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After nearly fifty years since his first journey to the tropics exploring for plants, and a total of thirty-nine expeditions to the Amazon, Professor Sir Ghillean Prance has gathered in That Glorious Forest a fascinating and diverse collection of accounts from these experiences, along with his thoughts on a lifetime of work surveying the Amazon flora. A prominent botanist and ecologist, as well as the former Senior Vice President of Science at The New York Botanical Garden, and subsequently Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (1988-1999), Sir Ghillean has written That Glorious Forest as a tribute to the many people who have helped him to survey the Amazon region over the last five decades.
The main focus in That Glorious Forest is placed on the process and the running of the expeditions, as well as collecting specimens. Included at the end of each chapter are plant collection numbers made on the expeditions described, as well as a list of new species discovered. Professor Prance is a specialist in a number of plant families, all of which consist of trees and vines widely distributed in the Amazon region and elsewhere.
In recognition of more than a quarter century of his service and ongoing extraordinary dedication to the mission of The New York Botanical Garden, and to botany and horticulture internationally, Sir Ghillean was presented in 2008 with the Gold Medal of The New York Botanical Garden, where he served as a scientist and senior scientific administrator. This medal is the highest honor that the Botanical Garden confers.
In the botanical exploration of Amazonian Brazil, there is probably no contemporary name more prominent than that of Sir Ghillean Prance.
"This magnificent book is guaranteed to reward botanists, ethnobotanists, hobbyists, and those who esteem Amazon field biography, especially of the sort both well-told and well-illustrated."
– William Balée, Ph.D., Department of Anthropology, Tulane University
"An engaging read with tales of plant discoveries, rubber barons, rosewood distilleries and a pet boa named Snakeyboy... this vivid personal account should serve to inspire a new generation of botanists."
– Sara Oldfield, Secretary General, Botanic Gardens Conservation International
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