Staff Profile

Dr. Robert W. Kiger
Director & Principal Research Scientist
Distinguished Service Professor of Botany
Adjunct Professor of History of Science

Dr. Kiger received his B.A. degree in Spanish from Tulane University and his M.A. in history of science and Ph.D. in systematic botany from the University of Maryland. Prior to joining the Institute faculty in 1974, he was research botanist and associate editor with the original Flora North America Program in the Department of Botany at the Smithsonian Institution. Currently, in addition to his administrative and programmatic activities at the Institute, he teaches courses in the Biological Sciences and History departments at Carnegie Mellon. He is also a research associate in the Section of Botany at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and an adjunct scientist in the Pittsburgh Poison Center at Children's Hospital.

A member of the Flora of North America Editorial Committee, Dr. Kiger serves as the bibliographic editor and as a taxonomic editor for that binationally collaborative, multivolume project. Also, he recently finished a 6-year term as secretary-general of the International Congress of Systematic and Evolutionary Biology. His main research interests include: vascular plant taxonomy, especially of Flacourtiaceae, Talinum (fameflowers, Portulacaceae) and Papaver (poppies, Papaveraceae); floristics, especially of North America; evolutionary theory in relation to systematic principles and practice; botanical bibliography; and morphological terminology. Besides preparing treatments of various families and genera for Flora of North America and for floras of Australia, Victoria, the Guianas, Mesoamerica, Nueva Galicia (Mexico), Arizona, and the Rocky Mountains, he is now finishing work on a rationalized categorical glossary of terminology for describing the morphology of vascular plants. His avocational interests include music, cooking and wine, model aviation, camping and hiking, fishing, biking and motorcycling.

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