R. Dale Thomas

We wanted to share the news of the passing of R. Dale Thomas. He was born November 12, 1936 and died May 28, 2022. He was a professor of botany and curator of the herbarium at University of Louisiana at Monroe, Louisiana U.S.A.

His specimens have been a common feature on Notes from Nature over the years and his contributions to our knowledge of plant diversity were enormous. He is likely the most prolific plant collector ever with over 174,000 specimens.

He shared his knowledge of plants with his community, generations of students, and researchers around the world. His specimens are now housed at the Botanical Research Institute of Texas. The following images show R. Dale Thomas visiting the Botanical Research Institute of Texas in 2018 to make sure his collections were all in order after the transfer from the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

We’d like to take this moment to honor his legacy and his monumental contribution to the knowledge of the natural world. To see some of his specimens check out our current Notes from Nature expedition called Dr. Thomas’s Treasures from the Southeastern US & BEYOND #2 which is focused on his specimens.

You can also view many of his specimens on the SERNEC data portal.

This fern specimen was collected by R. Dale Thomas in 1992. This was one of his favorite ferns and a place he often collected with his children.

Full Obituary: Roy Dale Thomas’s obituary

— The Notes from Nature Team

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