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Plants will be the topic of Phi Beta Kappa lecture


Illinois College will welcome a Yale University professor to the hilltop campus next month to discuss his research on plant life as a part of the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Program. Sir Peter Crane will present “The Future of Plants” on Thursday, March 15, at 7 p.m. in Room 6 of the Kirby Learning Center.

The Carl W. Knobloch Jr. Dean of the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale, Crane focuses on the diversity of plant life, its origin and fossil history, its current status, and its conservation and use. Crane will discuss his research and thoughts about the future of plant life during his presentation.

Prior to his arrival at Yale in 2009, Crane taught at the University of Chicago as the John and Marion Sullivan University Professor. He was also appointed director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in 1999 where, along with other programs on conserving and understanding plant diversity, he worked on the initial establishment of the Millennium Seed Bank. From 1992 to 1999 he was Director of the Field Museum in Chicago. He is the coauthor of The Origin and Diversification of Land Plants and, most recently, Early Flowers and Angiosperm Evolution.

Crane holds a Bachelor of Science degree as well as a Ph.D. from the University of Reading, U.K. He was elected to the Royal Society in 1998 and was knighted in the United Kingdom in 2004. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a foreign associate of the National Academy of Sciences, a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and a member of the German Academy Leopoldina.

Phi Beta Kappa is the nation’s oldest and most distinguished honor society dating back to 1776 with chapters at 280 colleges and universities. Each year the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Program makes available scholars who visit colleges and universities with Phi Beta Kappa chapters. Established in 1932, Illinois College’s Epsilon chapter is one of only 11 in the state of Illinois.


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