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William Campbell Dickison: a biographical tribute and bibliography.

II. Early and Formative Years

Born of Scottish heritage, on 12 March 1941, in Jamaica, New York, William Campbell Dickison was the son of William and Eileen Dickison. Bill (Fig. 2) was the second of four children. His grandfather, who belonged to the Campbell clan, emigrated from Scotland to Ottawa, Canada. Bill's father left Canada to study at Cornell University, where he received his doctorate in entomology. Bill spent his first five years in the Gulfport-Biloxi, Mississippi region, where his father worked for the U.S. government, assisting in the control of insect infestations of the southern states. His father then accepted a position as technical advisor for the H. D. Hudson Manufacturing Company, a maker of sprayers and farm equipment, in Chicago, Illinois. William, known as Campbell until he entered college, was raised in Des Plaines (a suburb of Chicago) and developed interests and values that would shape his future. The Dickisons' home was situated near the Des Plaines River, bordered by conservation property--a wonderful setting for this naturalist at heart. Bill and his older brother, Dennis, hiked and ran along the river trails in summer: in winter they walked on the ice. They explored the river in a Cris Craft boat they had built from a kit. Bill was especially attracted to the plants and animals that inhabited the river corridor, reading and studying about their habits and life. His keen observation and love of nature were evident even in these formative years (Fig. 3).

As a student at Maine Township High School in Des Plaines, Bill particularly excelled in all of his biology classes. On the high school track team, noted as one the finest in the Chicago region at that time, he specialized as a hurdler (Fig. 4). Earning a letter in indoor and outdoor track, he competed in the 400-meter hurdles in open meets in the Chicago area. He also enjoyed playing basketball as a pastime; and he liked archery, a sport he perfected by practicing on dead logs as he boated along the "neighborhood" river (Fig. 5). Throughout his younger years Bill was especially tall for his age. This mature look gave him an edge to start working as a golf caddy during summers earlier than his peers. At the age of sixteen he commenced annual summer maintenance work at Arlington Park Race Track. Through these jobs he earned not only pocket money but also substantial funds that would contribute to his college education. After receiving his diploma from Maine Township High School in 1958, he entered Western Illinois University, in Macomb.

III. College Studies

Bill began his studies toward a bachelor's degree in the curriculum of Teaching Biology at Western Illinois University in the fall of 1958. Among his required courses were Plant Morphology, Plant Pathology, and Plant Physiology. President of his freshman class (Fig. 6), he served on the Social and Calendar Committee and the Student Government and became a member of the Gamma Kappa chapter of the Delta Sigma Phi social fraternity. As in his earlier years, Bill pursued his love of running by joining the track team in his freshman year. With his strong interests in fauna and flora, he was elected to the honorary biology fraternity, Beta Beta Beta, which he subsequently served as secretary, then president (Fig. 7). Biology Professor Robert Henry (Fig. 8) remembers Bill as an unassuming, quiet, and dedicated student, with a friendly smile. Unknown to Dr. Henry at that time was the profound influence he had on Bill, who, in a letter dated 14 October 1993, articulated to him his thoughts about his undergraduate experience. Bill wrote that his "interest in botany had its origin in your [i.e., Henry's] course dealing with the Plant Kingdom and I can say without hesitation that I followed the right path." Bill earned his B.S.Ed. in 1962 (Fig. 9). Sparked by his strong academic interests in plants, he decided to attend graduate school to study botany.

While Bill was a student at WIU, a fortuitous chain of events occurred when he spotted an attractive coed on the Macomb campus and introduced himself to her. Bill was not aware that this student had seen him from a distance and commented to an accompanying friend that he was "the most handsome man on campus," and also stated, "I'm going to marry him!" A courtship ensued between Bill and Marlene Varner (Fig. 10), followed by their nuptials on 17 August 1963 at the Presbyterian Church in Macomb. Their companionship and love for each other continued throughout their life together.

