The Robert Allerton Medal

For Excellence in Tropical Botany or Horticulture

The Robert Allerton Medal For Excellence in Tropical Botany or Horticulture

The Robert Allerton Medal for Excellence in Tropical Botany or Horticulture honors one of NTBG’s  founding trustees who was named in our Congressional Charter and who was our initial benefactor  that made possible the establishment of NTBG on the island of Kauai in 1970. It is given to individuals whose careers have advanced tropical botany and horticulture nationally and globally.

The medal has been awarded since 1975 and consists of a medal, a citation, and a cash prize awarded by the National Tropical Botanical Garden. The medal is awarded in every third year, next time in 2024, in person at a dinner in connection with the NTBG board meeting on Kauai, Hawaii. 

2020 Allerton Medal Recipient

Meet the 2020 recipient of the Robert Allerton Medal, Prof. Barry Tomlinson, Harvard University. 

Past recipients are:

Prof. Barry Tomlinson (2020). Harvard University and Eleanor Crum Distinguished Professor of Tropical Botany. Monocots (particularly palms), unique hands-on approach has taught and inspired generations of students.

Dr. David H. Lorence (2017), National Tropical Botanical Garden. Systematics of Rubiaceae, Monimiaceae, and ferns; floristics of Pacific Islands.

Dr. Bruce Baldwin (2015), University of California, Berkeley. Systematics, floristics, evolutionary and conservation biology.

Mr. Michael J. Shea, Esq. (2013), Washington, D.C., General Counsel since the Garden’s inception.

Dr. David Mabberley (2011) RBG Sydney, Australia, systematics of Rutaceae, Verbenaceae, and author of Mabberley’s Plant-Book. 

Dr. Kunio Iwatsuki (2009), Museum of Nature and Human Activities, Hyogo, Japan, Systematics and floristics, especially of ferns and fern allies.

Dr. William R. Anderson (2007), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, specialized in systematics of the Barbardos cherry family (Malpighiaceae), and Editor of Rogers McVaugh’s Flora Novo-Galiciana, a guide to the vascular plants of southwestern Mexico.

Professor Sir Ghillean T. Prance (2005), The Eden Project, UK, extensive work in biology and conservation of tropical Amazonian rain forests, tropical plant systematics, and ethnobotany. 

Dr. Natalie Whitford Uhl (2003), Cornell University, anatomy and systematics of the palm family (Arecaceae).

Dr. Charles Lamoureux (2001, posthumously), University of Hawaii, Manoa, specialized in Hawaiian botany, ferns of the Hawaiian Islands.

Dr. William McK. Klein, Jr. (1998, posthumously), former director of NTBG, specialized in floristics and landscape and botanical garden design and history.

Dr. Alwyn H. Gentry (1996 posthumously), Missouri Botanical Garden, research on diversity of tropical forests, conservation, Bignoniaceae systematics, with a legendary knowledge of tropical plant families.

Dr. Warren L. Wagner (1994), Chair of Botany at the Smithsonian Institution, specialist in the Hawaiian and Marquesas floras and the evening primrose family (Onagraceae). 

Dr. Sherwin Carlquist (1992), Santa Barbara Botanical Garden, specialist on plant evolution on islands and plant anatomist extraordinaire. 

Prof. Armen Takhtajan (1990), Russia, one of the most important figures in 20th Century plant evolution and systematics and biogeography.

Dr. Peter H. Raven (1988), director of Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, environmentalist and voice for conservation, specialist in evening primrose family (Onagraceae)

Prof. J. P. Brenan (1985), Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, world authority on the bean family (Fabaceae),

Prof. Otto Sleumer (1985), Rijksherbarium, The Netherlands, specialist in the heath or blueberry family (Ericaceae).

Dr. F. R. Fosberg (1983), Smithsonian Institution, world authority on Pacific Islands floras.

Dr. Harold St. John (1981), Bishop Museum, Honolulu, specialist in Hawaiian flora.

Dr. E.J.H. Corner (1981), Rijksherbarium, The Netherlands, world specialist in the large and taxonomically complex genus Ficus (the figs).  

Dr. A.C. Smith (1979), Honolulu, HI (formerly NTBG), botanist who wrote the monumental Flora Vitiensis Nova (New Flora of Fiji). 

Prof. C.G.G.J. van Steenis (1977), Rijksherbarium, The Netherlands, renowned biogeographer and editor of the monumental Flora Malesiana.

Dr. Richard E. Holttum (1975), Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, world authority on ferns and the ginger family. 

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