Patrick S. Herendeen


Senior Director, Plant Biology. Chicago Botanic Garden.


Patrick Herendeen is a botanist and paleontologist interested in the evolutionary history of plants. Dr. Herendeen received his B.S. from California State University Long Beach, M.S. from Michigan State University, and Ph.D. from Indiana University. He did postdoctoral research appointments at the Swedish Museum of Natural History and Cornell University before working as an adjunct curator at Field Museum in Chicago for five years. Before joining the Chicago Botanic Garden in 2008 he was on the faculty at George Washington University for 11 years.
Dr. Herendeen’s research is focused on documenting the evolutionary history of flowering plants. Paleontological data provide unique insights into phylogeny, biogeography, and taxonomic and structural diversity that are not available in studies that include only living organisms. Two primary research projects are focused on the early evolutionary history of the flowering plants and systematics and evolution of the legume family. Paleobotanical data are important in both studies. The flowering plants are the largest group of land plants, yet their origin and early diversification have long been poorly understood. Dr. Herendeen and his collaborators are studying fossil flowers, fruits, and seeds that have been preserved as charcoal or even as mummified remains from numerous fossil localities in North America, Europe, Japan, and most recently Mongolia.
Dr. Herendeen has considerable experience in national and international conference planning. He served as Program Director for the American Society of Plant Taxonomists and was involved in planning of the annual Botany conference for eight years. He has also organized other smaller conferences and symposia. He was appointed as Secretary of the International Association of Botanical and Mycological Societies (IABMS) in 2016 and has served as Chair since 2017. IABMS is the organization charged with ensuring the ongoing continuance and success of the International Botanical Congresses (IBC).