Bill applied and was accepted for admission into the graduate program in botany at Indiana University (IU), supposedly to commence in the fall of 1962. However, the plant morphologist and paleobotanist on the IU faculty, Dr. James E. Canright (Fig. II), a Harvard graduate, had been seeking a research assistant earlier that year. After reviewing Bill's credentials, Canright offered him this National Science Foundation (NSF)-sponsored assistantship for the summer of 1962. This work entailed the comparative morphology of the tropical family Annonaceae, involving various aspects of microtechnique on floral buds and the preparation and mounting of pollen grains on slides. Canright later observed that his first impression of Bill was of a large, friendly Saint Bernard dog. It has been said elsewhere that Canright soon recognized Bill as a quick learner, a meticulous worker, and the top student in his plant anatomy and morphology courses. These scholastic characteristics and natural aptitudes would play an important role in shaping Bill's career in botany and his orderly progression in research. Bill was a teaching assistant from 1962 to 1965 in general botany atIU and in plant anatomy for Canright in the fall semester of 1963. He was awarded the M.A. in botany in 1964.

For his doctoral research Bill (Fig. 12) undertook a thorough comparative morphological study of the Dilleniaceae in order to elucidate characters already known, as well as to discover additional characters for better understanding the evolutionary relationships of the taxa in the family. His doctoral committee consisted of the botanists James E. Canright (major advisor), Charles B. Heiser, Paul G. Mahlberg, and Marcus M. Rhoades and the zoologist Frank J. Zeller.

In gathering research material for his studies on the dilleniaceous plants, Bill actively sought samples and information from botanists throughout the world. Among his correspondents were Irving W. Bailey, Elso S. Barghoorn, Brian L. Burtt, Sherwin Carlquist, Edred John H. Coiner, Ruurd D. Hoogland, Charles R. Metcalfe, G. Ledyard Stebbins, William L. Stem, and Carl L. Wilson. On a research trip to the Smithsonian Institution in the fall of 1964, he exuberantly reported success to his major professor. He was very pleased to obtain from the plant anatomist William L. Stem a set of 22 slide boxes, filled with slides of Dilleniaceae and numerous related families, resulting from work begun by the botanist Oswald Tippo (Stem's former mentor at the University of Illinois). Among Bill's additional acquisitions from the Smithsonian Institution were all of the wood samples preserved in jars, photographs and negatives of some of the slides, and data records.

Bill's enrollment at IU was highlighted not only by teaching and research responsibilities but also by a heavy load of courses, six of them alone with Canright: Plant Anatomy, Morphology Seminar, Microtechnique, Paleobotany, Palynology Seminar, and Morphology of Vascular Plants. In the summer of 1964 Canright left Indiana to accept the chairmanship of the Department of Botany and Microbiology at Arizona State University, In his last two years in graduate school at the Indiana campus, Bill enrolled in additional classes. On 2-3 April 1965 he took his preliminary doctoral examinations, which he passed "with flying colors." He spent his last academic year of graduate work in Canright's research laboratories at Arizona State University, serving as a teaching assistant in botany and assisting in Can- right's paleobotany course in the spring of 1966. Bill returned to IU in August 1966 to defend his dissertation, "Comparative Morphological Studies in Dilleniaceae." Graduate studies and the nurturing, caring guidance of his major advisor served as a finishing school for Bill. According to a 12 August 1966 letter, written to Canright by Bill's father, Bill arrived at Indiana "simply as a chap quite interested in the field of botany" but left as a person prepared to offer "tangible considerations and service to others."

IV. Virginia Polytechnic Institute

With his doctorate in hand, Bill accepted an assistant professorship in the Department of Biology at Virginia Polytechnic Institute (VPI), in Blacksburg, commencing in the fall of 1966. In a letter dated 15 September 1966 to Can- right, he expressed relief that he had successfully pulled a trailer with his household belongings across the country to Blacksburg. He thought the town was beautiful. With classes one week away, Bill was exceedingly busy preparing for a plant anatomy and vascular plant morphology course and also a section of general botany. He again wrote to his former major professor, informing him that although he remained very busy, he enjoyed teaching. Gradually he obtained scientific equipment to set up a laboratory, ready to begin research. He submitted the first manuscript based on his dissertation to the Journal of the Arnold Arboretum in July 1966, and he developed five other related papers while at VPI. The six parts were all serially published in this journal: 1) Wood Anatomy, 2) The Poll en, 3) The Carpels, 4) Anatomy of the Node and Vascularization of the Leaf, 5) Leaf Anatomy, and 6) Stamens and Young Stems. (Part 7, Additional Notes on Acrotrema, was published later.)

