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.
> Peter Bernhardt
> Department of Biology
> 3507 Laclede Ave.
> Saint Louis, Missouri 63103
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