Sunday 10.30am – Journeying onwards — the path ahead
Part of our Online Festival 23-25 October. More sessions.
PROF. SIR GHILLEAN PRANCE, F.R.S., V.M.H., M.A., D.Phil., F.L.S., CBiol, FRSB
Ghillean Tolmie Prance was Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew from 1988 to 1999 and was Scientific Director of the Eden Project in Cornwall (1998-2010) and is Visiting Professor at Reading University (1988-). In 2000-2002 he was McBryde Professor at the US National Tropical Botanical Garden in Hawaii and is now a McBryde Senior Research fellow there. He began his career with The New York Botanical Garden in 1963 as a research assistant, subsequently becoming B.A. Krukoff Curator of Amazonian Botany, Director and then Vice-President of Research, and finally Senior Vice President for Science in 1981. He also set up the Garden’s Institute of Economic Botany of which he was the first Director from 1981-1988.
Sir Ghillean was trained as a plant taxonomist and has spent over eight years on field work and botanical exploration on 39 expeditions in Amazonian Brazil. He has a world-wide interest in the sustainable development of rainforest ecosystems and conservation generally; as well as being the author of nineteen books and editor of a further sixteen, he has published over 590 papers of both scientific (390) and general interest (217) on plant systematics, plant ecology, ethnobotany and conservation.
Amongst his many distinguished Awards and Honours, in 1993 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, and was awarded the International Cosmos Prize for his environmental work in Amazonia. He has held numerous posts as Visiting Professor and Fellow at Universities and other foundations such as the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazonia (INPA) in Manaus, Brazil where he set up programmes in botany, ecology, entomology and ichthyology. He is a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London and was President 1997-2000, Fellow of The Royal Geographical Society, the Explorers Club and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. From 2002 to 2008 he was President of Christians in Science. He is a deacon of Lyme Regis Baptist Church. He was knighted in July 1995, and received the Victoria Medal of Honour from the Royal Horticultural Society in 1999. He received the first Graziela Maciel Barroso Prize from the Brazilian Botanic Garden Network in July 2004. Sir Ghillean is married and has two daughters.