Incidental artist

His areas of professional interest were phycology (the study of seaweeds) and plant toxicology. In today’s rarefied world of science the names, habits, and habitats of plants and animals are of little, general, interest. It is fair to say that he belongs to one of the last generations of scientists trained to know and to learn about whole organisms. Well before we spoke of genomics he worked to answer questions such as does it have a name, which others of its kind is it related to, where does it live, what organisms does it interact with, and how does it function? It is rare indeed when similar questions come within sight of today’s scientific cutting edge.

Much of his time was spent in the field and with his camera. Years after retirement he decided that he no longer needed his teaching collection of photographic slides and passed them along. I made time, over winter, to scan them. I am glad I did.

In recognition of the work, and of the science, I felt it would be appropriate to post one of the collection of images. This shows Stongylodon macrobotrys (Jade Vine). What you see are the claw-shaped flowers of this leguminous perennial. The specimen was photographed in 1985 on Kaua’i and at the Pacific Tropical Botanical Garden (now, the National Tropical Botanical Garden).

Nice work Dr. K.

flowers

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