Duke Flags Lowered in Honor of Robert Wilbur, Biology Emeritus Professor

Robert Wilbur smiles at the camera

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our colleague, Duke Professor and Herbarium Curator Emeritus Robert L. Wilbur (1925-2022). Bob passed away on 31 October 2022 with his family by his side. His long and distinguished career at Duke University began in 1957, when he joined the faculty of what was then the Botany Department. Over the course of many years, he was a professor, a former Department chair, a mentor to students, a taxonomist of temperate and tropical floras, the Curator of the Duke Vascular Herbarium, and a prodigious collector of plants of the Tropics (mainly Panama and Costa Rica) and the Southeastern United States. Taxa of special interest to him were the tropical Campanulaceae and the Central American species of the Gentianaceae.

The Duke flags are lowered today in his honor. You may share a memory of Dr. Wilbur, leave condolences to the family, or find information on where to make a donation in his name here

Collage of three herbarium specimens collected and prepared by Dr. Robert Wilbur, each with a dried and pressed plant, a color stand plate, a scale, and a label indicating the species name, collection locality, date, and collector name
Three of the hundreds of specimens of Central American plants Robert Wilbur collected over his lifetime. These three are part of the Duke Herbarium collection, but specimens collected by him and his students can be found in herbariums and museums all over the world.