Each year the Wisconsin State Herbarium sponsors the first Botany Colloquium speaker of the new academic year, who delivers the annual “Hugh H. Iltis Lecture in Plant Systematics”. This is followed by a Department of Botany field excursion.
The first ‘Iltis Lecture & Fieldtrip’ took place in September 2010 along with the following dedication delivered by WIS Director, Ken Cameron . . .
Like other disciplines in the biological sciences, the field of plant systematics has undergone a revolution over the past two decades thanks primarily to the adoption of molecular techniques and powerful methods of computing and bioinformatics. But, systematists have always recognized that these techniques and methods are only examples of a few tools from the much larger systematist’s toolkit.
We must not lose sight of the fact that the foundation of diversity studies has been and always will be direct observation of plants living in the field and preserved in museum collections. For this reason, the Wisconsin State Herbarium from this year forward will sponsor an invited colloquium speaker whose research epitomizes the use of the broad and ever expanding systematists toolkit.
We wish to formally recognize this annual event as the “Hugh H. Iltis Lecture in Plant Systematics” to honor the tireless dedication and commitment to local, national, and international systematics offered by our friend and colleague Professor Hugh Iltis, who served as Director of the Herbarium at the University of Wisconsin, Madison for nearly 40 years from 1955 to 1993.
There is absolutely no doubt that Dr. Iltis has earned his place in history as an equal to such botanical luminaries as Increase Allen Lapham, Leyland Cheney, John T. Curtis, John Jefferson Davis, and Norman Fassett. To commemorate his accomplishments, a portrait of Hugh will be hung alongside these other great men within the State Herbariium. Thank you, Professor Iltis for all that you have done and continue to do worldwide for the advancement of plant systematics.
In conjuction with the annual Iltis Lecture, the herbarium will also organize a local field excursion so that we may all share together in the joy and excitement of botanical exploration.