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ESF President Joins NY Botanical Garden as ‘Distinguished Counsellor’

Quentin Wheeler honored for accomplishments in biodiversity science


Dr. Quentin Wheeler, president of the College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF), has been named a Distinguished Counsellor to the Board of the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG).

Distinguished Counsellors represent the fields of science, horticulture and education, the three principal areas of focus of the NYBG. Appointments are made by the chairman of the board.

Wheeler has been a collaborator with the faculty at NYBG for many years.

In inviting Wheeler to accept the honor, NYBG Chairman Maureen K. Chilton and Chief Executive Officer Gregory Long stated, "We have the greatest respect for all of your professional accomplishments in the field of biodiversity science." They told Wheeler they wish to recognize him for his "distinguished career" and the relationship he has had with NYBG.

The appointment was announced Nov. 16 at the NYBG's annual meeting at the Harvard Club of New York City, where Wheeler was honored.

He joins six others who hold the title of Distinguished Counsellor, including Sir Peter Crane, former Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, London; and E.O. Wilson, a renowned American biologist and author who is known as the "father of biodiversity."

Wheeler has been president of ESF since 2014. Prior to joining ESF, he was the Virginia M. Ullman Professor of Natural History and the Environment at Arizona State University where he was also senior scientist in the Global Institute of Sustainability, founding director of the International Institute for Species Exploration, vice president, and dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He was on the faculty of Cornell University for 24 years, keeper and head of entomology in London's Natural History Museum, and director of the Division of Environmental Biology at the National Science Foundation. He is author of more than 150 scientific publications and seven books, was a columnist for London's Guardian newspaper, and has named more than 100 species new to science. He is a fellow of the AAAS, Linnean Society of London, and Royal Entomological Society. His scientific interests focus on the exploration and conservation of biodiversity and the theory and practice of taxonomy.