Hugh H. Iltis Biodiversity Fund Established

A marvelous gift to the Botany Department recently came from Professor Emeritus Hugh H. Iltis and his wife Sharyn Wisniewski. The gift establishes the Hugh H. Iltis Biodiversity Fund to support the collections of the Wisconsin State Herbarium (WIS) and graduate student work in plant taxonomy. Dr. Iltis served as Professor of Botany and Director of the UW-Madison Herbarium from 1955 to 1993. During this time, the vascular plant collection of the herbarium more than tripled in size, from 196,000 to 670,000 specimens (including ca. 40,000 of Iltis’ own collections). As a result, WIS is respected today as one of the premier international research institutions of its kind. Dr. Iltis and most of the students he trained devoted their lives to the study of plant diversity, land stewardship, and conservation. The new fund will allow future plant taxonomy students to continue that tradition by providing financial support, especially summer fellowships and field research awards. According to the donors’ wishes, preference will be given to students collecting specimens for the Wisconsin State Herbarium, especially those working in Latin America. Anyone who wishes to add donations the Hugh H. Iltis Biodiversity Fund is encouraged to contact the UW Foundation, State Herbarium, or Department of Botany. Thank you Hugh and Sharyn for your generosity!

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