Daniel F. Austin

Book Review Editor, Economic Botany
Current address: Conservation & Science Department
Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
2021 N. Kinney Road, Tucson, AZ 85743
E-Mail: dr_ipomoea@yahoo.com



Professional Societies



  • Technical Advisor, The Nature Conservancy, Office of Endangered Species, Tallahassee
  • Advisory Board of The Wildflower Society, Florida and Caribbean Region, Delray Beach
  • Advisory Group, Endangered Species Book, Florida Natural Areas Inventory, Tallahassee


  • CESI Landscape Science Advisory Committee, USGS, Biological Resources Division, Miami
  • South Florida Ecosystem Recovery Strategy Team, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Vero Beach
  • Recovery Team Member for Cereus eriophorus, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Vero Beach
  • Sweetpotato Crop Germplasm Committee on Sweet Potato, U.S.D.A., Beltsville, Md.

Research Program

CONVOLVULACEAE: My primary research focuses on the family Convolvulaceae. Members of this family are commonly called Morning Glories. Emphasis has been on American taxa, especially the genus Ipomoea since 1970. Additional knowledge has been obtained with the African and Asian species through field work in Sri Lanka in collaboration with the "Flora of Ceylon Project" and on African plants with Dr. Sebsebe Demissew (Addis Abeba University, Addis Abeba, Ethiopia) who worked with me as a Fulbright Fellow.

AMERICAN IPOMOEA: A database on the American members of Ipomoea was published [D. F. Austin and Z. Huáman. 1996. A synopsis of Ipomoea (Convolvulaceae) in the Americas. Taxon 45:3-38]; the data are made available here in a modified format (Ipomoea). NOTE: If you do not wish to read through all of the history and other information regarding the classification of Ipomoea into groups, or if you wish to look up some information on the place of publication, synonymy and typification of a species, look at this source Nomenclator Ipomoeeae.

EVOLUTIONARY RELATIONSHIPS: A paper analyzes the phyletic relationships of parallel and convergent traits in all 55 genera within the family. This was published in 1998 in the book "Diversity and Taxonomy of Tropical Flowering Plants." Pp. 201-234, In. Mathews, P. and M. Sivadasan (eds.). Mentor Books, Calicut, India.

ETHNOBOTANY: Study of the Convolvulaceae enhanced an interest in the relationships of plants and people. Ethnobotany (uses of plants by people) has been an important part of all my studies. Some investigations contributed more to the topic than others, and the sweet potato relatives (Ipomoea ser. Batatas) allowed me to delve deeper into how humans relate to plants. As part of my involved with the Society for Economic Botany (SEB), I became Book Review Editor (Editorial offices); SEE ALSO the SEB Webpages in the USA (SEB) and in the UK (SEB-UK).

EXOTIC PLANTS: A secondary research emphasis has been on the impacts of exotic plants on endangered floras. As compiler of the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council's "Invasive Plant" list (1991-2001), I maintained contact with people throughout the Florida who work regularly in the field. This list is updated every two years and serves as a status report of the non-native plants that are pests in the state. For more information see their website (EPPC).


Over the years I have published over 35 book chapters & books, over 100 journal papers, and over 60 popular articles, plus numerous book reviews & abstracts.
Publications 1992 to 2010

My book Florida Ethnobotany was awarded the 2005 Mary W. Klinger Award by the Society for Economic Botany, and has been nominated for the Council on Botanical & Horticultural Libraries' Seventh Annual Literature Award of 2006.


The photograph of a yellow-flowered vine at the bottom of the page is Merremia austinii J. A. MacDonald, courtesy of the author.

The drawings in the background were made by Ms. Jill Young, and were published in the Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society 142(2): 140-159. 1997.

ARIZ Herbarium
The Convolvulaceae collection from FAU is being transferred to ARIZ. Most of the FAU herbarium has been moved to Fairchild Tropical Garden, although a representative set remains on the Davie Campus. Those interested in the Davie collection should contact Dr. Diane Owen