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Peter H. Raven, Ph.D. FN ‘03


Botanist Peter Raven is one of the world’s leading advocates of conservation and biodiversity. As Director of the Missouri Botanical Garden, he has championed research around the world to preserve endangered plants while working to strengthen scientific expertise in developing countries. His goal: to protect and manage the planet’s biodiversity before it disappears.

Raven became Director of the Missouri Botanical Garden in 1971, an institution that he has nurtured into a world-class center for botanical research and education. He believes global success will come through individual action, so he protects, collects, lobbies, and preserves, using the Botanical Garden’s research work over much of the globe to create relationships with those in other nations who wish to use their resources wisely.

For Raven, education and conservation are two sides of the same coin. Knowledge of the world’s plants and respect for the scientific process that unveils their mysteries, combats ignorance and prevents thoughtless destruction. Raven has authored numerous books and reports, both popular and scientific.  A life-long teacher and a world leader in the fields of plant evolution and systematics, he co-wrote Biology of Plants, an internationally best-selling textbook, now in its seventh edition.

In recognition of his work in science and conservation, Dr. Raven was named a “Hero for the Planet” by Time magazine and has been the recipient of numerous prizes and awards. He recently announced his plans to retire in 2011, to coincide with his 75th birthday and his 40th year at the Missouri Botanical Garden.

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