In the summer of 1877 botanists Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker and Asa Gray joined F.V. Hayden’s geological survey to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado as expedition botanists. Hooker later wrote in 1979, that he had sent Asa Gray a paper that discussed points of affinity between the Rocky Mountain flora and that of the Altai mountains of Central Asia where he had traveled extensively and collected botanical specimens. My project involves completion of the translation of the modern work by R. V. Kamelin, Materials about the History of the Asian Flora (Altai Mountain Country) in which Kamelin identifies and discusses ideas about the evolutionary history of disjunct plant species pairs that occur only in the Rocky Mountain west of the United States and the Altai mountain region (the mountain range extends into Russia, China, Mongolia, and Kazakhstan). I will work on the translation in partnership with the author, a senior botanist at the Komarov Botanical Institute, St. Petersburg. I will also map, photograph, and collect plant specimens in their natural habitats during Kamelin’s summer expeditions to the Altai region. Once the translated text is available to American botanists, morphological and molecular work will move forward to analyze the evolutionary relationships of the disjunct species pairs.
I am a professor of botany at Rocky Mountain College, Billings, MT where I teach courses in plant ecology, botany, and environmental science. My previous botanical work in Central Asia focused on the comparative floras of the Djungarsky Range of eastern Kazakhstan and that of the flora of Montana, botanical surveys of rare plant species in the Almaty reserve, Kazakhstan, and the ecology study of Bupleurum triradiatum Adams. (Apiaceae) with botanist J. Kotokov in the Kazakhstan Altai region.