On 19 September 1967, at the beginning of Bill's second year at VPI, he and Marlene were blessed with the birth of their son, Christopher Campbell Dickison. In that year the aspiring young professor revised his course material and reorganized the anatomy course into a series on the morphology of nonvascular and vascular plants. Having developed his lecture notes the previous year, he now had opportunities to conduct field studies and his own research. He began to explore for fossils, in an effort to assemble a teaching collection. In addition to Carboniferous specimens, he found Mississippian samples that he shared with Canright. In the laboratory he worked on research projects concerning the anatomy of Barbeya, Clethra, and Saurauia. That summer Bill concurrently was a visiting assistant professor at Indiana University. Actively enhancing his professional stature, Bill attended meetings and educational programs and visited other research centers. In 1967 he attended the meetings of the Botanical Society of A merica and affiliated groups at Texas A&M College, held on 27-30 August. In 1968 Bill made two trips: in February to Harvard University, where he studied dilleniaceous material, and in June and July to Washington, DC, where he participated in the Smithsonian Summer Institute in Systematics (Fig. 13).

When the VPI Biology Department moved into new quarters in early 1969, Bill was excited to have a research laboratory with an adjoining office. At that time, however, Bill learned about a faculty opening for a plant anatomist in the Department of Botany at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill. Aware of UNC's nationally recognized botany program, he interviewed for the position in February 1969. Soon thereafter, he accepted an offer to become an assistant professor at Chapel Hill, effective 1 August 1969.

V. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

When Bill began his career at UNC, a vibrant botany program included 48 graduate students and 15 full-time faculty. The Department of Botany, housed in six-year-old Coker Hall, offered contemporary research laboratories and teaching facilities. According to the 1966 ratings of graduate departments by the American Council on Education, UNC's botany program ranked "Strong" (17th in the nation) regarding the effectiveness of its graduate program. During his tenure at UNC, Bill gained national and international recognition as a distinguished plant anatomist and morphologist, devoting a lifetime to education and research.

At Chapel Hill, Bill advanced in the academic ranks, to associate professor of botany on 1 July 1974, and then to professor of biology on 1 July 1985. During a leave of absence from UNC he was a visiting scholar in the research laboratory of Pieter Baas at the Rijksherbarium, Leiden, Holland, from 1 July 1976 through 1 January 1977. There his investigations in comparative plant anatomy progressed. He was also a guest professor at the Botanische Garten und Institut fur Systematische Botanik, Universitat Zurich, Switzerland, from 15 April to 30 July 1982. During his tenure at UNC the Botany and Zoology Departments merged into the Department of Biology, effective 1 July 1982. When courses such as General Botany were dropped from the curriculum, Bill lectured in general biology. Such was the department's change of mission that Bill experienced. Although not a strong proponent of this merger, Bill served for five years on the department's Long-Range Planning Committee, beginning in the 1982/1983 academic year, ass isting in charting the direction of the new department.


Bill began his research when plant structural studies were entering a new phase, enhanced by new techniques and methods. Early in his career these new research tools included electron microscopy, cinematography, and cladistics, and in later years molecular systematics and molecular developmental genetics. Nonetheless, Bill maintained a conservative research approach--some may label it "classical"--using tried-and-true methodologies and techniques established by such leaders in plant anatomy as I. W. Bailey and Donald A. Johansen. His first graduate student, Lytton Musselman (pers. comm., 2000), recounts his observations on Bill's use of wax for embedding plant material for sectioning. "In order to make blocks of paraffin, he folded index cards into little boats that were then filled with liquid paraffin. Most other plant anatomists in the early 1970s were using the stainless steel forms and paraffin dispensing machines manufactured for medical laboratories rather than index cards and beakers of liquid paraffi n in ovens." Bill used this methodology throughout his career. Although supplanted by more modem resins, Bill preferred using Canada balsam as a mounting medium.

No matter what methods he employed, it was Bill's constancy and thoroughness as a discerning interpreter of his observations of plant structures, accurate reporting of his observations, and use of new observations in drawing inferences about evolutionary relationships of angiosperms that distinguished his research. For his day, his work was important. The plant systematists Arthur Cronquist and Armen Takhtajan heavily cited Bill's inferences on plant evolution in their intuitive classification systems. Bill's insightful interpretation of his observations thus earned him utmost recognition and respect for his contributions in comparative plant anatomy and morphology. He was one of the ablest classical plant anatomists of his time.

