Katherine Gould was a Ph.D. student in botany at the University of
Texas when she first heard about the enormous variety and rarity of certain
columbines. “One of my professors worked on columbine genetics,” says Kathy.
“Then on a hike in Arizona, I came across some beautiful golden columbines
growing near a stream in a desert oasis. Seeing them felt like a miracle.”
Kathy obtained her degree in tropical plant systematics, working on the
genus Spigelia, which includes the North American wildflower S.
marilandica, Indian pink. After doing postdoctoral research at Harvard, she
worked for two years in BBG’s Science department as coordinator of the New York
Metropolitan Flora project. She has now resumed research on tropical plant
systematics, this time on South American gentians.