing 

wording. Like in Volumes II and III, the 

families are arranged by order (but this is 

not indicated anywhere in the book), which 

makes it hard to find a particular family if 

one simply flips pages. The Contents page at 

the beginning of each volume lists in order 

the families contained within, but again, if 

you don’t know that families have undergone 

drastic rearrangements in the past decades, you 

might have a hard time finding the family you 

need. Unfortunately, the header for each page 

remains the same: the left-hand page header 

simply says, “Flora of Florida” and each right-

hand page header says “Dicotyledons, *range 

of families in the volume*.” Changing these 

headers to reflect which family is covered on a 

particular page would make flipping through 

the volume much quicker. A Literature Cited 

section, as well as indices to common and 

scientific names, ends each volume.
The book itself is still of good quality with 

lightweight but not cheap-feeling paper. The 

covers are durable but not heavy. It would be 

difficult to bring all ten planned volumes in 

the field, but it would not be too burdensome 

to bring two to three if you are specifically 

going to look for a particular family and want 

the reference along with you.
-John G. Zaborsky, Botany Department, 

University of Wisconsin – Madison, Madison, 

Wisconsin, USA;

Plants of the World: An 

Illustrated Encyclope-

dia of Vascular Plants

Maarten J. M. Christen-

husz, Michael F. Fay, and 

Mark W. Chase.  

2017. ISBN-13 978-


Hardcover, US $95. 792 + 

viii pp.  

Royal Botanical Gardens, 

Kew and University of Chica-

go Press. 

Move over Mabberley! Plants of the World 

is a magisterial treatment of the 451 plant 

families of the world and like Mabberley’s 

Plant Book will become a classic and an 

invaluable reference for botanists—though 

not as portable.
Plants of the World is crammed with detail 

delicious to a botanist yet accessible to any 

user. Considerable thought and planning 

went into designing the layout. Introductory 

sections deal with evolution, plants and 

human culture, nomenclature, phylogeny, 

fossil plants, families, common names, genera, 

phytogeography, and economic botany. Each 

of these sections is compact and cogent, 

taking half a page up to two pages and provide 

an excellent introduction to vascular plants. 
The bulk of the 7.2-lb (3.3-kg) tome is plant 

families arranged according to the scheme 

of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (APG). 

Families are listed under their respective 

orders in the APG system. Not all taxonomists 

will agree with the placement or dissection of 

families. One example is several fern families 

broken into subfamilies rather than being 

recognized as individual families.
There is a cladogram with the orders of 

vascular plants. To make these relationships 

more meaningful for the general user, orders 

Book Reviews

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PSB 64 (1) 2018 










have been placed on an image of a tree. At the 

introduction of each order, there is a reduced 

image of the tree with a red dot showing the 

order’s relative location in the branches of the 

tree. How meaningful this is for the general 

user is questionable.
Each family includes a description of 

morphology (in detail), phylogeny and 

evolution including the age of the family, 

a comprehensive list of all the genera with 

the number of species in each, uses, and 

etymology of the family name. Also included 

is a tiny world map with distribution in red, 

for plants with restricted ranges almost too 

small to see. Extensive references, not cited 

directly in the text, are given for each family. 

A comprehensive illustrated glossary adds to 

the utility of the book. 
Like the entire book, these sections are clearly 

written and carefully edited. I found some of 

the phylogeny sections with too much history 

of the family’s phylogenetic studies, likely of 

interest only to specialists in that group. 
Scattered randomly through the book are 

informative excursuses on botanists (including 

Cronquist, Takhtajan, Bessey, Thorne, de 

Candolle, Jussieu, Engler and Prantl). 
The sections on uses are worth the price of the 

book alone. I learned so much ethnobotany 

from these. For example, Asteraceae is often 

noted as being a large family with relatively 

small ethnobotanical interest. The authors 

devote about five full pages to the uses of 

plants in the Asteraceae, bringing together 

information I have not found elsewhere. The 

extensive research of the authors in the tropics 

is evident in the detailed original observations 

of plant uses in those parts of the world.
More than 2500 full-color, well-reproduced 

images adorn the book, offering pictures 

of families that few botanists will ever 

see such as the Ecdeiocoleaceae or the 

Stegnospermataceae. Unfortunately, the 

quality of images varies considerably. Some 

easily accessible plants have poor-quality 

images including Laportea canadensis, 

Monotropa uniflora, Ocimum basilicum, 

Toxicodendron rydbergii, and  Hedera helix

There are more examples.
The authors, like most botanists, are fascinated 

by carnivory, and many families have a 

separate discussion on this phenomenon. 

The well-known groups like pitcher plants, 

sundews, and bladderworts are thoroughly 

covered. This volume goes beyond these to 

discuss different and unfamiliar forms of 

carnivory. One example is the seeds of the 

common shepherd’s purse, Capsella bursa-

pastoris (Brassicaceae), which have mucilage 

with chemicals that attract nematodes and 

microorganisms and then release proteases that 

break down these organisms, yielding amino 

acids absorbed by the seeds. Another example 

is species of Philcoxia (Plantaginaceae) that 

catch and digest nematodes. Students are 

often interested in carnivorous plants, and 

this book will be a good resource for them. 
In an encyclopedic treatment like this, there 

are sure to be oversights, omissions, and errors. 

