Bucknell’s Martine receives Raven Award for science outreach efforts

PHOTO PROVIDED Chris Martine, the David Burpee Chair in Plant Genetics & Research and director of the Manning Herbarium at Bucknell University, recently was selected by The American Society of Plant Taxonomists as the 2018 Peter Raven Award recipient.

LEWISBURG — The American Society of Plant Taxonomists (ASPT) recently selected Chris Martine, the David Burpee Chair in Plant Genetics & Research and director of the Manning Herbarium at Bucknell University, as its 2018 Peter Raven Award recipient.

Named for renowned botanist Dr. Peter Raven, president emeritus of the Missouri Botanical Garden, the award has been presented annually since 2000 to a plant scientist who has made exceptional outreach efforts to non-scientists.

“In addition to his scientific, teaching and mentoring accomplishments, Chris’ boundless energy and long history of teaching, promoting botany, conservation and science make him an obvious and deserving recipient of the Raven Award,” said Krissa Skogen, conservation scientist, Chicago Botanic Garden, who presented the award July 25, at the ASPT’s Botany 2018 Conference at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester, Minnesota.

“I see my role as bringing great science to more people, potentially broadening the audience through outreach and communication,” Martine said. “In that respect, I am proud to receive this honor.”

Martine’s nomination came from nine scientists at seven institutions. They cited him for being an innovator in science communication, a tireless scholar, an exceptional teacher and a spokesperson for botany.

Author of the book “Trees of New Jersey” and the Mid-Atlantic States, Martine has published numerous research papers on plant evolution and taxonomy. His “Plants are Cool, Too!” YouTube series has viewers from around the globe and introduces them to diverse plant life and scientists in interesting and engaging ways.

Martine frequently invites undergraduate students to join in his professional work, from taking them along on field expeditions to hiring them as assistants in his lab to advising their own research endeavors. Many of those students have also been lauded for their scholarly achievements. In the last five years, the Botanical Society of America has recognized 13 Bucknell students with its Young Botanist Awards, including, in 2018, recent graduates Mae Lacey ’18 and Dan Hayes ’18.

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