Robert Ornduff

Professor Emeritus, Integrative Biology
Curator, University Botanical Garden

1932 - 2000

Robert Ornduff, died on Sept. 22.

Robert Ornduff, served as Director of the University and Jepson Herbaria, of the University Botanical Garden, and Professor of Integrative Biology. He was born in Portland, Oregon, and attended Reed College, where he received a B.A. in Biology in 1953. He went to New Zealand on a Fulbright Scholarship in 1954. In 1955 he received an M.S. from the University of Washington, submitting a thesis on the biosystematics of the Australasian Senecio lautus complex. In 1961 he received his Ph.D. in Botany at the University of California, Berkeley, having worked on the biosystematics of the composite genus Lasthenia with Herbert L. Mason as his major professor. After teaching briefly at Reed College and Duke University, he returned to Berkeley in 1963 to fill the vacancy created by Mason's retirement. While on the faculty Ornduff served as Director of the University and Jepson herbaria, the University Botanical Garden, Executive Director of the Miller Institute for Basic Research in Science, and as the last Chair of the Department of Botany before it dissolved in connection with the reorganization of biology on campus.

Research Interests:

Ornduff continues his interest in the systematics of various plant groups, particularly the Asteraceae, Menyanthaceae, and Limnanthaceae. He contributed the treatments of the Oxalidaceae, Limnanthaceae, Lasthenia, and a few small genera of Asteraceae for the 1993 Jepson Manual. He also continues an interest in the reproductive biology the comparative evolution of breeding systems of plants, particularly heterostylous ones, with a current focus on the southern hemisphere genus Villarsia (Menyanthaceae) and western American species of Amsinckia (Boraginaceae). Ornduff also has a long-standing interest in the population biology of cycads, western American floristics, biogeography, Charles Darwin, and the history of botanical exploration. In addition, he has been monitoring successional events in a bishop pine (Pinus muricata) forest burned by the 1995 Vision Fire in Marin County.

Selected Publications:

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This page last updated April 17, 1997