Alex George

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For other people of the same name, see Alexander George (disambiguation).
Alex George

Dr. Alexander Segger George AM (born 4 April 1939) is a Western Australian botanist. He is the authority on the plant genera Banksia and Dryandra. The "bizarre" Restionaceae genus Alexgeorgea was named in his honour in 1976.

Biography[edit]

Born in East Fremantle, Western Australia on 4 April 1939, he joined the Western Australian Herbarium as a laboratory assistant at the age of twenty in 1959. He worked under Charles Gardner for a year before the latter's retirement, and partly credits him with rekindling an interest in banksias. In 1963 he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Western Australia, and the following year added a botany major. Continuing at the Western Australian Herbarium as a botanist, in 1968 he was seconded as Australian Botanical Liaison Officer at the Royal Botanic Gardens in London. George also has an interest in history, especially historical biography of naturalists in Western Australia. He has published a number of articles in the field of history, including a history of the Royal Society of Western Australia and a tribute to naturalist and historian Rica Erickson. In 1999 he published a book on William Dampier's naturalist collections in Western Australia entitled William Dampier in New Holland: Australia's First Natural Historian.

Career[edit]

George initially specialised in orchids, but his focus gradually moved to the Proteaceae genera Banksia and Dryandra. He contributed the text to Celia Rosser's three volume The Banksias, published between 1981 and 2001, which contains Rosser's paintings of every Banksia species. In 1981 Nuytsia published his landmark monograph "The genus Banksia L.f. (Proteaceae)", the first systematic treatment of the taxonomy of Banksia since George Bentham's Flora Australiensis appeared in the 1870s. Three years later he published the popular The Banksia Book, and the following year he published An Introduction to the Proteaceae of Western Australia. In 1999, his taxonomy of the Banksia and Dryandra genera was published as part of the Flora of Australia series of monographs.

From 1981 to 1993, George lived in Canberra and worked as Executive Editor for the Flora of Australia series. His extensive revision of the genus Verticordia, an arrangement which included new taxa, was published in Nuytsia in 1991. He is now living in Perth again, and works as a botanical and editorial consultant. He is also an Honorary Research Associate with the Western Australian Herbarium, and an Adjunct Associate Professor with the School of Biological Sciences, Murdoch University.

Honours[edit]

On 11 June 2012, Dr. George was named an Member of the Order of Australia for "service to conservation and the environment as a botanist, historian and author, particularly in the area of Australian flora, and through roles with national and international professional organisations."[1]

Publications[edit]

This is an incomplete list of books, chapters and journal articles authored or co-authored by Alex George. It does not include the numerous volumes of the Flora of Australia series for which George was Executive Editor:

  • Orchids of Western Australia (1969)
  • A New Eucalypt from Western Australia (1970)
  • A List of the Orchidaceae of Western Australia (1971)
  • Flowers and Plants of Western Australia (1973)
  • The Genus Banksia (1981)
  • The Banksias (1981–2002, with Celia Rosser)
  • The Banksia Book (1984)
  • An Introduction to the Proteaceae of Western Australia (1985)
  • "New taxa, combinations and typifications in Verticordia (Myrtaceae: Chamelaucieae)." Nuytsia (1991)
  • Notes on Banksia L.f. (Proteaceae) (1996)
  • Wildflowers of Southern Western Australia (1996, with Margaret G. Corrick and Bruce A. Fuhrer)
  • Banksia in Flora of Australia: Volume 17B: Proteaceae 3: Hakea to Dryandra (1999)
  • Dryandra in Flora of Australia: Volume 17B: Proteaceae 3: Hakea to Dryandra (1999)
  • William Dampier in New Holland: Australia's First Natural Historian
  • The Long Dry: Bush Colours of Summer and Autumn in South-Western Australia

References[edit]

  • Hall, Norman (1978). Botanists of the Eucalypts. CSIRO, Melbourne. ISBN 0-643-00271-5. 
  • Rosser, Celia E. and Alex S. George (1981–2001). "Alex George". The Banksias (3 volumes). London: Academic Press in association with Monash University. 
  • George, Alex (1986). "Banksias (Talk given at 1985 AGM):Part I". Native Plants for NSW (Australian Plants Society, NSW Region) 21 (4): 18–22. 
  • George, Alex (1986). "Banksias (Talk given at 1985 AGM):Part II". Native Plants for NSW (Australian Plants Society, NSW Region) 21 (5): 11–14. 
  • A.E.Orchard (2007 (1999)). "George, Alexander S. (1939 - )". Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria. Australian National Herbarium. "[extract] from: A History of Systematic Botany in Australia, in Flora of Australia Vol.1, 2nd ed.,"