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Daniel Atha

Director of Conservation Outreach

B. A., City University of New York


Flora of Belize; flora of the Caucasus; flora of North America; Acalypha subgenus Linostachys; Polygonaceae, esp. Persicaria.


Floristics, Plant Collections, Acalypha, Polygonaceae


Daniel Atha is the Conservation Program Manager at The New York Botanical Garden. He has conducted botanical field work in all 50 states of the US as well as Vietnam, Bolivia, Mexico, Belize and several states of the former Soviet Union. His work is focused on three areas: floristics—what plants grow in a particular region; taxonomy—how to tell one plant from another, what to call it and what it’s related to; and applied botany—how plants are used for food, medicine, shelter and other useful purposes.

In the area of floristics, he has published a catalog of the plants of Belize and has recently completed a botanical inventory of a nature preserve in Putnam County, New York. Recently, he has discovered two new species of knotweed for North America, one of which was found in New York City.

In taxonomy, he has published two species new to science and is currently working on a monograph of a section of the copper-leaf genus of Central America.

In applied botany, Mr. Atha has collected plant material for Merck, Pfizer, The National Cancer Institute, L’Oreal and many other organizations.

He has taught anatomy and systematic botany courses in The New York Botanical Garden’s School of Professional Horticulture and he is an associate editor of the Garden’s systematic botany journal, Brittonia.

Plant inventories are underway or completed at selected sites including Ice Pond Conservation Area, Putnam County, New York; Bog Brook Cove Preserve, Washington County, Maine; The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx County, New York; and Central Park, New York County, New York.

Selected Publications


Balick, M. J., M. H. Nee & D. E. Atha 2000 Checklist of the vascular plants of Belize, with common names and uses Memoirs of the New York Botanical Garden 85: 1–246.

Balick, M. J., F. Kronenberg, A. L. Ososki, M. Reiff, A. Fugh-Berman, B. O’Connor, M. Roble, P. Lohr & D. E. Atha 2000 Medicinal plants used by Latino healers for women’s health conditions in New York City Economic Botany 54: 344–357.

Muñoz-Acuña, U., D. E. Atha, J. Ma, M. H. Nee &  E. J. Kennelly. 2002 Antioxidant capacities of ten edible north American plants Phytotherapy Research. 15: 1–3.

Balick, M. J., D. E. Atha, S. Canham & L. Romero 2002. Capoche-rediscovery of a forgotten febrifuge (Ocotea veraguensis (Meisn.) Mez) from Belize, Central America, including a new floristic record Economic Botany 56: 89–94.

Atha, D. E.  2004 Phytolaccaceae Pp. 292–294 in N. Smith, S. A. Mori, A. Henderson, D. Stevenson and S. Heald (eds), Flowering Plants of the Neotropics Princeton University Press, Princeton.

Atha, D. E.  2004 Polygonaceae Pp. 308–310 in N. Smith, S. A. Mori, A. Henderson, D. Stevenson and S. Heald (eds), Flowering Plants of the Neotropics Princeton University Press, Princeton.

Atha, D. E., L. Romero & T. Forrest. 2005. Bark volume determination of Bursera simaruba in Belize. Caribbean Journal of Science. 41: 843–848.

Bridgewater, S. G. M., D. J. Harris, C. Whitefoord, A. K. Monro, M. G. Penn, D. A. Sutton, B. Sayer, B. Adams, M. Balick, D. E. Atha, J. Solomon, B. Holst 2006. A preliminary checklist of the vascular plants of the Chiquibul Forest, Belize. Edinb. J. Bot. 63: 269–321.

Kikodze, D., M. Tavartkiladze, T. Svanidze, D. E. Atha (editor of English text). 2007. Plants of Georgia. Field Guide. Tsignis Sakhelosno, Tbilisi, Georgia. 224 pp.

Atha, D. E. 2008. A new species of Acalypha (Euphorbiaceae: Acalyphoideae: Acalypheae) from Belize and adjacent Mexico and Guatemala Brittonia 60: 185–189.

Ford, L. J., R. J. Hawkins, D. E. Atha. 2009. A Field Guide to the Wildflowers of Mexico’s Copper Canyon region. The Donning Company Publishers, Virginia Beach. 160 pp.

Atha, D. E. & W. Carr. 2010. First Report of Persicaria hispida (Polygonaceae) from North America north of Mexico. J. Bot. Res. Inst. Texas 4: 561–564.

