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12-14 APRIL, 2013

Willis Linn Jepson gathered a small group of interested people together on 12 April 1913 in the Oakland Public Museum to found the Society. He was elected the first President and organized the first banquet in September 1913 that hosted members of the International Phytogeographic Excursion, who were then exploring California. These first guests included some of the most distinguished botanists of the time:

Adolf Engler of Berlin; C. von Tubeuf of Munich; Edward Rübel, H. Brockmann-Jerosch,and Carl Schröter of Zürich; A. G. Tansley of Cambridge; T.J . Stomps of Amsterdam; OvePaulsen of Copenhagen; Carl Skottsberg of Uppsala; H. C. Cowles of Chicago; A. Dachnowski of Columbus; F. E. Clements and Edith Clements of Minneapolis; George Fuller of Chicago;and George Nichols of New Haven. Our current celebration remembers the past, but now, a hundred years later, we reflect on the future of botanical research in our symposium and in the graduate student meetings that follow.

Many of the early objectives of the Society have been achieved, creating a regional society that keeps in contact with its membership via the journal Madroño. The world relations that Jepson had in mind continue today, and we have multiple technological means of communication now that accomplish such tasks. The principal goals of promoting research and of diffusing accurate botanical knowledge in an accessible form to the society at large remain. We live in a changing society that rapidly is evolving technologically, and the Society continues these core goals focused on botanical research. The California Botanical Society responds to these social pressures by adapting technologically and we are proud that all issues Madroño have been digitized for online scholarship. Nevertheless, research remains a human enterprise. It explores not only the plants of our complex western North American landscapes, but also exploring the changing theoretical landscapes of our disciplines.

Symposium program

New tools for old questions in California botany: Genomic studies of
Fragaria and Rosaceae - Aaron Liston
Recent technological advances allow biologists to obtain genome sequences from virtually any organism.These methods can be utilized to sequence hundreds of loci in an individual, greatly expanding the power of phylogenetics and population genetics. The goal of linking the phenotype and genotype is also within reach, and it is now possible to readily identify the genetic basis of traits of interest in natural populations. I will illustrate these advances with phylogenetic results from Rosaceae and studies of biogeography,hybridization,polyploidy, and sexual system evolution in Fragaria.