I found very few. These include neglecting 

the invasive nature of Phragmites australis

the image of Verbena honariensis is placed 

in the wrong family. The fruits of Hydnora 

(Aristolochiaceae) are not foul-smelling; it 

is the flowers that smell like decaying meat. 

(The fruits of Hydnora, on the other hand, are 

relatively odorless and delicious to eat.)
These oversights and errors do not detract from 

the overarching beauty and value of the book 

in bringing together fascinating facts. Here 

are some I enjoyed: The longest species name 

is  Ornithogalum adseptentrionesvergentulum 

Book Reviews

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PSB 64 (1) 2018 










(Amaryllidaceae). The largest herbaceous 

plant is the giant banana, Musa ingens 

(Musaceae). More plants (over 10,000) were 

named by A. P. de Candolle than any other 

botanist.  Moringa oleifera (Moringaceae) 

leaves have higher levels of calcium than 

milk, more vitamin C than oranges, and more 

iron than spinach. And there are so many 

more interesting gems uniformly presented 

throughout the book.
Who will use this book? The design is 

different from any plant dictionary or 

encyclopedia I have seen. It has many features 

of a textbook with its detailed information 

on every plant family on the planet. Large 

families like Fabaceae and Asteraceae have 

helpful diagrams of floral parts labeled with 

the technical terms used in those families. It 

could be used as a textbook in a taxonomy 

course but would require a separate backpack 

because of its size. Professional botanists 

will find it an indispensable reference for 

family characteristics and phytogeography. 

Ethnobotanists will find information not 

available elsewhere. 
This is an essential work that belongs on 

the bookshelf of every botanist. The cost 

is remarkably reasonable for a book with 

copious images and almost 800 pages.
–Lytton John Musselman, Department of 

Biological Sciences, Old Dominion University, 

Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0266 


Syllabus of Plant 

Families: A. Engler’s 

Syllabus der Pflanzen-

familien, 13th ed.  2/1 

Photoautotrophic Eu-

karyotic Algae: Glauco-

cystophyta, Cryptophy-

ta, Dinophyta/Dinozoa, 

Haptophyta, Heterokon-


Chlorarachniophyta/Cercozoa, Eugleno-

phyta/Euglenozoa, Chlorophyta, Strepto-

phyta p. p. 

W. Frey, editor

2015. ISBN-13: 978-3-443-01083-6

Hardcover, 89 € (US$110). 324 pp.

Borntraeger Verlagsbuchhandlung, Stuttgart, Ger-


Botany, you may be relieved to know, is not dead.  

True, many scientific journals and university 

departments have abandoned the term in 

favor of more modern-sounding substitutes, 

while AJB and its Canadian counterpart 

resist such impulses, confident that their 

standing is enhanced rather than tarnished by 

association with the discipline’s deep history. 

The organisms that were traditionally studied 

by botanists are, of course, far too diverse to 

characterize with any single unifying concept, 

let alone a phylogenetic one.  But many of us 

see the value in considering—and teaching—

these divergent and convergent organisms 

alongside each other, not in spite of what we 

know of their phylogenies, but because of it. 

And if we don’t introduce the next generation 

of researchers to all those interesting fringe 

groups, who will?
In this regard, Borntraeger Scientific 

Publishers appears to be stepping up to the 

plate.   Under the editorship of W. Frey, they 

have resurrected the classic Syllabus of Plant 

Families, a systematic survey of all “plant” 

groups that was published in 12 previous 

Book Reviews

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PSB 64 (1) 2018 










editions from the nineteenth through the 

mid-twentieth century. Unsurprisingly, the 

many authors who contribute to the present 

edition apply contemporary biosystematic 

principles to the groups they cover, based on 

the latest phylogenetic data. At the higher 

levels of organization, however, the series 

quite selectively includes only those major 

lineages that were traditionally included in 

the province of botany: not only plants and 

eukaryotic algae, but also cyanobacteria, fungi, 

slime molds, and stramenopile pseudofungi.  

That in itself need not be problematic, but 

a contemporary botanist will expect to see 

a reasonable principle of organization that 

effectively highlights structural/functional 

trends against the broad backdrop of 

The present volume in the series is a modern 

treatment of the major groups of eukaryotic 

algae, excluding the reds, with descriptions 

of their component taxa down to family 

and principal genera. At so many levels, 

classification has undergone major upheaval 

in the molecular age, with many of the 

phenotypic themes that underlay previous 

taxonomic schemes now shown to correspond 

poorly with gene-based phylogenies. 

Individual chapters include many high-quality 

color images and some electron micrographs 

of characteristic taxa, as well as a number of 

informative drawings and diagrams. Not only 

in biosystematics are forward steps taken. The 

“cyanelle” of the Cercozoan Paulinella is finally 

recognized as a primary plastid, independent 

in origin from that of the Archaeplastida, 

although the author stops short of formally 

treating Paulinella in a new algal group. The 

familiar Volvox is, for once, never referred 

to as a “colony,” in long-overdue recognition 

that this organism meets all basic criteria of 


The chapters are authored by 13 different 

specialists who provide treatments of specific 

groups: W. Hofbauer (Glaucocystophyta, 

Eustigmatophyceae); H. Kawai & T. 