Reveal, J. L. & D. E. Atha. 2010. New combinations and typifications in Bistorta, Persicaria, Polygonum and Rumex (Polygonaceae). Brittonia 62: 243–263.

Atha, D. E., M. H. Nee & R. F. C. Naczi. 2010. Persicaria extremiorientalis (Polygonaceae) is established in the flora of the eastern United States of America. The Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society 137: 333–338.

Atha, D. E., J. D. Mitchell, S. K. Pell & F. R. Camacho. 2011. A new species of Comocladia (Anacardiaceae) from Belize and Guatemala. Brittonia 63: 370–374.

Reveal, J. L. & D. E. Atha. 2012. 8. Persicaria (L.) Mill. Smartweed, pp 236–250. in Cronquist et al. (eds), Intermountain Flora. The New York Botanical Garden Press, Bronx, NY.

Atha, D. E. 2012. New vascular plant county records from central Texas. Phytoneuron 2012-100: 1–3.

Muñoz-Rodríguez, P., J. M. Cardiel & D. E. Atha. 2014. Acalypha subgenus Linostachys (Euphorbiaceae, Acalyphoideae): a global review. Phytotaxa 166 (3): 199–221.

Atha, D. E., J. L. Reveal, K. N. Gandhi. 2014. (2298–2299) Proposals to conserve Persicaria maculosa, nom. cons., against Polygonum vernum and to reject the name Polygonum subg. Dioctus (Polygonaceae). Taxon 63: 689–690.

Atha, D., E. Feliciano and A. Felber. 2014. New vascular plant county records from Bronx County, New York. Phytoneuron 2014-87: 1–2.

Atha, D., J. A. Schuler, and S. Lumban Tobing 2014. Corydalis incisa (Fumariaceae) in Bronx and Westchester counties, New York Phytoneuron 2014-96: 1–6.

Ingo, L., J. Moschny, V. N. Kerimov, M. Khutsishvili, D. Atha, R. P. Borris, D. Koomoa. 2015. Juniper extracts induce calcium signalling and apoptosis in neuroblastoma cells. Journal of Pharma and Pharmaceutical Sciences 1: 1-7.

Atha, D., R. Alvarez, D. Feeser, M. Feder, Z. Wang, and R. Kelly. 2016. Gamochaeta pensylvanica (Asteraceae) is established in the New York flora. Phytoneuron 2016-22: 1–4.

Lange, I., J. Moschny, K. Tamanyan, M. Khutsishvili, D. Atha, R.P. Borris, D.L. Kooma. 2016. Scrophularia orientalis extract induces calcium signaling and apoptosis in neuroblastoma cells. International Journal of Oncology 48: 1608–1616.

Simon, T., Al-Shaykh, D. Atha and K. Fowle. 2016. Paperwork and the Will of Capital. Hatje Cantz. 200pp.

Atha, D., T. Forest, R.F.C. Naczi, M.C. Pace, M. Rubin, J. Schuler, and M.H. Nee. 2016. The historic and extant spontaneous vascular flora of the New York Botanical Garden Brittonia 68: 245–277.

Atha, D., B. Boom, A. Thornbrough, J. Kurtz, L. McIntyre, M. Hagen, J.A. Schuler, L. Rohleder, S. J. Hewitt, J. Kelly. 2017 Arum italicum is invasive in New York. Phytoneuron 2017-31: 1–18.

Atha, D. 2017. Hydrocotyle sibthorpioides and H. batrachium (Araliaceae) new for New York State. Phytoneuron 2017-46: 1–6.

Whittemore, A., J.J.N. Campbell, Z-L Xia, C.H. Carlson, D. Atha, R.T. Olsen 2018. Ploidy variation in Fraxinus L. (Oleaceae) of eastern North America: genome size diversity and taxonomy in a suddenly endangered genus. International Journal of Plant Sciences. 179: 377–389.

Wang, X, M. Khutsishvili, G. Fayvush, K. Tamanyan, D. Atha, R. Borris. 2018. Phytochemical Investigations of Atraphaxis spinosa L (Polygonaceae) Biochemical Systematics and Ecology 77: 44–47.

Atha, D., B. Boom. 2018. Field Guide to the Ash trees of northeastern United States. New York Botanical Garden 27 pp.

