Portrait of Lucinda McDade

Lucinda McDade was hired in fall 2006 as chair of the Botany Department at Claremont Graduate University and serves as the Judith B. Friend Director of Research at the California Botanic Garden (formerly Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden). She currently serves as executive director of the California Botanic Garden.

McDade’s research focuses on the large plant family Acanthaceae, on the role of hybridization in plant evolutionary history, in phylogeny reconstruction, and on plant reproductive biology. McDade’s work has received prestigious grants from the National Science Foundation, Andrew Mellon Foundation, Fletcher Jones Foundation, and more. She is currently conducting several NSF-funded research projects, including curation and preservation of plant collections, understanding constraints on floral evolution, comparative biology in a phylogenetic age, and harnessing the power of herbaria to understand the changing flora of California.

Before joining RSABG and CGU, McDade was an assistant professor and herbarium curator at the University of Arizona from 1992 to 2000, then served as associate curator and chair of botany at the Academy of Natural Sciences until 2006.

McDade’s many appointments and honors include Merit Award honoree, Botanical Society of America (2013); president, American Society of Plant Taxonomists (2003–2004); Melinda F. Denton Memorial Lecturer, University of Washington (1998); president, Association for Tropical Biology (1995); and membership in Sigma Xi (1980). In 2010, she became the first-ever chair of the Botanical Society of America (BSA) Advisory Council, the largest professional society of plant scientists in the United States.

McDade has been an invited speaker at the Academy of Natural Sciences and numerous colleges and universities. She delivered keynote addresses at the California Desert Research Symposium (2012) and the South African Society for Systematic Biology’s National Meeting (2008).

Co-authored with T.F. Daniel, C.A. Kiel, and A.J. Borg. “Phylogenetic Placement, Delimitation, and Relationships Among Genera of the Enigmatic Nelsonioideae (Lamiales: Acanthaceae).” Taxon 61 (2012): 637–51.

Co-authored with M. Daly, P.S. Herendeen, R.P. Guralnick, M.W. Westneat. “Systematics Agenda 2020: The Mission Evolves.” Systematic Biology 61(2012): 549–52.

Co-authored with E.A.Tripp, E. A. A rich fossil record yields calibrated phylogeny for Acanthaceae (Lamiales) and evidence for marked biases in timing and directionality of intercontinental disjunctions. Systematic Biology (2014) 63: 660-84. doi: 10.1093/sysbio/syu029.

Co-authored with D.R.R. Maddison, R. Guralnick, H.A. Piowar, M.L. Jameson, K.M. Helgen, P.S. Herendeen, A. Hill, M.L. Vis. “A Challenge to Biologists to Create and Embrace a New Assessment System for Modern Professional Productivity.” BioScience 61 (2011): 619–25.

“The multi-faceted contributions to conservation of California plants from Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden.” Conference Presentation. CNPS Conference, 2009.

Angiosperm Families: What Happened to Cronquist’s Dilleniidae?
Seminar in Systematic Botany
Plant Reproductive Biology
Plant Families
Readings in Plant Systematics
Advanced Botanical & Evolutionary Research
Advanced Seed Plant Phylogenetic Systematics