Liriodendron tulipifera flower

The University of North Carolina
A Department of the North Carolina Botanical Garden


Collectors of the UNC Herbarium
The following information was compiled by Carol Ann McCormick,
Curator, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Herbarium (NCU)

Ross C. Clark
(b. 1940)

The University of North Carolina Herbarium (NCU) has databased approximately 1500 specimens collected by Ross Clark. Most were collected in the 1960s and 1970s. No doubt many more of Clark's specimens will be catalogued in coming years as databasing continues.

Clark received his Master of Arts in the Department of Botany at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1966; the title of his thesis was "The Vascular Flora of the Fiery Gizzard Gorges in South-central Tennessee." The vouchers for this study are in NCU's collection. Clark's Ph.D. thesis dating from 1969, also completed at UNC-CH, is entitled "A Distributional Study of the Woody Plants of Alabama" and the vouchers for this study are also at NCU.

Besides NCU, other herbaria that hold substantial numbers of Clark's specimens include:
MOR Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois, U.S.A
EKY Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Kentucky, U.S.A.
CONV Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina U.S.A.

The following information, written by Ross Clark, is from his website at Eastern Kentucky University:

I'm from Virginia and finished high school in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. I received a B.A. in biology from the University of the South and an M.A. and Ph.D. in plant systematics and general ecology from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where my advisor was Albert E. Radford. My undergraduate mentor in botany was George S. Ramseur, Jr. In the picture below, Ramseur, Radford and I are pictured from left to right. My master's thesis was The Flora of the Fiery Gizzard Gorges in South-Central Tennessee. The publication title of my Ph.D. dissertation was The Woody Plants of Alabama.

I taught at the University of South Carolina at Spartanburg and Erskine College before serving as Curator of Education at the Morton Arboretum for over 12 years. In 1992, I came to EKU as Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences, and shifted into full-time teaching in 1998. At EKU, I've received two outstanding teaching awards: the National Alumni Association Outstanding Teaching Award (2002), and a Student Government Distinguished Educational Leader Award for Exceptional Classroom Performance (2004). In the early 1970s, I won a similar award at the University of South Carolina at Spartanburg.

Among my 50+ publications are a treatment of the woody plants of Alabama and a book on the trees of the Chicago region.

Taxonomy of temperate woody plants; vascular plant biodiversity (an esoteric way of saying floristics, which is an esoteric way of saying I'm always curious about what's growing where and why); descriptive plant community ecology.

Studies of temperate Aquifoliaceae (that's hollies); flora of Kentucky. Specifically, I'm working on floras of Cumberland County, the Red River Gorge, and a statewide, comprehensive study of Kentucky woody plants.. There are plenty of opportunities for students to get involved with me in these or other projects.

Clark, R.C. 1998. Encouraging new biologists. Trans. Kentucky Acad. Sci. 59(1): 44-46.
Clark, R.C. & R.M. Bauer. 2001. Woody plants of six northern Kentucky counties. Jour. Kentucky Acad. Sci. 62(1): 39-51.
Clark, R. C. 2002. Intrinsic and overlooked factors favoring the establishment and spread of woody weeds. Invited paper presented at Fourth Annual Symposium, Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council.
Clark, R. C. 2002. Aquifoliaceae. In Wofford, B. E. & E. W. Chester. Guide to the Trees, Shrubs and Woody Vines of Tennessee. pp. 97-98. Knoxville: Univ. of Tennessee Press.

I'm a low-powered woody plant fanatic; our one-acre lot includes about 120 species of trees, shrubs and woody vines. At times, I've been big into gandy dancing, beekeeping, tuba playing, bicycling, goat breeding and bonsai culture. I'm for everything that Republicans detest. That should be enough to scare you off . . ..

From left to right: George Ramseur (University of the South); Albert E. Radford (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill); Ross C. Clark (Eastern Kentucky University)

Photo: Ca. 1990, taken by George Ramseur's daughter, Kathryn, at a pig pickin' in Sewanee, Tennessee, to celebrate George Ramseur's retirement from The University of the South.


University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Herbarium (NCU)
CB# 3280, Coker Hall
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3280
phone: (919) 962-6931


Last Updated: 9 April 2018