From Plant Press, Vol. 20, No. 1, January 2017.
The Department of Botany, National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), Smithsonian Institution, held a memorial service to celebrate the life of Dan Henry Nicolson (1933-2016). The event was held on 18 November 2016 in the Executive Conference Room of NMNH. Relatives, friends, and colleagues from within the Smithsonian and beyond, from Washington DC and afar attended.
Laurence J. Dorr (Smithsonian Department of Botany) welcomed the guests and spoke fondly of Nicolson’s years at the Smithsonian. Others paying tribute to Nicolson or aspects of his career included Kanchi Natarajan Gandhi (Harvard University), Scott Mori (New York Botanical Garden), Leslie Overstreet (Smithsonian Institution Libraries), Warren Wagner (Smithsonian Department of Botany), and John Wiersema (National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, USDA). The final speaker at the event was Nicolson’s wife, Alice, who provided a very personal and touching account of his Smithsonian career.
Nicolson joined the Smithsonian Institution in 1964. He specialized in Asian and West Indian botany and the Araceae. He was deeply involved in botanical nomenclature and had a strong interest in botanical bibliography and history. After a highly productive career, Nicolson retired from the Smithsonian in 2005. He continued to be active for several years as an emeritus curator until health issues prevented him from coming into the Department of Botany.