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Yale Professor Sir Peter Crane will give the final Fall Lecture "Ginkgo: The Tree that Time Forgot"

Published: 
2 years 6 weeks ago
Sir Peter Crane, the Carl W. Knobloch, Jr. Dean of the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Professor of Botany at Yale University, will give the final lecture in the Cornell Plantations’ Fall Lecture Series.  His lecture, entitled “Ginkgo: The Tree that Time Forgot,” will take place on Wednesday, November 11 at 7:30 p.m. in Statler Hall Auditorium on Cornell University’s campus.

Perhaps the world’s most distinctive tree, Ginkgo, a native of China, is a botanical oddity and a widely recognized botanical “living fossil.” Long thought to be extinct in the wild, Ginkgo is today widely cultivated and is beloved for the elegance of its leaves, prized for its edible nuts, and revered for its longevity. It is one of the world’s most popular street trees and source of herbal medicines. Professor Crane’s lecture will explore the evolutionary and cultural history of the species from its mysterious origin through its proliferation, drastic decline, and ultimate resurgence.

Christopher Dunn, the E. N. Wilds Director of Cornell Plantations says, “having known Professor Crane for more than 20 years and having the utmost respect and admiration for his scientific work, his keen interest in plant conservation, and his promotion of citizen science, I am thrilled that we can welcome and host such an influential botanist, and introduce him to the Cornell community. “  

Prof. Peter Crane’s work focuses on the diversity of plant life: its origin and fossil history, current status, and conservation and use. From 1992 to 1999 he was Vice President of the Field Museum in Chicago with overall responsibility for the museum’s scientific programs. During this time he established the Office of Environmental and Conservation Programs and the Center for Cultural Understanding and Change, which today make up the Division of Environment, Culture, and Conservation (ECCo). From 1999 to 2006 he was director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, one of the largest and most influential botanical gardens in the world. His tenure at Kew saw strengthening and expansion of the gardens’ scientific, conservation, and public programs. Prof. Crane was elected to the Royal Society (the U.K. academy of sciences) in 1998. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, foreign associate of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and a member of the German Academy Leopoldina. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2004 for services to horticulture and conservation. Prof. Crane currently serves on the Board of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, the Missouri Botanical Garden, the Chicago Botanic Garden, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas, and the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation.