Professor Peter Raven ForMemRS

Peter Raven is a student of plant systematics, evolution and ecology, and an active conservationist. He has done important work on the cytogenetics of plant evolution, folk taxonomy, pollination biology and biogeography, especially of the southern hemisphere. With Paul Ehrlich ForMemRS, he developed the theory of coevolution and named the phenomenon in the early 1960s.

One of the first to apply a consideration of plate tectonics to the interpretation of distributions of plants and animals around the world, Peter published a fruitful series of papers in this area from during the 1970s and early 1980s. He served as Co-Editor of the Flora of China, bringing the 49-volume work to completion in early 2014. Over a period of 39 years, he led the Missouri Botanical Garden to become a world force in plant systematics and conservation.

Peter has been an important influence in the area of conservation and the attainment of sustainability, widely emphasising the roles of population, consumption, and technology in driving species extinction and climate change.

Professional position

  • Director, American Friends Of The Royal Society, The Royal Society
  • Chairman of the Board, Center for Plant Conservation
  • President Emeritus, Missouri Botanical Garden
  • Trustee, National Geographic Society

Subject groups

  • Organismal biology, evolution and ecology

    Plant sciences / botany, Evolution, Taxonomy and systematics


  • International Cosmos Prize

    No citation available for this award.

Professor Peter Raven ForMemRS
Elected 2002