Ravenna's vanity press, some shameless scientific self-promotion and Pyrolirion

Nolo Contendere bulbman@hotmail.com
Sat, 09 Oct 2010 15:48:25 PDT
  I have tried twice to address such vanity taxonomy with proposals to 
amend the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature, the second time 
with input from Peter Raven and Peter Goldblatt, but only the first time 
(1984) did I actually go ahead and submit it.  Shot down.  The second 
time, my advisers STILL didn't think the committee would vote positively 
in majority, and I never sent it in.  Ravenna does not his send his 
self-published journals to any institution in the U.S., ostensibly to 
make it difficult for Peter Goldblatt or I to monitor his mischief.  
When I was in Chile, I was told that a mysterious fire had done an 
undetermined amount of damage to Ravenna's private herbarium, home of 
numerous holotypes of his taxa (he will always choose a holotype from 
his own specimen made from cultivation, even if there specimens 
available, represented by several duplicates at various herbaria, that 
can be assigned to the new species.  Raven, before his retirement, was 
exploring legal action in Chile to try and get hundreds of herbarium 
specimens back that were loaned to Ravenna in the 70's.  He also has 
material from NY and B.  All may have been destroyed in the fire, which 
some botanists in Chile told me that they thought he set deliberately.

In case anyone is interested, In my paper in the new book from Aarhus 
University Press in Denmark, "Diversity, Phylogeny, and Evolution in the 
Monocotyledons: Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on 
the Comparative Biology of the Monocotyledons," I present genetic 
evidence that there may have been early reticulation (hybridization) in 
the lineages of the Hippeastreae.  In the same paper, Pyrolirion is 
shown, via both chloroplast and nuclear DNA sequences to be a member of 
the Eustephieae (sister to the other three genera), and no immediate 
relative of Zephyranthes and Habranthus.


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