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Richard Evans Schultes was arguably this century's foremost botanist. Called by His Royal Highness Prince Philip the greatest plant explorer of this century and "The Father of Ethnobotany" (the study study of indigenous peoples' knowledge and use of plants), Dr. Schultes was considered the world's authority on hallucinogenic, narcotic, and medicinal plants and the leading expert on rubber. As collector of more than 48,000 specimens, and leader of numerous expeditions in Latin America he discovered plants new to science and recorded the uses of these and many native peoples.

Dr. Schultes, earned his Ph.D. in biology from Harvard and retired from Harvard in 1985. During his career he publishing 10 books and more than 496 scientific articles. He was a cofounder of the Society for Economic Botany (SEB) and for 18 years, beginning in 1962, he edited the scientific journal Economic Botany, and over much of the same period, he served as an active member of the editorial boards of Horticulture, Social Pharmacology, the Journal of Latin American Folklore and other publications. Among numerous awards, he received the 1992 gold medal of the Linnean Society of London, which is often equated to a Nobel Prize for botany, the annual Gold medal of the World Wildlife Fund from the organization's then president, Prince Philip of the United Kingdom, SEB Distinguished Economic Botanist (1979), The Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement. He also was awarded the Cross of Boyaca, the highest award of Columbia, where Schultes conducted most of his research. A two million acre portion of Columbia's Amazon forest was named "Sector Schultes" in his honor.

A pioneer plant conservationist Dr. Richard Evans Schultes was a leader in the effort to save the rainforests. The President of Colombia, in recognition of his work and influence, named a large section of a biological preserve in the Amazon "Sector Schultes," and fellow botanists have honored him by naming several genera and more than 100 species after him. Jeffrey Professor of Biology and Director of the Botanical Museum at Harvard University (Emeritus), Dr. Schultes developed numerous students including, Mel Bristol, Robert Bye, Tom Lockwood, Michael Balick, Homer Pinkley, Andrew Weil, Wade Davis, and Tim Plowman. Many of these students are now leading researchers and have dedicated their lives to preserving the rainforests and the invaluable plant knowledge of the forests' inhabitants.

Books by Schultes | Publications list | Plant Names (R.E. Shult.) | Schultes Award | In Memorium

Recognition of Variability in Wild Plants by Indians of the Northwest Amazon: An Enigma
Journal of Ethnobiology 6(2):229-238
Ethnobotany & Rainforest Preservation - Richard Evans Schultes (40 minutes)
Question & Answer session with Richard Evans Schultes (27 minutes)

One River: Explorations and Discoveries
in the Amazon Rain Forest (1996)

by Simon & Schuster
Publication date: September 1, 1996
ISBN: 0684808862

Scientific Societies

Society for Economic Botany
Annual meeting
[ Vol 56(1) ]

Society for Ethnobiology

Society for Ethnobiology

[ Abstracts 2002 ]

[ Abstracts ]


Educational Resources

Botanical Society of America

Set 7 - Economic Botany

Medicinal Plants
of Madagascar

Plantas Medicinais

Mayan Ethnomedical Encylopedia

Rainforest Researchers

Tom Snyder Productions

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