Abstract Detail

A Botanist at the Extreme: Honoring the great contributions of Dr. Vicki A. Funk

Wagner, Warren [1].

Vicki Funk, an influential botanist.

Vicki A. Funk was one of the most active, enthusiastic, and passionate botanists of our time. She had a quick mind and wit, always with new ideas or opinions that she eagerly shared with anyone who would listen and engage. She treated everyone equally and found pleasure in insights that she gained by interacting with others. Vicki was generous in sharing ideas that not only produced successful research and training, but also created comradery. She was regarded for her productivity and for pioneering the use of phylogenetic methods. Her primary expertise was the sunflower family, and she made 15,000 collections. She was passionate about development of herbaria. She published 320 articles and books, including Systematics, Evolution, and Biogeography of the Compositae (2009), the most authoritative reference for the family. She was a pioneering influence in the use and development of phylogenetic methods (e.g., Advances in cladistics, Funk & Brooks 1981; Platnick & Funk 1983; Hawaiian Biogeography, Wagner & Funk 1995). Vicki was an outstanding leader, and served as president of biological societies (SSB, 1998–1999, ASPT, 2006–2007, and IAPT, 2011–2017), and as a founder and president of the IBS (2007–2009). Vicki and colleagues founded “The International Compositae Alliance,” fostering work in the family. Within the Smithsonian, she served as Director of the Biological Diversity of the Guianas (1987—2018), but also began the Global Genome Initiative for Gardens (2015—2018). Most recently, she was an advisor to the American Woman’s History Initiative, focusing on the contributions of women in science as part of the broader effort to disseminate the historical record of accomplishments of women. Vicki was an exemplary mentor from advising undergraduate interns to mentoring current faculty. She actively mentored more than 40 students, early career colleagues and was an unofficial mentor to many others.

1 - Smithsonian Institution, Department Of Botany, MRC-166, P. O. Box 37012, Washington, DC, 20013, United States

phylogenetic methods.

Presentation Type: Symposium Presentation
Number: S4008
Abstract ID:805
Candidate for Awards:None

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