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Peter H. Raven

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Title: Peter H. Raven  
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Subject: Nomenclature, Flora of China (series), Variation and Evolution in Plants, List of Sigma Xi members, Epilobium siskiyouense
Collection: 1936 Births, American Botanists, American Environmentalists, American Nonprofit Executives, Fellows of the Australian Academy of Science, Foreign Fellows of the Indian National Science Academy, Foreign Members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Foreign Members of the Royal Society, Foreign Members of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Foreign Members of the Ussr Academy of Sciences, Guggenheim Fellows, Living People, MacArthur Fellows, Members of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Members of the United States National Academy of Sciences, Missouri Botanical Garden Directors, National Medal of Science Laureates, People from St. Louis, Missouri, Sigma Xi, Washington University in St. Louis Faculty
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Peter H. Raven

Peter H. Raven FMLS[1]
Peter Raven, after receiving the Addison Emery Verrill Award
Born June 13, 1936
Shanghai, China
Nationality American
Fields Botany, Evolutionary biology, Biodiversity
Institutions Stanford University,
Missouri Botanical Garden
Washington University in St. Louis
Alma mater University of California, Berkeley,
University of California, Los Angeles
Notable awards International Prize for Biology (1986)
Volvo Environment Prize (1992)
Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement (1994)
International Cosmos Prize (2003)

Peter Hamilton Raven FMLS (born June 13, 1936) is a botanist and environmentalist, notable as the longtime director, now President Emeritus, of the Missouri Botanical Garden.[2]


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
  • Awards and honors 3
  • References 4
  • Works 5
  • External links 6

Early life

On June 13, 1936, Raven was born in Shanghai, China to American parents. An uncle of his father's was, for a time, one of the wealthiest Americans in China, but was later jailed in a banking scandal. That incident and Japanese aggression in China led the Raven family to return to San Francisco, CA in the late 1930s.

After becoming a member of the California Academy of Sciences while still a youth, Raven went on to graduate with a BSc in Biology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1957 and a Ph.D. in botany from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1960.


After teaching at Stanford University, Raven went on to become Director of the Missouri Botanical Garden in 1971. In 2006, his position was renamed President and Director. Raven announced his plans to retire in 2011, to coincide with his 75th birthday and his 40th year at the Garden. Peter Wyse Jackson was appointed as Raven's successor at the Missouri Botanical Garden in September 2010.

Raven is possibly best known for his work Butterflies and Plants: A Study in Coevolution published in the journal Evolution in 1964 which he coauthored with Paul R. Ehrlich. Since then he has authored numerous scientific and popular papers, many on the evening primrose family, Onagraceae. Raven is also an author of the widely used textbook Biology of Plants, now in its seventh edition, coauthored with Ray F. Evert and Susan E. Eichhorn (both of University of Wisconsin, Madison).

He is a frequent speaker on the need for biodiversity and species conservation.

In 2000, the American Society of Plant Taxonomists established the Peter Raven Award in his honor to be conferred to authors with outstanding contributions to plant taxonomy and "for exceptional efforts at outreach to non-scientists".

He serves on the advisory council of CRDF Global. He served on the board of trustees for Science Service, now known as Society for Science & the Public, from 1993-1996.

Awards and honors

  • Honorary Doctor of Science Harvard University May 29, 2014


  • Raven page at MOBOT
  • Raven page at Washington University
  • Bio at National Geographic
  • 1999 story at
  • PETER AND THE WOLF. Why Missouri Botanical Garden's Peter Raven, world-renowned environmentalist, courts Monsanto's favor, boosts its biotech and takes its money Riverfront Times, 3 November 1999, retrieved 27 October 2015
  1. ^ "Royal Patrons and Honorary Fellows". The Linnean Society of London. Retrieved 2014-07-25. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Staff writer (2014). "The 2010 William L. Brown Award". William L. Brown Center for Plant Genetic Resources. Missouri Botanical Garden. Retrieved 31 March 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Peter H. Raven -- Curriculum Vita, retrieved 09-08-2010 
  5. ^ St. Louis Walk of Fame. "St. Louis Walk of Fame Inductees". Retrieved 25 April 2013. 
  6. ^ "'"Author Query for 'P.H.Raven.  


Paul R. Ehrlich and Peter H. Raven (1964), "Butterflies and Plants: A Study in Coevolution", Evolution, 18: 586-608.

Peter H. Raven and Helena Curtis (1970), Biology of Plants, New York: Worth Publishing. [Early presentation of five-kingdom system.]

External links

  • Sullivan, R. & J. Eaton. Peter Raven's botanical roots come from S.F. San Francisco Chronicle August 20, 2008.
  • Profile on the International Cosmos Prize website
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