Bill's anatomical and morphological studies, which included flowers, leaves, nodes, stems, and pollen, furthered understanding of the phylogeny and evolution of families of angiosperms, such as the Alseuosmiaceae, Bonnetiaceae, Connaraceae, Gunoniaceae, Dilleniaceae, Medusagynaceae, Oncothecaceae, Paracryphiaceae, Staphyleaceae, Strasburgeriaceae, and Styracaceae. In addition to his work on these families, he was the first to study comprehensively the wood anatomy of numerous hitherto never (or little) studied plants, among which were Diegodendron, Physena, Sanango, Seemannaralia, and Tetracarpaea. His anatomical studies of Barbeya successfully attributed its phylogenetic affinity with the Urticales.

Many of the plant groups that Bill studied are composed of monotypic genera or genera containing a few species. They are plant assemblages important in elucidating alliances with basal groups from which other major plant groups radiated. Numerous plants that he studied were relicts; some, such as Medusagyne oppositifolia, were exceedingly rare. Bill's research often formed a basis for future studies, especially those using new methodologies. For example, Fay et al. (1997) determined, through an analysis of rbcL sequence data, that M. oppositifolia is related to Ochnaceae and Quinaceae.

His studies also correlated analyses of wood and leaf anatomical characters with ecological preferences of taxa, providing insight into functionally adaptive changes in plant structures. According to Endress et al. (2000), Bill and his doctoral student Phil Rury were perhaps the first to coin the term "ecophyletic plant anatomy" for integrating classical comparative anatomy with information on plant habit and environmental adaptation in wood and leaf structure. "Ecophyletic" refers to evolutionary lineages that developed as a result of selective ecological forces, including those that influence plant-water relations and associated plant growth and development patterns. When applied to plant anatomy, "ecophyletic" conveys the belief that structural features of the hydrovascular continuum (i.e., wood, stem, leaf tissues) are often the evolutionary products of ecologically imposed developmental constraints on plant growth and leaf morphological expression, notably those influencing plant-water relations.

This concept was compatible with and partly stimulated in the 1970s by the concurrent pioneering work of botanists, including Sherwin Carlquist's ecological plant anatomy and Martin Zimmerman's tree growth and xylem physiology. The "ecophyletic" perspective provides another window for interpreting diversification of wood anatomy and leaf structural adaptations to ecological forces as products of adaptive radiation as postulated by Stebbins (1974), both across moisture gradients and within lines of descent (phyletic). It provides a theoretical basis for clarifying the ecological, selective forces of structural evolution. This contribution on ecophyletic plant anatomy typifies Bill's skill in integrating the work of his peers in diverse botanical research and weaving the insights gained into original research and cutting-edge concepts in the field of vascular plant evolution and systematics.

Rury and Dickison (1984) provided results from Phil's master's and doctoral research under Bill's direction. They showed that multiple correlations among plant stature and features of wood and leaf structure are influenced by ecological forces, such as seasonal drought, in taxonomically unrelated genera, such as Hibbertia and Erythroxylum. Stebbins (1974) first used the word "ecophyletic," in discussing adaptive radiation. In elucidating the adaptive radiation and structural diversification within the genus Hibbertia (Dickison et al., 1978), Bill, Phil, and Stebbins used the phrase "ecological adaptive character syndrome." This study was an extension of Rury's master's thesis on the evolution of leaf venation patterns in Hibbertia, Dickison's earlier studies of the entire family Dilleniaceae, and Stebbins's (1974) views on adaptive radiation within Hibbertia in relation to ecological factors.

Studies of the anatomically and morphologically diverse members of the Cunoniaceae held Bill's research interest throughout his career. Based on some classification systems at the time of Bill's early work, Cunoniaceae were considered a primitive group in the large rosalean complex and thus attracted his attention. Because he found the family to be very diverse anatomically, he concluded that it was difficult to define the family on the basis of one or several unique character states. When cladistic analyses developed, Bill's work attracted the attention of phylogenists, first Larry Hufford and then Jason Bradford. Bradford and Barnes (2001) combined molecular, morphological, and anatomical data to recover the phylogeny of Cunoniaceae. Many of Bill's data and ideas were finally interpreted in this context. Bill was excited about further potential collaboration with Jason, especially on the inflorescence development and morphology in Pancheria, Codia, Pullea, and Callicoma. Based on his studies of the fruits a nd seeds of the family, Bill also reported on cunoniaceous species modified by ecological factors.

