Daniel F. Austin
In 1970, I received my Ph.D. from Washington University and Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, Missouri, with dissertation research on the Convolvulaceae emphasizing Maripa, a genus created by J. F. Aublet in 1775 for plants from French Guiana. That research meshed with my former interest in people and their plants, and after studying the local views of Maripa and its relatives in the Amazon region, I expanded my research into the genus Ipomoea. At first I emphasized the sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) and collaborated with Alfred Jones, then of the USDA in Charleston, SC. I soon learned that the scarcity of literature on the uses of some plants is not consistent with actual utilization and began examining a larger variety. Among other studies, I presented some human/plant interactions in Florida Ethnobotany (CRC Press, 2004). That book received the 2005 Mary W. Klinger Award from the Society for Economic Botany, and was nominated for the Annual Literature Award of the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries for 2006. I am a Fellow of the Linnaean Society of London, and have served the Society for Economic Botany as Book Review Editor since 1992. In addition, I am a Research Associate at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum; Adjunct Professor, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Arizona; Emeritus Professor at Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton; and associated with several other Arizona and Florida institutions. My work has been in numerous journals including American Journal of Botany, Economic Botany, and Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution.
My current research focuses on the family Convolvulaceae worldwide, and on the ecology, ethnobotany, and flora of the Baboquivari Mountains that lie between the eastern edge of the Tohono O’odham Reservation and the Altar Valley, Arizona. I am fascinated by the species and species-pairs shared by the Florida-northern Caribbean and southern Arizona.
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