PAUL CARPENTER STANDLEY

Photo of Paul Standley

Paul was born March 21, 1884, in Avalon, Missouri. His education began at Drury College in Springfield, Missouri, (there he published his first paper!) and continued at New Mexico State College where he earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in 1907 and 1908. He continued at his alma mater as an assistant botanist from 1908 to 1909. In 1909, he became a botanist at the U.S. National Museum where he remained until 1928. During this period he published an astonishing variety of papers, including Flora of New Mexico (1915) with Wooten, a number of families for the Flora of North America (1916-24), Flora of the District of Columbia (1919) with A. S. Hitchcock, his influential Trees and Shrubs of Mexico (1926) with over 1,700 pages, and his Flora of the Panama Canal Zone (1928). In 1928, he moved to the Field Museum in Chicago and continued producing an astonishing number of publications, such as Flora of Costa Rica (1937-40) with 1,616 pages. In 1950, he moved to the Escuela Agricola Panamericana and remained there until 1957 when he retired to Tegucigalpa, Honduras, where he continued to work until his death June 2, 1963. Stafleu and Cowan (1986) characterized him as "prolific botanist, collector and student of the New World floras, botanical explorer of Central and Western North America."

He was author of 5,712 species names, including transfers, the first ones published in 1914. Three genera, Standleya Brade (1932), Standleyacanthus Leonard (1952) and Standleyanthus King and Robinson (1971), and 222 binomials were named for him, the first being Acacia standleyi Safford (1914) and the last Palicourea standleyana C. M. Taylor (1989).

He was elected to the Washington Biologists' Field Club in 1915 and terminated his membership in 1930.