Arne Strid (Professor Emeritus, University of Copenhagen), “The botanical exploration of Greece”
The Greek flora comprises about 5,700 species of flowering plants, three times as many as in Scandinavia. Around 22 per cent are endemic, i.e., do not occur elsewhere. With its many islands and mountains Greece is a great natural laboratory for students of biogeography and evolution. The lecture gives a brief historical sketch from ancient times to the present. Scandinavian interest in the Greek flora goes back about 60 years and has been developed mainly in Lund and Copenhagen. Examples are given of diversity and distribution patterns of Greek plants, and a current project for mapping the flora of Greece is presented.
Arne Strid was born in 1943 in Sweden. He studied at the University of Lund, obtaining a Ph.D. in botany in 1970. Between 1973 and 2000 he was professor at the University of Copenhagen, and between 2000 and 2008 director of the Göteborg Botanical Garden in Sweden. After retirement in 2008 he settled again in Denmark and continued research on the Greek flora; a major recent publication is “Atlas of the Aegean Flora” (2 vols, 1578 pp., 2016). In 2017 he was awarded an honorary doctorate at the University of Athens.