Recognition for Te Papa plant researcher

Congratulations to Phil Garnock-Jones on being awarded the Nancy Burbidge medal, for his longstanding and significant contribution to Australasian systematic botany.

Phil Garnock-Jones, 2013 winner of the Nancy Burbidge medal in Australasian systematic botany.

Phil Garnock-Jones, 2013 winner of the Nancy Burbidge medal in Australasian systematic botany.

Phil is the first New Zealander to receive the award, which is the highest bestowed by the Australasian Systematic Botany Society. Systematic botany is the study of the relationships, naming, and classification of plants.

Australasian Systematic Botany Society webpage.

Phil is an Emeritus Professor of Victoria University of Wellington.  He is currently working at Te Papa preparing a treatment of Veronica (including the hebes) for the electronic New Zealand Flora.

New Zealand Flora webpage.

This award recognises Phil’s career studying the evolution and taxonomic classification of New Zealand’s plants.  He has published over 100 scientific papers, many on the indigenous Veronica species previously treated as Hebe and Parahebe.  He co-authored Volume IV of the Flora of New Zealand, the first comprehensive authoritative account of the weedy ‘dicot’ flowering plants in New Zealand.  Phil was an early adopter and advocate in New Zealand for scientific methodologies now routine in the field of systematics.

His Nancy Burbidge Memorial Lecture, on receipt of the medal during the recent Systematics Without Borders conference in Sydney, examined the evolution of sex and life-cycles in land plants (it is far more intricate than you might think!).

Systematics Without Borders conference, webpage.

Short biography of Nancy Burbidge, an eminent Australian plant systematist of the mid-twentieth century.

3 Responses

  1. Leon Perrie

    Mick mentions the blog that Phil writes: “theobrominated”. It’s about plants and their names.
    http://theobrominated.blogspot.co.nz/

    Reply
    • Mick Parsons

      Congratulations Phil. And thank you for making meaning of plant systematics for the rest of us. Theobrominated is a wonderful blog. Please continue.

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