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Donald R Kaplan

Donald R Kaplan

Male 1938 - 2007  (69 years)

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  • Name Donald R Kaplan 
    Born 17 Jan 1938  Chicago, IL, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Guest edited by D. A. DeMason and A. M. Hirsch

    A symposium was organized to honour Dr Donald R. Kaplan, who enjoyed a productive and influential career in both research and teaching at the University
    of California, Berkeley. Don’s achievements have been recognized by numerous awards, including the Alexander von Humboldt Distinguished Senior US Scientist
    Award, Guggenheim Fellow, the Botanical Society of America’s Merit, Pelton and Charles Edwin Bessey awards, and the UC Berkeley Distinguished Teaching

    As a plant morphologist, Don Kaplan has a unique perspective. His approach towards research was strictly analytical and based on key concepts and
    principles. Thus, his research pursuits were always hypothesis-driven. Throughout his career, Don focused on fundamental structural and developmental commonalities
    that underlie plant form across different major taxa. His scientific repertoire spanned the algae, bryophytes, ferns, gymnosperms and angiosperms.

    Basic to Don’s research were the very high standards he set for himself and those around him. The combination of these characteristics made him a centre of
    influence in plant morphology and development for decades.

    Don Kaplan’s research accomplishments are too many to enumerate, so we highlight just a few. A major focus was on mechanisms of leaf development,
    including the phyllode theory of leaf development in Acacia

    (Kaplan, 1980), leaf development and evolution in monocotyledons (Kaplan, 1973a, 1975), the development of the ‘rachis’ leaves in the Apiaceae (Kaplan,
    1970), the mechanism of plication in palm leaves (Kaplan, Dengler & Dengler, 1982a, b; Kaplan, 1983), and the mechanism of leaf perforation via controlled
    cell death in Monstera (Kaplan, 1983).

    Another of his key research areas was the relationship of cell and organism in vascular plants (Kaplan & Hagemann, 1991; Kaplan, 1992). Indeed, his ideas on this topic
    have had a major impact on recent studies in plant molecular biology/genetics.

    Finally, Don Kaplan has been interested in the history of plant morphology, especially the people who established the basic principles and concepts for the field, such as Goethe (Kaplan & Hagemann, 1992), Hofmeister (Kaplan & Cooke, 1996), Goebel and Troll.

    Don Kaplan addressed teaching with the same analytical and hypothesis-driven approaches that he used in his research. During his years at Berkeley, he
    taught a number of courses, including General Botany and Plant Anatomy, but his real ‘Opus and Love’ was his Principles of Plant Morphology course. In
    this upper division class, Don presented his unique approach and perspective on morphology and development, variations of which were then related to adaptation
    of the whole plant to divergent life strategies.

    This course was the basis for the book he has been devoted to writing in the later stages of his career. In an article in the Plant Science Bulletin (Kaplan,
    1973b), he states: ‘For some time I have felt that since morphology has its own principles and phenomenology, there is no reason that it could not be taught along
    the same lines as courses in physiology and anatomy.’ This approach contrasts with the classical life-cyclebased approach of teaching, in which ‘morphology
    emerges simply as a handmaiden of systematics rather than a basic science in its own right.’

    In so teaching, Don Kaplan made Botany come alive for many generations of Berkeley undergraduates. Don Kaplan’s approach to graduate education was
    also unique, especially by today’s standards.  [1
    Hebrew Birth 15 Shv 5698 
    Died 17 Dec 2007  Kensington, CA, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Hebrew Death 20 Kis 5769 
    Occupation Professor Of Botany Univ Of Calif Berkely 
    Residence Chicago, IL, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Residence Kensington, CA, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I3926  Blank Family
    Last Modified 20 Oct 2010 

    Family Living 
     1. Living
     2. Living
    Last Modified 1 Jun 2006 
    Family ID F322  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 17 Jan 1938 - Chicago, IL, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 17 Dec 2007 - Kensington, CA, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - - Chicago, IL, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - - Kensington, CA, USA Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Photos
    Kaplan Donald
    Kaplan Donald

  • Sources 
    1. [S364] Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, The Linnean Society of London.

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