interesting problems in plant systematics

Lenore Durkee durkeel at AC.GRIN.EDU
Wed Mar 19 15:05:35 CST 1997

I want to thank all of you who responded to my reiteration of the student
question--"What are the most interesting and/or challenging probelms facing
plant systematists today" (or something to that effect).

Many of you mentioned the great need for qualified people to identify
plants that are endangered or threatened. Others remarked on the change in
hierarchical thinking that could be precipitated by cladistics. Stll others
computer applications to systematics problems.

My main concern is that I received practically no response (actually, just
one) from the TAXACOMers. The replies came from the plant-eders!!

I really do appreciate that people are busy and that taxonomists are often
away from their workplaces and actually doing taxonomy; but the general
lack of response from this group is troubling for it seems to me that
professional taxonomists run great risk if students don't develop an
interest in the discipline; potential taxonomists will be lost to other

Please--encourage the young men and women who are being educated now at
colleges  like Grinnell. Some of them are your future graduate students and
field assistants. They are the future of the discipline.--Lenore Durkee

Lenore Durkee                   durkeel at

Department of Biology           515-269-3035 (office)
Grinnell College                515-269-3027 (laboratory)

P.O. 805                        515-269-4285 (FAX)
Grinnell, Iowa 50112

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