[Taxacom] Sad news from CAY
sophie.gonzalez at ird.fr
Sat Feb 2 14:04:52 CST 2013
We regret to inform you that Marie-Françoise Prévost (1941-2013), known by
most of her friends and colleagues as “Fanchon” passed away on January 31st,
at the Hospital in Cayenne. Two days before, she suffered a stroke while
working at the Herbarium of French Guiana, and was identifying plant
specimens until shortly before.
Fanchon retired in 2006 after many years working at the IRD (ex ORSTOM),
first in Ivory Coast, then in French Guiana since the late 70s. An
outstanding botanist, she was appreciated and esteemed by many specialists
of the Neotropical flora. She favored informal relations with her expert
colleagues and often provided invaluable help by sharing precious
information and identifying innumerous plants. As a token of appreciation of
the role she played, many plant species have been named after her. One of
the 21 architectural growth models of tropical trees described by Hallé and
Oldeman in 1970 also bears her name.
Her successful career greatly benefited from her sharp mind and keen sense
of observation which she devoted to the study of tropical vegetation, which
she generously shared with her colleagues and the students she helped to
train. She diligently avoided honors and any kind of formal ceremonies
throughout her professional life. Passionate in her work, tireless in the
field and the laboratory alike, she played a major role in many research
domains. In forest ecology, she initiated with Daniel Sabatier the program
of work currently developed at AMAP Research Unit on tropical tree diversity
in French Guiana. She contributed greatly to medicinal plant studies, as it
is testified by her involvement in the latest edition of the book
«Pharmacopées traditionnelles en Guyane” published in 2004.
Lately, her age started to take its toll and she rarely went to the field,
but, after retiring, she remained very active and worked intensively at the
We have lost a valuable colleague and a true friend.
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