Cypripedium photo: Michael Terry


Flora of Virginia Project Staff

Authors

J. Christopher Ludwig, author and director of The Flora of Virginia Project. J. Christopher Ludwig is chief biologist with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation's Division of Natural Heritage. In addition to studying the vascular plants and the animals of Virginia, he manages a multidisciplinary team of biologists who identify rare species and significant plant communities throughout the state. From 1988 to 1998 he served as botanist with the Division of Natural Heritage.

His Flora work has included:
* Management of project-wide work flow
* Editing of taxonomic descriptions
* Incorporation of information on plant status and habitat
* Serving as executive director of the Flora Project Foundation and president of its board of directors

Alan Weakley, plant taxonomist and author of The Flora of Virginia Project.Alan Weakley, Ph.D., is the curator of the University of North Carolina Herbarium (a department of the North Carolina Botanical Garden) and an adjunct professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A native of Virginia, he was formerly chief ecologist with NatureServe in Arlington; southeastern regional ecologist for The Nature Conservancy; and botanist with the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program. Since 1992, Weakley has been developing a guide to the flora of the southeastern states and throughout his career has been active in plant systematics, plant ecology, and conservation in the Southeast.

His Flora work has included:
* Ongoing taxonomic research to ensure that the Flora reflects the most current names, phylogenetic relationships, and synonymies
* Development of keys for families, genera, and species
* Inclusion of phenology, habitat, and identification information for taxa

John Townsend, botanist and author of The Flora of Virginia Project John Townsend is staff botanist for the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation's Division of Natural Heritage. His work as part of the division's inventory team has focused primarily on rare vascular plants and their conservation. He was previously curator of the herbarium at Clemson University.

His Flora work has included:
* Editing of taxonomic descriptions
* Editing of illustrations, ensuring that they accurately and truly depict key characters
* Provision of Virginia-specific information on status and habitat.


Associate director and editor

Bland Crowder, environmental specialist, editor, writer for the Flora of Virginia Bland Crowder is editor and associate director with the Flora Project. He copyedited and was liaison with the publisher of the Flora. He manages development and public relations for the Flora Project and compiled taxonomic descriptions for the manual. He is publications chair of the board of the Virginia Native Plant Society and former coordinator of education, volunteers, and publications with the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Virginia.

Writers

Gary Fleming, ecologist and author of The Flora of Virginia Project Gary P. Fleming wrote the Flora's chapter on the natural history and plant communities of Virginia and reviewed phenology and habitat information in taxa descriptions. Fleming is a vegetation ecologist with the Division of Natural Heritage in the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. He is president of Virginia Botanical Associates, a nonprofit organization that has been devoted to mapping the distribution of all vascular plants in Virginia for the past 30 years.

Nancy Ross Hugo co-wrote the Flora chapter on the history of botanical exploration in Virginia. (See also Flora board)

Donna M.E. Ware wrote the treatment of the genera Valeriana and Valerianella (now in the Caprifoliaceae, formerly the Valerianaceae) and is a co-author of the Flora chapter on the history of botanical exploration in Virginia. (See also Flora board)

Tom Wieboldt, herbarium curator, vice president of Virginia Botanical Associates, and author of The Flora of Virginia Project Tom Wieboldt wrote the treatment of the family Isoetaceae and, with Ron Lance, that of Crataegus. Wieboldt is curator of vascular plants at the Massey Herbarium at Virginia Tech. He is also vice president of Virginia Botanical Associates.

Illustrators

Botanical artist Lara Call Gastinger, illustrating Virginia plantsLara Call Gastinger, lead illustrator, drew the dicots and, other than the graminoids, the monocots, for the Flora. She has a B.A. degree in biology from the University of Virginia and an M.S. degree in plant ecology from Virginia Tech. She also has participated in the field ecology and drawing program of the Rhode Island School of Design and in a biological illustration program of Cornell University and the University of New Hampshire.

Gastinger has exhibited her work widely, including in the American Society of Botanical Artists and the Horticultural Society of New York's Ninth Annual International Juried Botanical Art Exhibition (2006) and at the Royal Horticultural Society's February London Flower Show (2007), where she received the gold medal for botanical art. She is a member of the American Society of Botanical Artists. Her website is http://www.laracallgastinger.com.

Michael Terry, illustrating Virginia Cyperaceae and Virginia Poaceae Michael Terry, who illustrated the graminoids (grasses, sedges, and rushes) has an M.S. degree in botany from the University of Richmond. His paper, "A Flora of Powhatan County, Virginia," appeared in the September 2007 issue of Castanea. His Flora work included research using herbarium specimens to verify that plant descriptions written for the Flora accurately portrayed plants of Virginia.

Roy Fuller illustrated, as a volunteer, the ferns and fern allies for the Flora. He also provided the illustration of a new species of Rhododendron for the journal Novon, but Fuller is more likely to be creating abstract art than botanicals. After completing undergraduate and graduate degrees in business, he worked for 12 years as a financial analyst for a Houston oil company. In 1993, he began doctoral research at Wake Forest University on the molecular systematics of two neotropical genera of blueberries. He now operates a microbiology lab, certified in Virginia and North Carolina, that performs EPA-required bacteriological testing of public water systems.

Other contributors

The following people, many of them volunteers, compiled taxonomic descriptions for the Flora based on the literature: Alan Belden, Doug DeBerry (especially sedges of the genus Carex), Tom Dierauf, John Dodge (especially grasses), Ruth Douglas, Irene Frentz, Kevin Heffernan, Mike Leahy, Marion Blois Lobstein, Greg Plunkett, Rosalind Rowe, Allison Weakley.