Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Website Search Box

Department ofBotany

Mount Maringma, Guyana
Back to Expeditions


David Clarke was the eighth and final full-time Resident Plant Collector to participate in the BDG Program. After his time in Guyana, David spent three years at the Smithsonian Institution as a postdoctoral fellow. He then accepted a position at the University of North Carolina , Asheville (UNCA), where he is an Associate Professor teaching introductory botany and advanced botany courses including plant systematics, field botany, plant anatomy and morphology, economic botany, and tropical biology. Dr. Clarke's primary research interest is biodiversity, with particular attention to the flora of Guyana and the classification and evolution of Acacia (Fabaceae: Mimosoideae) and other related tropical legumes. Much of David's time, when he is not at UNCA, is spent in the rain forests and jungles of Guyana. He is often accompanied by one or more students involved in undergraduate research. Over the past 12 years David has spent more than 20 months in Guyana in the field, where he has collected nearly 12,300 plant numbers. These specimens were processed first at the Center for the Study of Biological Diversity,University of Guyana (CSDB) and then by the U.S. National Herbarium at the Smithsonian Institution (US). Currently, just over 75% of these plant collections have been identified to species. So far, the data show that H. David Clarke collected over 2,862 taxa in 1,006 genera. Copies of his field notebooks and mounted vouchers for his collections are now in the Guyana National Herbarium housed at CSBD, US and partial sets are in a number of other institutions. David Clarke's field experience is extensive, and includes collecting in Mexico, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic. In recent years David has been supported by the Smithsonian Institution, Conservation International, and the National Geographic Society. His research has been published in several leading journals, and include articles on Acacia and Fabaceae - Mimosoideae (Ebinger et al., 2000; Clarke et al., 2000; Clarke et al. 1989), using checklists and collections data to investigate plant diversity (Clarke & Funk 2000, 2005; Clarke et al. 2001), and analysis of the plant diversity of Iwokrama forest, Guyana (Clarke & Funk 1998). He is currently researching the evolution and biogeography of Acacia using nuclear ribosomal DNA.

Main Map of David Clarke's Expedition TripsMain Map of David Clarke's Expedition Trips

Click on the link above to see David Clarke's trips across the Guiana Shield.

Gallery of Expedition Photos

Read David Clarke's published trip report in PDF format:

H. David Clarke, 1995-2004
Carol L. Kelloff, Sara N. Alexander, V. A. Funk, and H. David Clarke. 2011.
Smithsonian Contributions to Botany
Number 97: 1 - 307

Back to Main BDG Expeditions Page

[ TOP ]