Atha, D., R.V. Alvarez, and K. Chaya 2018. First report of Sagina apetala (Caryophyllaceae) for New York Phytoneuron 2018-34: 1–2.

Atha, D. 2018. First report of Rumex cristatus (Polygonaceae) for New York State. Phytoneuron 2018-48: 1–3.

Atha, D. and B. Boom. 2018. State of New York City’s Plants 2018. Center for Conservation Strategy. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY. 132 pp.

Wang, D., X. Wang, G. Fayvush, K. Tamanyan, M. Khutsishvili, D. Atha and R. Borris. 2018. Phytochemical Investigations of Aethionema armenum Boiss. (Brassicaceae) Biochemical Systematics and Ecology 81: 37–41.

Atha, D., P. Wijesinghe, and V. Lazzeri 2018. First report of Stellaria pallida (Caryophyllaceae) for New York State. Phytoneuron 2018-64: 1–8.

Wang, X, D. Wang, X. Wang, M. Khutsishvili, K. Tamanyan, G. Fayvush, D. Atha, Y. Zhang, R.P. Borris. 2018. Isoflavones from Camphorosma lessingii inhibit the organic anion transporters OAT1 and OAT3. Planta Med. DOI 10.1055/a-0740-3255.

Atha, D., E. Levine, and N. Taylor 2018. First report of Euphorbia hypericifolia (Euphorbiaceae) for New York state Phytoneuron 2018-74: 1–4. Published 5 November 2018 ISSN 2153 733X.

Atha, D., Z. Wang, C. Barron, and H. Liljengren 2019. Dittrichia graveolens (Asteraceae) naturalized and invasive in New York state Phytoneuron 2019-5: 1–4.

Qiao, Y., X. Li, X. Wang, C. Li, M. Khutsishvili, V. Alizade, D. Atha, Y. Zhang, R.P. Borris. 2019. Biflavonoids from Juniperus oblonga Inhibit Organic Anion Transporter 3. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications.

Atha, D., M. Gunderson, E. Whitaker, R. Alvarez, and M. Young. 2019. First report of Callicarpa dichotoma and Callicarpa japonica (Lamiaceae) spontaneous and potentially invasive in New York and New Jersey. Phytoneuron 2019-17: 1–3.

Qiao, Y., M. Khutsishvili, V. Alizade, D. Atha, R. Borris. 2019. Labdane and abietane diterpenoids from Juniperus oblonga and their cytotoxic activity. Molecules 2019, 24, 1561; doi:10.3390/molecules24081561.

Qiao, Y., N.K. Sunada, A.E. Hatada, I. Lange, M. Khutsishvili, V. Alizade, D. Atha, D.L. Ko’omoa-Lange, R. Borris. 2019. Potential anti-neuroblastoma agents from Juniperus oblonga. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 516: 733–738.

Li, X., X. Wang, C. Li, M. Khutsishvili, G. Fayvush, D. Atha, Y. Zhang, and R. Borris. 2019. Unusual flavones from Primula macrocalyx as inhibitors of OAT1 and OAT3 and as antifungal agents against Candida rugosa.  Nature Scientific Reports 9: 9230.

Atha, D. and Z. Wang. 2019. Noteworthy plants from Roberto Clemente State Park, Bronx, New York. New York Flora Association Quarterly Newsletter 30: 5–9.

Atha, D.  2019.  First report of Cephalotaxus harringtonia spontaneous and potentially invasive in North America. Phytoneuron 2019-41: 1–3.

Atha, D. 2019. First report of Youngia japonica spontaneous in New York. Phytoneuron 2019-44: 1–3.

Atha, D. 2020. First report of Aesculus flava (Sapindaceae) adventive in New York. Phytoneuron 2020-3: 1–2.

Hu, B., M. Khutsishvili, G. Fayvush, D. Atha and R. Borris. 2020. Phytochemical investigations and antimicrobial activities of Anchusa azurea. Chemistry of Natural Compounds 56: 119–121.

Atha, D., R. Alvarez, K. Chaya, J. Catusco and E. Whitaker. 2020. The spontaneous vascular plant flora of New York’s Central Park. Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society 147: 94–116.

Hewitt, S.J., D. Atha and D.J. Ringer. 2020. Descurainia sophia (L.) Webb ex Prantl (Brassicaceae) rediscovered in New York City after more than 100 years. New York Flora Association Quarterly Newsletter 31: 10–12.