AM for Professor David Mabberley

The plants man: David Mabberley during his term as executive director of Sydney's Royal Botanic Gardens. Photo: Domino Postiglione

The plants man: David Mabberley during his term as executive director of Sydney's Royal Botanic Gardens. Photo: Domino Postiglione

Plants have been at the root of David Mabberley’s life. He has worked with them on six continents over more than 45 years in both universities and botanic gardens.

His life-long devotion to matters botanic has been recognised, with the Mt Victorian resident being made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his work as an academic, researcher and author.

“The AM is of course a great honour - and also a very pleasant surprise,” Professor Mabberley said.

“What is gratifying from my point of view is that the importance of work of this kind, namely research, teaching and writing about that fundamental resource, plants, is thereby recognised at the national level.”

Professor Mabberley has worked at some of the world’s top botanic gardens, including Kew in London, where he was keeper of the herbarium, the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney, where he was executive director from 2011-2013, and the University of Washington gardens in Seattle.

His academic career has also taken him around the globe, as a visiting professor at Oxford University and with positions at the Universities of Paris and Washington, Leiden University in The Netherlands and at Macquarie University in Sydney.

He is also a prolific author, penning 17 books including Mabberley’s Plant-book, a portable dictionary of plants, their classification and uses, which lists and describes more than 20,000 plants and is widely regarded as an essential reference text for botany students.

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