Peter H. Raven
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Peter Raven, after receiving the Addison Emery Verrill Award
|Born||Peter Hamilton Raven
June 13, 1936 (age 80)
|Fields||Botany, Evolutionary biology, Biodiversity|
Missouri Botanical Garden
Washington University in St. Louis
|Alma mater||University of California, Berkeley,
University of California, Los Angeles
|Notable awards||International Prize for Biology (1986)
Volvo Environment Prize (1992)
Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement (1994)
International Cosmos Prize (2003)
On June 13, 1936, Raven was born in Shanghai, China to American parents. An uncle of his father's was, for a time, one of the wealthiest Americans in China, but was later jailed in a banking scandal. That incident and Japanese aggression in China led the Raven family to return to San Francisco, CA in the late 1930s.
After becoming a member of the California Academy of Sciences while still a youth, Raven went on to graduate with a BSc in Biology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1957 and a Ph.D. in botany from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1960.
After teaching at Stanford University, Raven went on to become Director of the Missouri Botanical Garden in 1971. In 2006, his position was renamed President and Director. Raven announced his plans to retire in 2011, to coincide with his 75th birthday and his 40th year at the Garden. Peter Wyse Jackson was appointed as Raven's successor at the Missouri Botanical Garden in September 2010.
Raven is possibly best known for his work Butterflies and Plants: A Study in Coevolution published in the journal Evolution in 1964 which he coauthored with Paul R. Ehrlich. Since then he has authored numerous scientific and popular papers, many on the evening primrose family, Onagraceae. Raven is also an author of the widely used textbook Biology of Plants, now in its eighth edition, coauthored with Ray F. Evert and Susan E. Eichhorn (both of University of Wisconsin, Madison).
He is a frequent speaker on the need for biodiversity and species conservation.
In 2000, the American Society of Plant Taxonomists established the Peter Raven Award in his honor to be conferred to authors with outstanding contributions to plant taxonomy and "for exceptional efforts at outreach to non-scientists".
Awards and honors
- American Society of Plant Biologists Leadership in Science Public Service Award, 2012
- William L. Brown Award for Excellence in Genetic Resource Conservation, 2010
- Arthur Hoyt Scott Medal 2009, awarded by the Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College
- ANZAAS Medal, 2004
- International Cosmos Prize, 2003
- Veitch Memorial Medal, 2003 
- U.S. National Medal of Science recipient, 2000
- Induction into the St. Louis Walk of Fame, 1995
- Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, 1994
- Volvo Environment Prize winner, 1992
- The Delmer S. Fahrney Medal in 1989
- International Prize for Biology winner, 1986
- Catharine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, 1985
- Foreign Member of the Linnean Society of London (FMLS)
- Honorary Member of the American Society of Landscape Architects
- Elected as a Corresponding Fellow to the Australian Academy of Science
- Member of President Bill Clinton's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology
- Former Home Secretary of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences
- Former President of Sigma Xi
- Engler Medal winner
- Former President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
- Named a Hero for the Planet by TIME magazine
- Member of National Geographic Society board of trustees
- Honorary Doctor of Science Harvard University May 29, 2014
- Raven page at MOBOT
- Raven page at Washington University
- Bio at National Geographic
- 1999 story at time.com
- PETER AND THE WOLF. Why Missouri Botanical Garden's Peter Raven, world-renowned environmentalist, courts Monsanto's favor, boosts its biotech and takes its money Riverfront Times, 3 November 1999, retrieved 27 October 2015
- "Royal Patrons and Honorary Fellows". The Linnean Society of London. Retrieved 2014-07-25.
- Staff writer (2014). "The 2010 William L. Brown Award". William L. Brown Center for Plant Genetic Resources. Missouri Botanical Garden. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
- Peter H. Raven -- Curriculum Vita, retrieved 8 September 2010
- 2014 RHS Awards for Exceptional Contributions to Horticulture Announced
- St. Louis Walk of Fame. "St. Louis Walk of Fame Inductees". stlouiswalkoffame.org. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
- "Royal Patrons and Honorary Fellows". Retrieved 10 Jan 2016.
- IPNI. P.H.Raven.
Paul R. Ehrlich and Peter H. Raven (1964), "Butterflies and Plants: A Study in Coevolution", Evolution, 18: 586-608.
Peter H. Raven and Helena Curtis (1970), Biology of Plants, New York: Worth Publishing. [Early presentation of five-kingdom system.]
- Sullivan, R. & J. Eaton. Peter Raven's botanical roots come from S.F. San Francisco Chronicle August 20, 2008.
- Profile on the International Cosmos Prize website
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