Walter Judd
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Walter Judd

Head of the CLAS

The American Society of Plant Taxonomists announced at their annual meeting that Dr. Walter Judd, professor at the University of Florida and a world-renowned expert on flowering plant taxonomy and tropical botany, received the Society’s 2011 Asa Gray Award. The award is named for Asa Gray (1810–1888), the most important American botanist of the 19th century, and recognizes outstanding lifetime achievement in the field of plant systematics.

Over his distinguished career Dr. Judd has published over 150 scientific articles as well as one of the most widely adopted textbooks in the field, Plant Systematics: a Phylogenetic Approach (2007), now in its third edition. Throughout his career Dr. Judd has been at the forefront of integrating traditional anatomical approaches to understanding plant diversity with modern DNA-based techniques. He is also one of the world’s leading experts on Caribbean plant diversity, as well as on the heath and melastome plant families.

Dr. Judd has also been recognized as an exceptional teacher throughout his career. He has received the University of Florida’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Instruction/Teacher of the Year Award three times. In addition to his University of Florida duties, every summer Dr. Judd teaches a Tropical Botany course at the National Tropical Botanical Garden that is attended by students from all over the world.

Dr. Judd received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1978 and joined the faculty at the University of Florida immediately thereafter. He also holds affiliate positions with the Florida Museum of Natural History and Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, and served as President of the American Society of Plant Taxonomists from 2000-2001.

About the American Society of Plant Taxonomists:
The American Society of Plant Taxonomists promotes the research and teaching of the taxonomy, systematics, and phylogeny of vascular and nonvascular plants. Organized in 1935, the Society has a membership of over 1300. The Society publishes Systematic Botany and Systematic Botany Monographs, supports a variety of honorary and charitable activities, and conducts scientific meetings each summer. Information on the Society’s 2011 joint meeting with three other American botanical societies (Botany 2011) can be found at

Austin Mast, Chair of the Public Relations Committee
American Society of Plant Taxonomists
(850) 264-2621



Austin Mast, American Society of Plant Taxonomists

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Courtesy of John Haslam, Flickr

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