Floridata Article

Bruce A. Bohm Ph.D., M.S.

Bruce Bohm
photo by Lesley Bohm - Lesley Bohm Photography

After getting an undergraduate degree at Alfred University, New York in 1956 (general chemistry), and graduate degrees from the University of Rhode Island in 1958 (M.S.) and 1960 (Ph.D.) (organic chemistry), I spent a year as a Post-doctoral fellow at McGill University (Montreal) in the Botany Department. Three teaching jobs followed: University of Saskatchewan 1961-1963 (Chemistry); University of Rhode Island 1963-1966 (Faculty of Pharmacy, drug plants); and finally at the University of British Columbia 1966-1999 (Botany Department). Despite all this moving about, I managed to get time to publish 180 or so papers in refereed journals in natural product chemistry, biosystematics, and eco-physiology; and 20 invited book chapters on subjects ranging from plant pigments to island biogeography. Much of that stuff, and a lot more from other peoples' efforts, can be found in my four books: Introduction to Flavonoids (Harwood Academic Publishers) 1998; Flavonoids of the Asteraceae, with Tod Stuessy (Springer Verlag, Vienna) 2002; Hawaii's Native Plants (Mutual Publishing, Honolulu) 2004; and Geographic Distribution Patterns in Secondary Metabolites (New York Botanic Garden) In press. A fifth book, Plants of Hawaii from A to Z, is in preparation (publisher: no commitment yet). My field research has involved many visits to California and to the Hawaiian Islands. Following my retirement from the university in 1999 (actually, I quit a year early; it sounds more decisive), I have devoted all of my 'academic' efforts to photographing and writing about the magnificent plants of the Hawaiian Islands. In addition to visiting the islands at least once a year on my own, or with my artist wife, I led a tour of Vancouver Natural History Society members on a plant and bird trip (they do birds, I don't) to the islands. I did the organizing and botanizing end of the trip; my wife kept them well fed and in the parking lot at the appointed time every morning. We brought back as many members as we took; it was, in other words, a successful trip.

In addition to the Hawaiian activities, I bicycle, hike, and cross country ski, when weather and knees allow. I used to rock climb, but the gravity of that pass-time became more than I could enjoy. Photographing plants and active volcanoes, is safer. The results of my Hawaiian activities appear in color in the Hawaii's Native Plants book, as one might have guessed by its title. I hope to expand this subject considerably in the A to Z project. The brief articles to appear on this site represent vignettes of both the published book and the manuscript in progress.

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