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New taxonomy book honours top Reading plant scientist – University of Reading

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New taxonomy book honours top Reading plant scientist

Release Date 09 January 2006

flowers in a fieldA plant conservation book that pays tribute to one of the country's leading plant scientists – Professor Vernon Heywood of the University of Reading – is being launched at the Linnean Society in London on Tuesday 10 January. Taxonomy and Plant Conservation (Cambridge University Press) has a unique connection to the University of Reading. As well as being inspired by Professor Heywood's major contribution to plant taxonomy and the conservation of plants, many of the contributors are Professor Heywood's former PhD students at Reading (1). Moreover, the introductory paper – 'Taxonomy and the future of plant diversity science' by Professor Sir Peter Crane (present Director, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew) – was given at the University on 16th December, 2002, to celebrate Professor Heywood's 75th birthday. The University's Dr Stephen Jury, who co-edited the book with Etelka Leadlay (Botanic Gardens Conservation International), said: "Professor Heywood was an inspiring teacher encompassing undergraduate, MSc and PhD students as well as post-doctoral research fellows from many countries. He has formally supervised, or helped to supervise over 60 doctoral theses. "He has left a wonderful trained legacy. His alumni have been given a deep respect for rigorous science and thought, plus the fundamental importance of communication and cooperation between all sectors and at all levels." Taxonomy and Plant Conservation illustrates the continuing importance of taxonomy for the conservation and sustainable use of plants. Comprised of 21 essays and 4 sections, and with contributions from 30 leaders in this field, it explores: • the place of taxonomy in science and in implementing the Convention on Biological Diversity. • the theoretical basis of taxonomy, how it is carried out and how it contributes to measuring diversity. • how taxonomy is used to establish conservation priorities and actions. • taxonomy in the practice and measurement of effective conservation action. Taxonomy and Plant Conservation (CUP) is available in hardback (£70) or paperback (£35). For more information, see End Notes for editors 1. Former PhD students of Professor Heywood, who have contributed: S. Blackmore (Regius Keeper, Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh). D. Bramwell (Director Botanic Garden at Tafira Alta, Canary Islands, former University of Reading Herbarium Curator). R.K. Brummitt (formerly of Kew). C.J. Humphries (Visiting Professor and staff of National History Museum, London). S.L. Jury (Herbarium Curator, Principal Research Fellow, Reading). Etelka Leadlay (Botanic Gardens Conservation International, Kew). 2. Journalists are welcome to meet the contributors at the launch at 5pm on Tuesday 10 January at the Linnean Society, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BF, but must confirm attendance beforehand. Media contact: Dr Stephen Jury, School of Plant Sciences, The University of Reading Tel: 0118 378 8169 Email:

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