In support of his research and associated collecting trips, Bill won three substantial grants from the NSF, several smaller grants from the UNC University Research Council, and one from the American Philosophical Society. He received plant material for his studies from colleagues throughout the world. Nonetheless, many of the taxa he studied were rare and not available through exchange, necessitating collecting trips to Fiji, New Caledonia, Australia, and New Guinea from early July to early August 1979. Returning to New Caledonia and Australia in December 1981, Bill made additional collections. He also conducted fieldwork in the Dominican Republic in May 1985, in Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Seychelles, and Madagascar during May and June 1986, and in the mangrove swamps of Tivives, Costa Rica in January 1999, his last foreign field trip, in which he collected specimens of Pelliciera rhizophoreae Planch. & Triana.

On these botanical excursions, Marlene and Christopher accompanied Bill, except for the years when Christopher remained in the United States during college. Having his family accompany him was another way in which Bill shared his world with them. When Bill pursued Geissois ternata A. Gray and Weimnannia in Fiji or Medusagyne oppositifolia Baker on Mahe Island in the Seychelles, his family sometimes wondered whether the special plants he was seeking grew only on mountain tops, especially those with gravelly peaks.


1. Committee Membership and Service

Membership and involvement in committees are inescapable responsibilities for faculty. Among the more than 16 committees on which Bill held membership in the Department of Botany (later Biology), he especially contributed to graduate and undergraduate student causes. For several years he chaired the Graduate Appointment Committee, particularly important in serving as the liaison between students and faculty. In 1982 Bill joined the Undergraduate Affairs Committee and participated in this group until his last year. He was tapped to serve as the chairperson of the search committee to find a replacement for the director of the North Carolina Botanical Garden. Constituted in August 1985, a diverse committee of eight members completed its mission in 1986, when Peter S. White was selected as the new director.

2. Curator of Special Collections (Wood, Fossils, and Pollen)

When Bill arrived at UNC, special collections of wood, fossils, and pollen either did not exist or were inadequate. As the recently designated curator of these collections in the early 1 970s, Bill made special efforts to assemble sufficient materials for comparative purposes and teaching. Not only did he bring some specimens with him, he added significantly to the collection in the 1971/1972 academic year. Among the newly acquired samples were: wood collections, including a large collection of vouchered New Guinea samples from the Rijksherbarium in Leiden, a large collection of vouchered and unvouchered wood from the Krukoff Brazil Collections, Charles S. Sargent North American Collection, and the A. Wilson Memorial Collection, all from the Smithsonian Institution; and North Carolina fossil plants, including Triassic plants from Robert C. Hope, Cretaceous plants from Alberta, Canada sent by Wilson N. Stewart, Devonian plants from New York received from Harlan Banks, and New York and Michigan Devonian and Car boniferous plants donated by Norton Miller. Bill's curatorial responsibilities concerned only the wood collections after the paleobotanist Patricia Gensel joined the botany faculty at Chapel Hill in 1975, when she assumed curation of fossil and pollen materials.

Through the years Bill continuously added the wood specimens received for research from other xylaria throughout the world. He also greatly augmented the UNC xylarium from his collections, notably from his 1979 Pacific basin trip. The wood slide collection also grew from slides prepared by Bill and his students and from those of other researchers. Of particular significance, Bill made an exchange with Charles Heimsch, of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, for a collection of 515 wood slides, representing all the geranialean and sapindalean families. Bill's research slide collection of 413 slide boxes (containing 28,677 slides) and his exchange slide collection of 178 slide boxes are now under the curation of the UNG Herbarium.

