W. John Kress BOTANIST

Morrill, Julia
September 2003
Sports Illustrated;9/8/2003, Vol. 99 Issue 9, pA26
W. John Kress is a botanist working at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. You might describe Kress as something of a real-life Indiana Jones. Kress's quest, however, is not for the Ark of the Covenant. Rather, his grail is the flower known as heliconia and its relatives. His work has taken him on two-month-long treks through Colombia, Panama, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and, most recently, Myanmar (formerly Burma). Last month Kress, who graduated from Harvard and earned his Ph.D. at Duke, published a book documenting the 12,000 species of plants that have been recorded in Myanmar, many collected over his seven years of exploration.


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