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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes
CARLSBAD FWO: Gary Wallace Inducted into the Linnean Society of London
Region 8, July 21, 2008
Gary Wallace. (credit: USFWS)
Gary Wallace. (credit: USFWS) - Photo Credit: n/a

Debbie Pierce, Carlsbad FWO

Dr. Gary Wallace of the Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office in Carlsbad, Calif., was recently recognized for his lifelong dedication, expertise, and commitment to excellence in Botany and Taxonomical Classification by the Linnean Society of London on May 23, 2008.  On this date, Dr. Wallace was admitted as a Fellow of the Society, placing him among the global leaders of the natural sciences.  

 

Founded in 1788, the Linnean Society of London holds in trust the botanical and zoological collections, the library and correspondence of Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus.  For over 200 years, this Society has played a central role in documenting and conserving the world’s diverse flora and fauna and is the world’s oldest active society devoted to natural history. 

 

The main purpose of the Linnean Society is to communicate scientific ideas and advances, and it was at the July 1, 1858, meeting of the Society that Charles Darwin and Alfred Russell Wallace first presented the theory of evolution.  The Society’s international membership reflects its interest in all of the natural sciences and focus on biological diversity, evolution, taxonomy, science policy, and conservation.  

 

Membership as a Fellow of the Society requires a Proposal of Recommendation be signed by one or more standing Fellows familiar with the person’s work.  Dr. R. K. Brummitt of the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, England and Dr. Charlie Jarvis, Head of Flowering Plants at the British Museum, London, England and Curator of Plants for the Linnean Society both signed a Certificate of Recommendation for Dr. Wallace’s election to Fellowship.  The Certificate of Recommendation specifically noted Dr. Wallace’s work on members of the Ericaceae (heath family), assistance with the project to identify type specimens for Linnaean plant names, and work on the history of botanical collections.  Dr. Wallace was subsequently elected into membership by more than two-thirds of the eligible voting Fellows.  To this end it may not be a coincidence that Dr. Wallace’s election coincided with the Society’s celebration of the 300th anniversary of Linnaeus’ birth.

 

Dr. Wallace is the current president of Southern California Botanists and chair of the Southwestern California and Channel Islands Region sessions for the California Native Plant Society’s 2009 Conservation Conference.  Additionally, Dr. Wallace regularly devotes time outside of his work schedule to meet with Agency partners in efforts to conserve sensitive and rare plant taxa.  For example, Dr. Wallace has worked with faculty of Claremont Graduate School and researchers at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden to initiate a graduate level course in which students prepare conservation plans for non-listed plants and continues to mentor graduate students as they develop these non-regulatory conservation tools for land managers.  These functional tools connect students to nature and introduce future scientists to our Agency, while maximizing conservation through the development of positive partnerships with land managers, and culminate in on-the-ground conservation efforts for non-listed species.  And over the years, he has also published approximately one dozen peer reviewed scientific papers.

 

For the past 12 years Dr. Wallace has used his skills to lead the Service in preparing listing rules for 17 plant taxa, recovery plans for more than 14 plant taxa, candidacy of two plant taxa, and responding to litigation on multiple species, always utilizing the best science available.  Currently, he is focusing on status reviews of numerous listed plant taxa and is responsible for maintaining a reference collection of plant specimens for the Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, all the while providing botanical and reference assistance to the Carlsbad staff. 

 

We are proud and honored to have Dr. Gary Wallace as part of the Fish and Wildlife Service’s family.

 

 

Contact Info: Stephanie Weagley, 805-644-1766, stephanie_weagley@fws.gov