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Britt Griswold <[log in to unmask]>
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SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration- <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 8 Dec 2009 16:35:29 -0500
text/plain (53 lines)
A friend asked me to forward this to the list:

> From: Peter Bernhardt <[log in to unmask]>
> Dear Colleagues:
> Have you received any notification of the death of Rica Erickson in 
> late August 2009?  She was 101.  The loss of Ms. Erickson may be of 
> particular interest to American institutions collecting botanical 
> art and/or continuing field research on the Australian flora and fauna.
> In particular, Ms. Erickson was an authority on the orchids, 
> carnivorous plants and trigger plants (Stylidiaceae) of Western 
> Australia.  She also studied their pollination biology and the 
> life-cycles of native bees and wasps.  In fact, she received some 
> guidance and instruction on plant-insect interactions from Edith 
> Coleman and Tarlton Rayment.  Erickson's life defined an 
> extraordinary period in Australian natural history and the major 
> contributions of amateurs who worked together then shared their 
> findings with the scientific community, at large.  Some of her 
> insect-plant work is depicted in three of her, self-illustrated 
> books, "Orchids of The West," "Plants of Prey" and "Trigger Plants."
> Some of Ms. Erickson's memoirs were published in her last book, "A 
> Naturalist's Life" (2005, U. of Western Australia Press).  The book 
> mentions that examples of her original artwork are held by the 
> Carnegie Mellon Foundation.  This must mean it is in the Hunt 
> Botanical Institute.
> If you were informed of the death of Ms. Erickson months ago please 
> accept my apologies for late notification.  I arrived in Perth on 
> September first as part of a National Geographic funded grant to 
> work on the pollination of sun orchids (Thelymitra).  Prior to 
> flying to WA, I asked Dr. Kingsley Dixon (Kings Park and Botanical 
> Garden, Research/Conservation) if I could meet Ms. Erickson and he 
> agreed to introduce me.  Unfortunately, I arrived a week too late 
> and there was only a brief piece on Ms. Erickson's passing in an 
> awful daily tabloid. Australia lost a living treasure and forgot to 
> mention it to the rest of the world.
> Sincerely,
> Peter Bernhardt
> Department of Biology
> 3507 Laclede Ave.
> Saint Louis, Missouri 63103
> U.S.A.

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