Dr. Sherwin Carlquist

Dr. Sherwin Carlquist, Professor Emeritus at Claremont Graduate School and Pomona College, is a  research Botanist  at SBBG. He was named a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow in 1973 and holds awards from such prestigious institutions as the Smithsonian Institution and the California Academy of Sciences. His extensive list of publications centers on studies of island botanical life, but also includes monographs on plant anatomy, structure, and evolution.

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2006 Jose Cuatrecasas Medal for Excellence in Tropical Botany

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden Research Botanist Dr. Sherwin Carlquist was honored by the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in April by being awarded the 2006 Jose Cuatrecasas Medal for Excellence in Tropical Botany. This medal is presented annually to a botanist and scholar of international stature who has contributed significantly to advancing the field of tropical botany.

Dr. Carlquist is being honored for his important contributions to wood anatomical studies in tropical plants, his work on the natural history of islands, his many contributions to scientific journals, and the significant number of books he authored over the years including Comparative Wood Anatomy, Island Life, and Island Biology. "I like an award to become an occasion not for congratulation, but for positive growth and change," says Dr. Carlquist, who also received the Linnean Society Medal in Botany in London in 2002. "Ideally, an award should inspire the awardee to continue to do good work, and thereby show colleagues that awards are incentives rather than epitaphs."
The National Museum of Natural History has established the Jose Cuatrecasas Medal for Excellence in Tropical Botany out of enduring respect and admiration for Don Jose Cuatrecasas. Dr. Cuatrecasas was a pioneering botanist and taxonomist who spent nearly a half century working in the Department of Botany at the Smithsonian Institution.


Sherwin Carlquist: Born: July 7, 1930

Academic experience: B.A., University of California, Berkeley, 1952; Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 1956. Postdoctoral study, Harvard University, 1955-56 (three NSF fellowships during graduate and postdoctoral years).

Positions held: Assistant Professor of Botany, Claremont Graduate School, 1956-1961; Associate Professor, 1961-1967; Professor, 1967-1992. Position funded jointly by Claremont Graduate School and Pomona College, 1977-1984 (title of Professor of Biology also held at Pomona College during that period). Position funded jointly by Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden and Pomona College, 1984-1992 (during which time the title of Plant Anatomist was held at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, and the titles as Professor were retained at Claremont Graduate School and Pomona College). Adjunct Professor of Biological Sciences, University of California at Santa Barbara, 1993-1998.

Grants received: Eight research grants from National Science Foundation, 1962-1988. John Simon Guggenheim Fellow, 1973. Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Fellow, 1982. Smaller grants from American Chemical Society, Chevron Research Corporation, American Philosophical Society (2), and National Geographic Society (2).

Awards: Other than academic honors (including Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi): Gleason Prize of the New York Botanical Garden (best contribution to biogeography) for Island Life, 1967; career award (Certificate of Merit), Botanical Society of America, 1977; Fellow, International Academy of Wood Science, 1987. Allerton Medal of the National Tropical Botanical Garden, 1992. Asa Gray Award, American Society of Plant Taxonomists, 1993. Career Award, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, 1996. Fellows' Medal, California Academy of Sciences, 1996. Margaret T. Getman Teaching Award, University of California at Santa Barbara, 1996. José Cuatrecasas Medal in Botany, Smithsonian Institution, 2006. Half-day symposium honoring the scientific work, “Using anatomy to vascularize tropical botany, ecology, and systematics: the contributions of Sherwin Carlquist to the botanical sciences,” presented at the Chicago meetings of the Botanical Society of America, 2007.

Invited lectures: University of Alberta (s), U. California (Berkeley), U. C. (Davis), U. C. (Riverside), U. C. (Santa Barbara), Colorado State University, Cornell University (s), Duke University, Harvard University, Indiana University (s), University of Florida (s), University of Maryland, Miami University (Ohio), University of Missouri (s), University of Nebraska (s), University of North Carolina, North Carolina State University, Ohio State University (s) Ohio University (s), Utah State University, Whitman College (s), University of Wisconsin (s), Yale University. At institutions followed by (s), a lecture series or endowed lectures were given. Visiting Distinguished Professor of Botany, University of Florida, May-June, 1980.

Symposia: International Botanical Congress, Montreal; International Botanical Congress, Seattle; Pacific Science Congress, Honolulu (1961); Symposium on Insular Biology, Mayaguez, Puerto Rico (1969); Symposium on Plant Dispersal, Hamburg (1981); Symposium on Ecological Wood Anatomy, AIBS (1985); Symposium on Phylogeny of the Asteridae, AIBS (1991); Pacific Woods Symposium of IAWA at NTBG, Kauai, (1992); Symposium on the Ranunculiflorae, University of Bayreuth (1994); Symposium on Phylogeny and Relationships of Gnetales, AIBS (1995); Symposium on Preserving Biodiversity, BSA meetings (2007).

Courses taught: Plant anatomy; Comparative plant anatomy; Morphology of pteridophytes and gymnosperms; morphology of algae, fungi, and bryophytes; Plant microtechnique; Principles of evolution; Pacific basin biogeography; Plant taxonomy; Palynology; scanning electron microscopy course; Island Biology; graduate seminars; portions of an elementary biology course; Botanical German reading course; Freshman seminar; various tutorial courses.

About Sherwin Carlquist: Wagner, Warren L. 1994.  Sherwin Carlquist--Recipient of the 1993 Asa Gray Award.  Syst. Bot. 19:1-5.

Field work:

1953, Revillagigedo Islands
Hawaiian Islands: 1953, 1958, 1961, 1965, 1966, 1972, 1974, 1976, 1985.
1957: Guadalupe I., Mexico (1 week)
1962-1963: 15 months in S. Pacific and Orient, including Society Islands, Samoa, Fiji, New Caledonia, New Hebrides, New Guinea, New Zealand, Australia, Cambodia, Taiwan, Japan.
1973: Malaya (3 weeks); South Africa (5 months)
1974: Western Australia (including desert center) (4 months)
1976: Southeastern U.S. (1 month)
1977: study in Herbarium of the Royal Botanic Garden, Kew, and Herbarium, Muse d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris; Field work in Malaya, Northern Territory, Queensland, New Caledonia, and Fiji.
1978: helicopter-aided reconnaissance of the Arnhem Land sandstone plateau, Northern Territory; field work in New Caledonia (including climb of Mt. Panié); Sabah (Mt. Kinabalu).
1980: southern Florida, especially Everglades and Keys
1981: botanical gardens and natural areas in Germany, Sweden, and Denmark.
1982: Japan (3 months), including 3 Ryukyu Islands, 3 Bonin Islands, plus various montane areas on Honshu and Kyushu; Peru and Chile (3 months).
1984: Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona
1988: Sonora, Mexico
1989: Namibia, Malaysia, subantarctic islands of New Zealand