VI. Meetings, Symposia, and Presentations

Bill conveyed his discoveries and research progress with botanists through society meetings and special symposia and through publications. On invitation, he presented talks at Cornell University, Duke University, the Harvard University Herbaria, the Institut fur Systematik Botanik of the Universitat Zurich, and the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh, Scotland. In addition to presenting papers frequently at annual meetings of the Botanical Society of America, he gave talks at International Botanical Congresses (IBC) in Seattle, Washington (1969), Leningrad (1975), and Berlin (1987). He was an invited participant at the symposium on The Bases of Angiosperm Phylogeny, held at the 24th annual meeting of the American Institute of Biological Sciences at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 19 June 1973 and cosponsored by the Botanical Society of America and several other scientific organizations. There he delivered a paper, Vegetative Anatomy, in which he defined and discussed the principal characters of plant anatomy and their phylogenetic significance. The paper, subsequently published in the 1975 volume of the Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden, is now respected as one of his most outstanding publications. Twelve years later, at the IBC in Berlin, he was an invited speaker at the international symposium titled Steps Toward the Natural System of the Dicotyledons and offered new insights on the role that vegetative anatomy plays in building a more natural system of the dicots (Fig. 14). The paper was later published in the 1989 volume of Aliso.

As an invited participant in an international symposium on the Leguminosae, held at the Royal Botanic Garden, Kew, England on 24 July--4 August 1978, Bill delivered a paper on the evolutionary relationships of these plants. The proceedings of this meeting were published as Part I of Advances in Legume Systematics. At the symposium on Evolution, Systematics and Fossil History of the Hamamelidae, held on 22-25 March 1988 at the University of Reading, England and sponsored by the Systematics Association, Bill gave a paper comparing primitive Rosidae and Hamamelidae. His presentation was later published in the first volume of the Systematics Association special volume 40, in 1989. He also spoke on the morphology and relationships of Medusagynaceae at the Flora Malesiana Symposium, Rijksherbarium, Leiden, on 20-25 August 1989, commemorating Professor C. G. G. J. Van Steenis. The following year he published an article on the topic in the 1990 volume of Plant Systematics and Evolution. He was an invited participant in the symposium on Diversity of Pacific Basin Woods in Past, Present and Future, held in Lawaii, Hawaii on 14-16 August 1992 under the auspices of the National Tropical Botanical Garden and the International Association of Wood Anatomists (Fig. 15). His paper focused on the Cunoniaceae as a phylogenetically important family concentrated in the southwest pacific. Bill's last attendance and paper presentation at a botanical conference was at the VII Congreso Latinoamericano de Botanica and XIV Congreso Mexicano de Botanica, jointly held in Mexico City on 18-24 October 1998. The theme of these congresses was the diversity and conservation of plant resources in Latin America. At the symposium on the systematic anatomy of wood, Bill was an invited speaker, presenting a paper on "The Current Status of Comparative Wood Anatomy," published the next year in the Boletin de la Sociedad Botanica de Mexico.

VII. Publications and Editorial Services

Throughout his entire career Bill consistently contributed to the literature in his area of research. These publications--3 books, 74 articles in journals, 15 sections or chapters in books, 21 abstracts, 7 book reviews, and his doctoral dissertation--are enumerated in Appendix 1. On several fronts Bill provided review and editorial services to the profession. He was a frequent reviewer of manuscripts for the peer-reviewed journals American Journal of Botany and Botanical Gazette, as well as numerous other botanical periodicals. Although known at UNC for serving as editor of the Journal of the Elisha Mitchell Scientific Society from 1975 to 1981, discussed below, less known was the fact that he was a member of an editorial group for the classic plant anatomy series, Anatomy of the Dicotyledons (Metcalfe & Chalk, 1979, 1983; Metcalfe, 1987; Cutler & Gregory, 1998). Accepting an invitation in 1992 to join the editorial group of this series, Bill became an editor in the United States with the primary responsibili ty of encouraging more contributions from plant anatomists here and of monitoring their progress. This work was to begin with volume 5, on Myrtales, and he himself was to write an account of the wood of Thymelaeaceae, now included in the Malvales (Alverson et al., 1998). Realizing that he would not complete this work, he gave his notes and slides to Teresa Terrazas, one of his last doctoral students, for her continuation. Bill was fittingly acknowledged in volume 4 of this series (Cutler & Gregory, 1998) as a contributor of photographs and a reviewer of accounts of families based predominantly on his published works on Cunoniaceae and Eucryphiaceae. Within the editorial group he was known for selflessly giving his time and readily and willingly assisting whenever needed.


