Botanist and Head of the Plant Conservation Unit

Medium shot of Dr. Gary Krupnick standing at a table studying a plant specimen in his hand.  More are behind in on shelves.
Dr. Gary Krupnick studying a plant specimen in the U.S. National Herbarium. Image by Jennifer J. Hill, Smithsonian, 2009-27554.

Dr. Gary Krupnick heads the Plant Conservation Unit in the Department of Botany of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. An undergraduate class in conservation biology first sparked Gary’s interest in ecology, evolution, and conservation science. He went on to receive his Ph.D. from the University of California Irvine, with a doctoral thesis examining the link between the effects insect herbivory and bee pollination on plant reproductive fitness.

As a conservation biologist at the museum, Gary coordinates activities and research that focus on plant conservation, biodiversity hotspots, and endangered plant species. His research examines how data from herbarium specimens can be used in assessing the conservation status of plant species. In 2010, he curated the traveling exhibition, “Losing Paradise: Endangered Plants Here and Around the World,” which explores the conservation efforts of scientists and illustrators around the globe. He is the co-editor of the 2005 book Plant Conservation: A Natural History Approach and the editor of two newsletters—the Biological Conservation Newsletter and The Plant Press (the newsletter of the U.S. National Herbarium), which has recently been turned into a blog.