Ghillean Prance

The Absence of Seasons is What Makes the Tropical Rain- Forest So Valuable For Pharmaceuticals

Sir Ghillean Tolmie Prance  FIBiol FRS FLS FRS (born 13 July 1937)


Is a prominent British botanist and ecologist[3] who has published extensively on the taxonomy of families such as Chrysobalanaceae and Lecythidaceae, but drew particular attention in documenting the pollination ecology of Victoria amazonica. Prance is a former Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.


Early life

Prance was born on 13 July 1937 in Brandeston, Suffolk, England.[1] He was educated at Malvern College and Keble College, Oxford.[18] In 1963 he received a D. Phil. in Forest Botany from the Commonwealth Forestry Institute.[1]



Prance worked from 1963 at The New York Botanical Garden, initially as a research assistant and, on his departure in 1988, as Director of the Institute of Economic Botany and Senior Vice-President for Science. Much of his career at the New York Botanical Garden was spent conducting extensive fieldwork in the Amazon region of Brazil. He was Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew from 1988 to 1999.


Current work

Since his retirement he has remained very active, notably involving himself with the Eden Project. Prance, a devout Christian, is currently the chair of A Rocha and was president of Christians in Science 2002–08.

He is actively involved on environmental issues, a trustee of the Amazon Charitable Trust, and a Vice-President of the Nature in Art Trust.

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