Biography of Peter H. Raven

Peter H. Raven is President Emeritus of the Missouri Botanical Garden and George Engelmann Professor of Botany Emeritus at Washington University in St. Louis. In addition, Dr. Raven is a Trustee of the National Geographic Society and Chairman of Committee for Research and Exploration (committee member from 1982 onward). For more than 39 years he headed the Missouri Botanical Garden, an international center for botanical research, conservation, education, and horticultural display.

In 2001, Dr. Raven received the National Medal of Science, the highest award for scientific accomplishment in the United States. He served for 12 years as Home Secretary of the National Academy of Sciences, to which he was elected in 1977. He is also a member of the academies of science in a number of other countries, including China, India, Russia, the U.K., Brazil, and Australia. In 2017, at the XIX International Botanical Congress, he was selected as first recipient of the Shenzhen International Award in Plant Sciences, the latest of the numerous prizes and awards he has received over many years.

Dr. Raven served as co-editor of the Flora of China, a joint Chinese-American international project that over 25 years resulted in the production of a 49-volume account of the native and naturalized plants of China, 31,500 species, completed in 2014. He is coauthor of Biology of Plants (with Ray Evert and Susan Eichhorn, W. H. Freeman and Company/Worth Publishers, New York), the internationally best-selling textbook in botany (8th edition, 2011) and a number of other books and hundreds of scientific and popular articles.

Dr. Raven received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1960 after completing his undergraduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He has held both Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellowships.