From Plant Press, Vol. 18, No. 3, July 2015.
The Department of Botany and the United States National Herbarium present the annual José Cuatrecasas Medal for Excellence in Tropical Botany to a botanist and scholar of international stature who has contributed significantly to advancing the field of tropical botany. The award is named in honor of Dr. José Cuatrecasas, a pioneering botanist and taxonomist, who spent nearly a half-century working in the Smithsonian Institution's Department of Botany. Dr. Cuatrecasas devoted his career to plant exploration in tropical South America and this award serves to keep vibrant the accomplishments and memory of this outstanding scientist.
The winner of this prestigious award is selected by a committee made up of four botanists on the staff of the Department in consultation with other plant scientists outside of the Smithsonian Institution. Nominations for the Medal are accepted from all scientists in the Botany Department. The award consists of a bronze medal bearing an image of José Cuatrecasas on the front with the recipient’s name and date of presentation on the back. Highlights from past presentations to the recipients are available at <http://botany.si.edu/cuatrecasas/cuatrecasasMedal.cfm>.
Paulo Günter Windisch is the 13th recipient of the José Cuatrecasas Medal for Excellence in Tropical Botany. Windisch, a retired professor from the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, is noted for his extensive contributions to the systematics, biogeography, and evolution of Neotropical pteridophytes. He has published almost 100 research articles—almost all on ferns and fern allies—and a book-length guide to the pteridophytes of São Paulo state in Brazil. In addition, he and his students have presented well over 100 talks in meetings and congresses. This latter statistic speaks to another aspect of Windisch’s career that is especially noteworthy and exemplary: his impressive contribution to educating and mentoring university students in Brazil. Windisch has served as principal advisor to 16 Masters-level and eight PhD-level students, as well as serving on the post-graduate committees of another 30 students. Now retired from university teaching, Paulo continues to publish on tropical American ferns.