The University of North Carolina Herbarium has
catalogued more than 1,870 specimens collected by Robert M. Downs. As only
about 10% of the collection is currently databased,
no doubt many more will be found.
Most of Mr. Downs' specimens at NCU date from
1966-1987. Many were collected along the Potomac River in Virginia and West
Virginia. He frequently noted the geology of the collection site on the
label. These specimens were collected during graduate work at the University
of North Carolina. A typescript draft of a thesis (M.A.) submitted to the
Department of Botany in 1976, "The vascular flora of the Upper Potomac
River Valley," is in the Couch Botany Library at UNC-Chapel Hill. Mr.
Downs did not complete the thesis.
From 1970 to 1973 Downs was the botanist for
the North Carolina Museum of Science. The specimens collected during his
tenure there were transferred to the North Carolina State University Herbarium
Mr. Downs was the Assistant Curator of the Jesup Herbarium at Dartmouth College (HNH) for many
years, then became its Curator in 1984 upon the
death of Dr. James Poole. The Jesup Herbarium's
holdings from the Southeastern United States were transferred to NCU in 2000.
Mr. Downs died at age 76 in West Lebanon, New