California Academy of Sciences 150th Anniversary Celebration
150th Anniversary Celebration 150 Years: A Timeline 150 Years of Research The New Academy
Collections Manager Bruce Bartholomew and Curator Peter Fritsch in the Botany collections.

Albert Kellogg, California’s first resident botanist, is a founder of the Academy and its first Curator of Botany.

Mary Katherine Curran Brandegee is the Academy’s first paid curator of Botany. She is succeeded in 1892 by botanist Alice Eastwood.

After the 1906 earthquake, Alice Eastwood saves 1,500 specimens before fire destroys the museum.

Curator John Thomas Howell’s interest in the botany of California will lead to more than 500 publications including,
in 1970, Marin Flora.

Curator Dennis Breedlove works in Mexico’s southernmost state on the Flora of Chiapas. He also studies the uses and classification of plants by Mayan speaking people.

Reflecting the Academy’s research focus on global biodiversity hot spots, Curator Kim Steiner studies flowers and pollinators in Africa’s Cape Floristic Province.

Anthropology | Aquatic Biology | Botany | Entomology | Herpetology | Ichthyology | IZG | Library | Ornithology & Mammalogy | Steinhart Aquarium | Morrison Planetarium | Education | Exhibits | Operations | Academy Store

Botany | The Study of Plants

Plant Explorers
The present herbarium contains 1.9 million plant specimens. It ranks sixth in the U.S. for vascular plants and is a resource of international significance. The plant collections from California, the Galápagos Islands, Baja California, and Chiapas, Mexico are among the most comprehensive in the world.

Field Guides & Floras
Academy botanists produce guides to help everyone identify plants. A flora of San Francisco was published in 1888 by Hans Behr; another in 1958 by John Thomas Howell, Peter Raven and Peter Rubtzoff. Curator Tom Daniel (left) is working on a new Flora of San Francisco, the first to include identification keys, in addition to his research on shrimp plants. Bruce Bartholomew is working on a Flora of Modoc County, and Mona Bourell’s treatment of a Pacific Coast moss appears in Bryophyte Flora of North America.
Increasing World Knowledge
Curator Frank Almeda works with Angela Martins of the University of Campinas in São Paolo, Brazil. Their studies of melastomes (princess flowers) required three major expeditions to Mexico, Central America, and South America. They are now completing chromosome and DNA studies of the specimens they collected.

Learning Opportunities
Volunteers from the community extend botanists’ productivity by assisting with plant specimen preparation. Academy botanists train many people including student interns, scientific illustrators, postdocs and, most recently, college students from Madagascar.


150th Anniversary Celebration | 150 Years: A Timeline | 150 Years of Research | The New Academy

©2003 California Academy of Sciences


California Academy of Sciences 150th Anniversary Celebration