Mabberley, D.J. 1948- (David John Mabberley)

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Mabberley, D.J. 1948- (David John Mabberley)


Born May 16, 1948, in Tetbury, England; immigrated to Australia, 1996; son of Kenneth Ernest and Elsie Maud Mabberley; married Helen Blanche Hardaker, June 23, 1977 (divorced, 1991); partner of George Drummond; children: Laura Sophie Helen, Marcus Rupert David. Education: St. Catherine's College, Oxford, B.A., 1970, M.A., 1974; Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, Ph.D., 1973, D.Phil., 1975.


Home—Seattle, WA; Cheltenham, England; Elizabeth Bay, New South Wales, Australia. Office—College of Forest Resources, University of Washington, Box 352100, Seattle, WA 98195-2100. E-mail—[email protected], [email protected], [email protected]


Oxford University, Oxford, England, research fellow at St. John's College, 1973-76, lecturer in plant sciences at university and tutor at Wadham College, 1976—, dean of Wadham College, 1976-82, 1991-96, keeper of the gardens at Wadham 1983-96; Leiden University, Netherlands, professor, 1994—, Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney, Australia, honorary research associate, 1995—; University of Western Sydney, Australia, adjunct professor, 2004—; University of Washington, Seattle, Orin and Althea Soest Professor of Horticultural Studies, and Director of Botanic Gardens, 2004—. Greening Australia Inc., chief executive officer, 1999-2001; Land Regeneration Foundation, chairman, 2001-02; Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK, herbarium keeper, 2008—.

Completed work abroad, including Kuwait University, Kuwait City Kuwait, project advisor; Noma Awards Publishing, Africa, judge; University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, India, and University of Newcastle, Australia, external examiner in botany. Served on advisory boards, including Flora of Peninsular Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Pacific Northwest Horticultural Trust, Seattle, WA.


International Association of Plant Taxonomy (president); International Dendrological Society (committee member); American Society of Plant Taxonomists (member); Australian Systematic Botany Society; Nature Conservation Council; Linnean Society of London (member and president); Society for the History of Natural History; Association pour l'Etude Taxonomique de la Flore de l'Afrique; Sir Joseph Banks Archive Project, London, England (trustee); State Assessment Panel of National Heritage Trust (member).


Burbridge Medal, Australian Systematic Botany Society, 2003; Cuatrecasas Medal, Smithsonian Institution, 2004; Peter H. Raven award, American Society of Plant Taxonomists, 2004; Linnean Gold Medal for Botany, Linnean Society of London, 2006; Faculty Service award, University of Washington, 2007.

(Editor) Tropical Botany, Government Printer (Singapore), 1977.

Revolutionary Botany, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 1981.

Tropical Rain Forest Ecology, Blackie & Sons (Glasgow, Scotland), 1983.

Jupiter Botanicus: Robert Brown of the British Museum, British Museum Publications (London, England) 1985.

The Plant Book (dictionary of plants and plant products), Cambridge University Press (Cambridge, England), 1987, second edition, completely revised, published as The Plant-Book: A Portable Dictionary of the Vascular Plants Utilizing Kubitzki's "The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants" (1990—), Cronquist's "An Integrated System of Classification of Flowering Plants" (1981), and Current Botanical Literature, Arranged Largely on the Principles of Editions 1-6 (1896/97-1931) of Willis's "A Dictionary of the Flowering Plants and Ferns," Cambridge University Press (Cambridge, England, and New York, NY), 1997, third edition, completely revised, published as Mabberley's Plant-Book: A Portable Dictionary of Plants, Their Classifications and Uses, Cambridge University Press (Cambridge, England, and New York, NY), 2008.

(With P.J. Placito) Algarve Plants and Landscapes: Passing Tradition and Ecological Change, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England, and New York, NY), 1993.

(Editor, with Peter Watts and Jo Ann Pomfrett) Ferdinand Bauer, An Exquisite Eye: The Australian Flora and Fauna Drawings 1801-1820 of Ferdinand Bauer, Historic Houses Trust of New South Wales (Gleve, NSW, Australia), 1997.

Paradisus: Hawaiian Plant Watercolors by Geraldine King Tam, Honolulu Academy of Arts (Honolulu, HI), 1999.

(With H. Walter Lack) The Flora Graeca Story: Sibthorp, Bauer, and Hawkins in the Levant, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England, and New York, NY), 1999.

Arthur Harry Church, Merrell (London, England), 2000.

The Story of the Apple, Timber Press (Portland, OR), 2006.

Contributor to periodicals, including Kew Bull, New Phytol, Taxon, Novon, and Telopea.

Contributor to books, including Dictionary of National Biography, 1961-1970 and Popular Encyclopedia of Plants.

Contributor to biology journals and newspapers.


D.J. Mabberley is one of the most respected research botanists in the world and author of the definitive guide The Plant Book, first published in 1987 and published as a third, completely revised edition in 2008. The book is widely considered an indispensable reference; Rudolf Schmid commented in a Taxon review that it is "the most-used botany book on my reference shelf." As Mabberley noted in his Leiden University Web site faculty profile, he aims in his work to understand and illuminate the complex relationships, both biological and cultural, between plants and human beings, and also to explain how human beings use various classification systems to organize their understanding of plants.

Critic T. Lawrence Mellichamp, writing in an American Scientist review of Mabberley's Algarve Plants and Landscapes: Passing Tradition and Ecological Change, acknowledged Mabberley's skill at communicating such relationships. In addition to providing a general description of plants in the Algarve, the southernmost region of Portugal, Mabberley also writes about how its inhabitants maintain the region's distinct landscape through specific methods of farming and otherwise using the land. For Mellichamp, this holistic approach makes the book fascinating, readable, and important.

Mabberley, a faculty member at Leiden University and the University of Washington, is director of the University of Washington Botanic Gardens, the mission statement of which, according to a news release on its Web site, is "sustaining managed to natural ecosystems and the human spirit through plant research, display and education." Conservation and research programs at the Botanic Gardens include the Rare Plant Care and Conservation Program and projects in restoration ecology.

Mabberley once told CA: "My scientific writing is inspired by good teaching and the philosophy of my secondary schooling. Other writings are inspired by my interest in history and art of the nineteenth century, and especially by my travel in the tropics."



American Scientist, March 1, 1989, Rudolf Schmid, review of The Plant Book, p. 191; July 1, 1996, T. Lawrence Mellichamp, review of Algarve Plants and Landscape: Passing Tradition and Ecological Change, p. 401.

Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, April, 1998, review of The Plant Book, p. 1398.

Nature, January 14, 1988, review of The Plant Book, p. 128; October 17, 1991, review of Tropical Rain Forest Ecology, p. 616.

Reference & Research Book News, February, 1988, review of The Plant Book, p. 18.

Rq, spring, 1995, Lorraine J. Knox, review of The Plant Book.

SciTech Book News, January, 1988, review of The Plant Book, p. 12; December, 1997, review of The Plant Book, p. 46.

Wilson Library Bulletin, January, 1989, review of The Plant Book, p. 38.


University of Washington College of Forest Resources Web site, (November 7, 2007), D.J. Mabberley faculty profile.

University of Washington Office of News and Information Web site, (November 7, 2007), Sandra Hines, "UW Botanic Gardens New Umbrella Name for Seattle's Key Horticultural Features."