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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 this volume 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 this book 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 this volume 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 title is also available in Kindle eBook format.
Click here for the PDF of a review by Philip M. Fearnside of the National Institute for Research in Amazonia (INPA) Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil.
Click here for the PDF of The Explorers Journal: Adaptation, Summer 2015.
Click Here for the PDF of the Book Review by Patrick Van Damme of Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium from Economic Botany 70(2).
Advance Praise for That Glorious Forest "A splendid revelation of the incredible and intrepid efforts from expeditions to herbaria that have enlarged our knowledge of the Amazon and its botany. a serious but spellbinding account. the age of scientific adventures is still very much with us."
— Thomas E. Lovejoy, Ph.D., University Professor, Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason University. "No one has contributed more to our understanding of and appreciation for tropical plants than Sir Ghillean Prance.. This book will be enjoyed by anyone with interest in `that glorious forest,' in how botanists work in the field, and in the adventure and wonder that [Sir Ghillean] felt in exploring these forests in their pristine state."
— Peter H. Raven, Ph.D., President Emeritus, Missouri Botanical Garden. "This extraordinary book gives us a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the ups and downs of [Sir Ghillean's] relentless botanical exploration of the Amazon between 1963 and 1988. What comes through is the gentle tenacity of a dedicated field botanist with an enduring passion for plants."
— Sir Peter Crane, Carl W. Knobloch, Jr. Dean of the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Yale University.
Ghillean Tolmie Prance began his career with The New York Botanical Garden in 1963 as a research assistant, subsequently becoming B.A. Krukoff Curator of Amazonian Botany, Director of Botany, and then Vice President of Botanical Research, and finally Senior Vice President for Science 1981-1988. He also set up the Garden's Institute of Economic Botany of which he was the first Director from 1981 to 1988. He was Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew from 1988 to1999. Currently he is Scientific Director of the Eden Project in Cornwall and Visiting Professor at Reading University (1988-). He ran a conservation and research project for the Eden Project in the Yaboti Biosphere Reserve in Misiones, Argentina. In 2000-2002 he was McBryde Professor at the U.S. National Tropical Botanical Garden in Hawaii and is now a McBryde Senior Research fellow there. Born in Suffolk, England, on July 13,1937, he was educated at Malvern College, Worcestershire and Keble College, Oxford, where he obtained a B.A.in Botany (1960) and M.A. & D.Phil. in 1963 for his "Taxonomic Study of Chrysobalanaceae." Sir Ghillean was trained as a plant taxonomist and spent over eight years on fieldwork and botanical exploration on 39 expeditions in Amazonian Brazil between 1964 and 1988. He has a worldwide interest in the sustainable development of rainforest ecosystems and conservation generally; as well as being the author of 21 books and editor of a further 16, he has published over 560 papers of both scientific (359) and general (214) interest on plant systematics, plant ecology, ethnobotany, and conservation. In addition to his various duties at The New York Botanical Garden, Sir Ghillean was the founding Director of Graduate Studies at the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia (INPA) in Manaus, Brazil, where he set up programs in botany, ecology, entomology, and ichthyology. He was an Adjunct Professor of The City University of New York (1967-1998) and is a Visiting Professor at the University of Read Ghillean T. Prance's Author Page