Nakayama (Cryptophyta, Haptophyta, 

Dinophyta, some Heterokontophyta, 

Chlorarachniophyta, Euglenophyta); E. J. 

Cox (Coscinodiscophyceae, Mediophyceae, 

Fragillariophyceae, Bacillariophyceae); 

B. de Reviers, F. Rousseau & T. Silberfeld 

(Phaeophyceae); J. Neustupa (Chlorophyta, 

some Streptophyta, Trentepohliales); F. 

Leliaert, J. López-Bautista & O. de Clerck (most 

Ulvophyceae); F. Leliaert (Palmophyllales); I. 

Blindow & M. Schudack (Charophyceae). In 

assembling an authoritative team of experts 

from linguistically diverse nations, it is to 

be expected that the English prose of many 

authors, good as it may be, will inevitably 

contain imperfections. Unfortunately, this 

volume appears to have been produced 

without the assistance of a scientific copy 

editor proficient in the language, resulting in 

the publication of a considerable number of 

errors in spelling and grammar. In most cases, 

they represent little more than distractions, 

but they do take some of the polish off the 

otherwise high production standards.
Within each chapter, authors organize groups 

discussed in a biosystematic framework, 

as expected. At the level of chapter order, 

and volume organization, however, the 

intentions and vision of the series/volume 

editor are far less clear. The present volume 

covers all the eukaryotic algae, except for the 

Rhodophytes, which are treated in a separate 

volume. Why? Perhaps due to practical 

considerations, related to page limitations or 

author deadlines, but no explanation is given 

in the introduction. Of the remaining groups 

in the Archaeplastida, the Glaucophytes are 

treated at the beginning of the book, but the 

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PSB 64 (1) 2018 










Chlorophyta and Streptophyta are not covered 

until last, after all the other eukaryote groups. 

And there, they are treated in a section titled 

Organization type: “Green Algae” that also 

includes the unrelated Chlorarachniophytes 

and Euglenophytes. Here, a brief introduction 

summarizes the different origins of the 

plastids in each case, but doesn’t get around to 

saying exactly what the unifying principle is. 

It could only be plastid pigmentation, because 

there is nothing these groups have in common 

structurally that could possibly represent a 

common “organization type.” But then one 

wonders why there is no corresponding 

category set up for the major clades that have 

red alga–derived plastids and pigments. Since 

the series is all about systems, the reader will 

want to understand the layout, particularly 

where it diverges from phylogenetic schemes. 

Perhaps the editor is merely following the 

organization of the last edition (not seen by 

me), published in the 1950s. But that ought 

to be explained somewhere, and justified in a 

contemporary context.  
We find the plastid-containing stramenopiles 

(Heterokontophytes) treated in the present 

volume, while their heterotrophic lineages 

(Oomycetes, Labyrinthulids) are covered 

in a separate volume with the true fungal 

“water molds” and the slime molds. That 

seems justifiable, since those heterotrophic 

groups are most likely to be considered and 

taught within the context of mycology. But 

the volume that treats those molds also 

includes the cyanobacteria (ultimate source 

of all plastids), which would be much more 

appropriately placed in the present work 

among the eukaryotic algae. In short, while 

one might make a case for any number of 

different schemes, we never quite grasp 

the logic of how the series or this volume is 

organized. It would be helpful to have in the 

preface or inside cover an overview cladogram 

of the major “supergroups” of eukaryotes, with 

indications of those clades treated in specific 

volumes. The individual chapters make many 

of these connections, but no encompassing 

perspective is presented for the series or 

for this volume. So if you’re hoping that the 

reappearance of Engler’s Syllabus will help 

revitalize the inclusive traditions of classical 

botany, you may be disappointed by the lack 

of a clear rationale for the trans-phylogenetic 

juxtapositions that it adopts. That said, there is 

unquestionably a great deal of value to found 

in the individual chapters of this book, which 

are, after all, its essence.  
–William B. Sanders, Florida Gulf Coast Uni-


Book Reviews

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                                                                                    SPRING 2018 Volume 64 Number 1

Investigations in plant sciences come many shapes and sizes, 

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Nature’s Fabric

Leaves in Science and Culture


Cloth $35.00

Land Bridges

Ancient Environments, Plant Migrations,  

and New World Connections


Paper $50.00

Phylogeny and Evolution of the 


Revised and Updated Edition




Cloth $80.00

The Ethnobotany of Eden

Rethinking the Jungle Medicine Narrative


Cloth $45.00

From Chicago

Field Guide to the Introduced  

Flora of South Georgia



Paper $50.00

The Amaryllidaceae of Southern Africa


With Illustrations by Barbara Jeppe and Leigh Voigt

Cloth $150.00

Wild Plants of Southern Spain

A Guide to the Native Plants of Andalucia


Paper $50.00

The Plants of Jordan

An Annotated Checklist


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Paper $120.00

From the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

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