The hills, rivers and woods of the unglaciated "Driftless Area" of Wisconsin and
Iowa inspired Antonin Dvorak in music and Frank Lloyd Wright in architecture,
but for me they inspired a lifelong passion for exploring the natural world, especially
the plants. Long before I was aware of the words "herbaria," "flora," and "taxonomy,"
I had a desire to know about the plants--what were their names and where did they
grow. I am still adding material towards a flora of Richland County, Wisconsin.
During the early 1980's, I was at the Field Museum of Natural History
in Chicago, as part of a project producing a flora of the state of Veracruz
in eastern Mexico. Veracruz is so varied in topography and climate that
it includes tropical rain forest, arid tropical thorn forest, temperate
deciduous forests, montane oak-pine forests, deserts, and alpine tundra.
On moving to the New York Botanical Garden in 1984, I chose to work
in Bolivia for several reasons. The Garden has a long-term interest in
tropical South America, Bolivia is the least known country botanically
in tropical America, and it is like the state of Veracruz on a grander
scale--the flora is richer, the mountains are higher, the deserts are drier.
My collections to date amount to about 12% of all the plants ever collected
in the country.
At the same time I am continuing my research on the Solanaceae (potato
family), which involves all the species in the family, especially those
which are not economically important in themselves and have therefore not
been intensively studied. Solanum itself remains my main research
interest; it is said by some to be the largest genus of flowering plants,
with over 2000 species. I have also become interested in the Cucurbitaceae
(squash family) and the origin of the cultivated squashes and pumpkins.
E-mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
ASSOCIATE CURATOR, Institute of Systematic Botany.
Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison
Curator, Summit Herbarium, Canal Zone, Panama (1973-1974).
Visiting Assistant Curator, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago (1980-1984).
Assistant Curator, The New York Botanical Garden (1984-1991); Neotropical
Collections Specialist (1991-1995); Associate Curator (1995- ).
Editorial Board, Flora de Veracruz (1980- ).
Editor, Solanaceae Newsletter (1988-2001).
Co-editor, symposium proceedings of 3rd International Solanaceae Symposium
Membership in American Society of Plant Taxonomists.
- Nee, M. 1990. The domestication of Cucurbita (Cucurbitaceae). Econ.
Bot. 44(3, Suppl.):56-68.
- M. Nee et al. (eds.). 1999. Solanaceae IV: Advances in Biology and Utilization.
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. 485 pp.
- M. Nee. 1999. Synopsis of Solanum in the New World. pp.285-333 in
M. Nee et al. (eds.), Solanaceae IV: Advances in Biology and Utilization.
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
- M. J. Balick, M. Nee & D. E. Atha. 2000. A Checklist of the Flora
of Belize, With Common Names and Uses. Mem. N. Y. Bot. Gard. 85:
- M. Nee. 2001. An overview of Cestrum, pp. 109-136 in R. G.
van den Berg, G. W. M. Barendse, G. M. van der Weerden & C. Mariani (eds.),
Solanaceae V: Advances in Taxonomy and Utilization. Nijmegen University