This collection contains papers documenting the professional and personal life of Ernst, especially during his tenure at the Smithsonian Institution. Included are field notebooks, 1956-1961 and 1964-1966, documenting his collecting activities in California, Baja California, Dominica, Mexico, and his researches in Europe in 1964; correspondence with colleagues regarding his work on Papaveraceae, Loasaceae, and Fumariaceae; material documenting his collaboration with Albert C. Smith on the Flora of Fiji Project; correspondence documenting the Bredin-Archbold-Smithsonian Biological Survey of Dominica; and materials regarding internal disputes in the Department of Botany, National Museum of Natural History.
Wallace Roy Ernst (1928-1971) came to the Smithsonian Institution in 1963 as Associate Curator of Phanerogams in the Department of Botany of the United States National Museum. In 1970 he was appointed Curator of Phanerogams. Ernst received his A.B. degree in 1950 from the University of California, Los Angeles, and received his M.A. from the same institution in 1953. He received his Ph.D. degree from Stanford University in 1962. From 1960-1961 he was a Herbarium Botanist at the University of California, and from 1961-1963 was a botanist on the staff of the Gray Herbarium. He served as Professor of Botany in absentia at the University of Kansas from 1965 until his death. Dr. Ernst's field of study was the taxonomy, morphology, and cytology of flowering plants, especially Papaveraceae, Fumariaceae, and Loasaceae, and he published over twenty scholarly papers and reviews. In 1964 and 1965 Ernst journeyed to Dominica as a member of the Bredin-Archbold-Smithsonian Biological Survey to the island. For two months in 1966 he participated in the archeological expedition to the Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico under the leadership of Dr. Kent Flannery. Dr. Ernst also collaborated with Albert C. Smith on the latter's flora of Fiji project financed by the National Science Foundation.
Smithsonian Institution Archives
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