UC Berkeley's Professor Bruce Baldwin wins Asa Gray award

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W.L. Jepson Professor and Curator Recognized for Outstanding Career Accomplishments at American Botanical Meetings

New Orleans, Louisiana, July 30, 2013—The American Society of Plant Taxonomists awarded Dr. Bruce Baldwin, the W.L. Jepson Professor and Curator of the Jepson Herbarium at the University of California at Berkeley, the Society’s 2013 Asa Gray Award.  The award is named for Asa Gray (1810 – 1888), the most important American botanist of the 19th century, and recognizes outstanding lifetime achievement in the field of plant systematics.

Dr. Baldwin is an expert on the California flora and the Compositae (the aster and sunflower plant family).  During his distinguished career Dr. Baldwin has published over 150 scientific articles and led the editorial committees that published The Jepson Desert Manual: Vascular Plants of Southeastern California (2002; http://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520227750) and The Jepson Manual: Vascular Plants of California, Thoroughly Revised and Expanded (2012; http://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520253124).  Dr. Baldwin has also mentored 15 graduate students (including five current Ph.D. candidates) and 10 postdoctoral scholars.

Dr. Baldwin’s nomination for this award was compiled by Dr. Daniel Crawford (University of Kansas) and included 13 supporting letters from established scientists, including members of the National Academy of Sciences.  Two themes emerged from these letters that demonstrate Dr. Baldwin’s outstanding qualifications for the Asa Gray Award.  First, all laud the intellectual breadth and depth of Dr. Baldwin's contributions to plant systematics.  A direct quote from one letter summarizes this succinctly, "From taking the lead in the editing of the second edition of the massive and highly acclaimed The Jepson Manual: Vascular Plants of California... to biosystematic studies, to cutting edge molecular studies published in high impact journals, Bruce covers the spectrum of our field as well or better than any other contemporary plant taxonomist.”  Second, referees repeatedly praised his "generous" and "selfless" service to training the next generation of plant systematists, in serving as a research mentor to others, and in facilitating outreach through the California Botanical Society.   

Dr. Baldwin earned his Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis in 1989 and joined the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley in 1994 after appointments at the University of Arizona and Duke University.  In addition to his appointments at the University of California, Dr. Baldwin is also a Regular Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences and a Research Associate in Botany at the National Tropical Botanical Garden.  Dr. Baldwin has previously been recognized by the American Society of Plant Taxonomists with the George R. Cooley Award (best contributed presentation, 1993) and the Grady L. Webster Plant Systematics Publication Award (best paper, with his Ph.D. student Elizabeth Zacharias, 2012).  Dr. Baldwin is the only person to have been honored by the American Society of Plant Taxonomists with all three of these awards.  He has contributed to the society in numerous capacities, including as president from 2008 – 2009. 

About the American Society of Plant Taxonomists:

The American Society of Plant Taxonomists promotes the research and teaching of the taxonomy, systematics, and phylogeny of vascular and nonvascular plants.  Organized in 1935, the Society has a membership of over 1300.  The Society publishes several publications, supports funds for a variety of honorary and charitable activities, and conducts scientific meetings each summer.  Information on the Society’s 2013 joint meeting with four other botanical societies (Botany 2013) can be found at http://www.botanyconference.org/.


Mark P. Simmons, Chair of the Public Relations Committee

American Society of Plant Taxonomists

(970) 491-2154


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