W. John Kress
Director, Consortium for Understanding and Sustaining a Biodiverse Planet and Curator of Botany
W. John Kress is director of the Consortium for Understanding and Sustaining a Biodiverse Planet, one of the four grand challenges of the Smithsonian’s strategic plan. The Grand Challenges are the priorities that will guide the Smithsonian’s work over the next decade. The consortia directors and their committee consider proposals for innovative research, exhibitions and programs from all over the Institution and determine which ones will receive funding. Kress also serves as curator of botany at the National Museum of Natural History. He is an expert on tropical biology, with interests in the evolution and ecology of tropical plants and animals. Working with geneticists and computer scientists, he has devoted some of his research effort to applying new technologies—such as DNA barcoding and computerized image recognition—to increase understanding of the diversity of plants.
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