|Constancea 83, 2002|
University and Jepson Herbaria
P.C. Silva Festschrift
This inaugural issue of Constancea is a celebration of the 80th birthday of Paul C. Silva. The collection of celebratory papers is diverseranging from a catalog of names of fungi at the rank of order and above to a review of plasticity in algae. Paul Silva's botanical interests have been equally diversemore diverse, evenas a glance at the list of his publications will reveal.Richard L. Moe
Paul has been curating algae at the University Herbarium at Berkeley since 1960. He is recognized by phycologists around the world for his monographic work on Codium, for his floristic work in California, for his catalogs of marine algae, and for his compilation of algal namesthe Index Nominum Algarum. Non-phycological taxonomic botanists will recognize his name from the list of editors of successive editions of the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature.
He began his phycological career in 1946 as a Master's student at Stanford University under Gilbert M. Smith. He made the first systematic collections of intertidal algae along the central California coast between Monterey and San Luis Obispo. The region had only recently become accessible with the reopening of State Highway 1 after World War II. The results of his thesis project (which were never published) led to a life-long interest in California marine biogeography.
In 1948 Paul moved from Stanford to Berkeley and began to work with George F. Papenfuss on Codium, a genus of marine green algae that had intrigued Papenfuss's predecessor, W. A. Setchell. Paul studied the South African representatives of the genus for his dissertation project, completed in 1951. Codium has remained at the center of his phycological focus.
Following a brief post-doctoral foray into freshwater algae, Paul returned to marine research at the University of Illinois, where he was hired as a plant morphologist. As a graduate student Paul had recognized the need for a compilation of algal namesthere was nothing comparable to the Index Kewensis for algaeand he began to assemble such a list. At Illinois he received the first grant support for the Index Nominum Algarum. After 8 years at Illinois, Paul returned to Berkeley, where he has remained. He has continued his work on Codium, California algae, and algal nomenclature, and has branched out into many other areas of phycological research. His knowledge of algal names and phycological history has led to his being included in projects involving algae of which he had initially no personal knowledge. Because of his curiosity about all things phycological, and his insistence on clarity in presentation, his contribution to these projects has usually gone far beyond being a provider of nomenclatural expertise.
Some of us know Paul from collection trips and have seen him following the tide out and scouring the rocks for specimens large and small with concentrated attention to detail. Paul's personal collection is done between the tide marks or with a dredgealthough he never took up diving, he enlisted the assistance of divers to complement the dredging. Many of us know Paul as a teacher: a few as a direct one-on-one mentor, many more via "correspondence course". Although Paul has never been on the teaching faculty at the University of California at Berkeley, he has given occasional seminars, and his detailed, comprehensive letters to students around the world have given him an influential lectern. The hundreds of papers that Paul has edited for all the phycological societies also provided him with pedagogical opportunities. Paul views his role as editor or referee/reviewer as that of a facilitator rather than a censor. Paul edits his own papers equally critically, and his own publications have as their hallmarks clarity, completeness, and accuracy. Because Paul has been a constant attender of phycological meetingsthose of the societies of which he was a founding member as well as those of othersmany phycologists have heard his carefully prepared talks. Paul has influenced all of us, as he has influenced the development of phycology itself, through his teaching, research, and service. All of us unite in wishing him a happy 80th birthday.