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Watson elected to Society of Women Geographers

Linda Watson (botany) was recently elected to the Society of Woman Geographers (SWG).

The society, established in 1925 when no other "explorer" organization accepted women, elects about five new members each year by nomination. Of its more than 600 lifetime members, only two others come from Ohio, including Miami geography professor emerita Bertha Thompson.

The society brings together women "explorers at heart," geographers in the broadest sense, in fields including biology, geography, archaeology and others. Membership requires a record of publication and extensive international travel.

Watson has traveled to several continents for her research. She has collected plants in South Africa, Spain, Morocco and the Bahamas as well as in North America; conducted research in Sweden and presented papers in Australia, England and Canada; and traveled to Peru, Italy and the Netherlands.

Her research focuses on understanding evolutionary patterns and processes in plants using molecular data. She has documented the biogeographic origins of many plant groups and their patterns of dispersal using DNA to track their evolutionary history. Her work has been supported by nearly $750,000 in grants from organizations including the National Science Foundation and the Ohio Plant Biotechnology Consortium.

Watson will join SWG members whose ranks include Jane Goodall, Margaret Mead and Rachel Carson.

Date Published: 12/05/2002
Volume: 22   Number: 18

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