Biodiversity Lecture Series with Sandra Knapp

Floras for the Future: Why Plant Description Still Matters

Exploration of plant diversity has been going on since humans first walked the Earth – so surely we must be done by now. Why should we describe the plant life of a country and write a flora, rather than investigating the deep structure of the tree of life, or addressing immediate societal problems such as war or hunger? In this lecture, Dr. Sandra Knapp will argue that the description of plant life on Earth is the basis for plant science and thus essential and always relevant for its advancement.

Find more information, including registration, here:

This is part of the Biodiversity Lecture Series, organized jointly by the Biodiversity Research Centre and the Beaty Biodiversity Museum. Visit the Beaty Biodiversity Museum before the public talk, admission by donation between 5:00pm-8:00pm.

Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability (CIRS)
Lecture Hall 1250, 2260 West Mall
Doors: 7:30 pm
Lecture starts: 8:00 pm
Registration required.

About the speaker

Sandra Knapp is botanist who is a specialist on the taxonomy and evolution of the nightshade family, Solanaceae, and she has spent much time in the field collecting plants, mostly in the Neotropics. She works at the Natural History Museum, London, where she arrived in 1992 to manage the international project Flora Mesoamericana – a synoptic inventory of the approximately 18,000 species of plants of southern Mexico and the isthmus of Central America. She is the author of several popular books on the history of science and botanical exploration, including the award-winning Potted Histories (2004), and more than 200 peer-reviewed scientific papers. She is actively involved in promoting the role of taxonomy and the importance of science worldwide. Sandy is a trustee of several conservation and scientific organisations, such as Fauna and Flora International (FFI) and the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland (BSBI). She is currently President of the Linnean Society of London. In 2009 she was honored by the Peter Raven Outreach Award by the American Society of Plant Taxonomists for her work in public engagement with science and the UK National Biodiversity Network’s John Burnett Medal for her work in biodiversity conservation; she holds honorary professorships at University College London and Stockholm University. Her current research focuses on the wild relatives of crop plants such as peppers and eggplants, the flora of Central America and Mexico, and patterns of diversification worldwide in the nightshade family.