John Kress was born in Illinois and received his education
at Harvard University (B. A., 1975) and Duke University
(Ph. D. 1981) where he studied tropical biology, ethnobotany,
and plant systematics and evolution.
Before coming to the Smithsonian Dr. Kress
was the Director of Research at the Marie Selby Botanical
Gardens in Sarasota,
Florida, from 1984 to 1988. Currently he is Curator and
Research Scientist as well as former Chairman of the Department
of Botany at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian
Institution. He is an Adjunct Professor of Biology at George
Washington University and at Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical
Garden (Chinese Academy of Sciences), a Fellow of the American
Association for the Advancement of Science, and Executive
Director of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation.
His research studies are concentrated
on the evolution of breeding and pollination systems in
plants, systematics and phylogeny of the Zingiberales,
genetic variation and speciation in tropical angiosperms,
new tools for taxonomy, and conservation of tropical ecosystems.
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