In the early 1970s Bill accepted a major. role in writing the reference and source book Vascular Plant Systematics with UNC botanists Albert E. Radford, C. Ritchie Bell, and Jimmy R. Massey. A draft of the book was printed in 1972 for distribution to a few selected classes, for student testing, and reviewers, for critical comments from colleagues. Published in September 1974 as a collaborative effort of these four botanists and 17 contributors, the final version was published in hardbound (750 copies) and paperbound (8,000 copies) editions. Containing 36 chapters, the book included such features as a synoptic treatment of the evidence, principles, and concepts fundamental to vascular plant taxonomic studies and research, laboratory and field exercises and problems, definitions of more than 4000 terms, more than 1500 bibliographical references, and comparisons of at least 50 systems of classification. Bill's primary contributions to the compendium were chapters 7, 8, 9, 14, and 27 (see Appendix 1). According t o the book's preface, the authors wished that the volume would provide "the impetus for sounder taxonomic scholarship and [produce] added pleasure in learning about plants." Published reviews of the book were favorable overall. Richard S. Cowan (1975) mentioned that "every taxonomy course should have several copies at hand," and John H. Thomas (1976) stated that "one can find everything from the formula for FAA to a definition of flimsies." The book was soon out of print, and even today it is much sought by students of plant taxonomy.


Bill and his Duke University plant-anatomy colleague Richard White edited a compilation of twelve papers, originally presented at a 1983 symposium on plant anatomy, which were published in 1984 as Contemporary Problems in Plant Anatomy. In the early 1980s Bill and White began to plan the symposium, first scheduled to take place on 2 March 1982 but postponed until the following year, when financial support was obtained through an NSF grant. Jointly held at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University, the symposium focused on four areas in need of critical research: systematics and ecological anatomy. leaf development, floral development, and differentiation of cells and tissues. Twelve leading plant anatomists gave hour-long papers between 28 February and 2 March 1983, with nearly 80 registrants attending. White hosted the full-day February session, and Bill hosted the two half-day March sessions. On the evening prior to the symposium the Dickisons opened their home to the participants for a social and buffet.

During the early planning stages of the symposium, Bill and White had envisioned publishing its proceedings. After the symposium concluded, they met with a senior editor from Academic Press to discuss progress toward editing the book, including their desire to dedicate the volume to Katherine Esau in recognition of her contributions to modem plant anatomy in the United States. Based on camera-ready copy of each presenter's paper, the book was issued in early 1984. One reviewer noted that its chief value was the "contemporaneity of research topics" (Schmid, 1985).


Writing a textbook on plant anatomy was originally conceived in 1990 as a collaborative effort of Bill and Dr. Klaus Napp-Zinn, professor of botany at the University of Cologne. Since Bill's arrival at UNC in 1969, he had frequently sent Napp-Zinn reprints of his publications. Their friendship developed further when Napp-Zinn visited for several days at the Dickisons' home in mid-July 1989. In addition to visiting botanical and historical spots of interest, they also discussed the possibility of collaboratively writing a book on plant anatomy. After returning to Germany, Napp-Zinn wrote to Bill that the publisher Verlag Eugen Ulmer GmbH was interested in their proposed plant-anatomy book, which tentatively would have three major sections: descriptive, physiological, and general. In a 10 February 1990 response to Napp-Zinn, Bill formally accepted the invitation to collaborate on the book. In September of that year they signed a contract with the publisher to write the book, Pflanzenanatomie, to be published in the monographic series UTB (Uni-Taschenbucher), printed in a run of 1,000 copies, and completed by 31 December 1992. Napp-Zinn briefly visited the Dickisons again in July 1991. By early December 1991 Bill had written, and sent to Napp-Zinn, draft versions for chapters on Anatomical Foundations of the Plant Body, Plant Anatomy and Systematics, and Plant Anatomy and Gross Morphology. Bill sent Napp-Zinn two other contributions, Ecologi cal and Wood Anatomy, and Plant Anatomy and Fiber Research in October 1992 and April 1993, respectively. Professor Napp-Zinn and wife, Dr. Asta Napp-Zinn, had planned to visit Bill in mid-July 1993; however, while they were on a train to the airport, Klaus suffered a cardiac infarction, leaving him unconscious until his death, two days later on 16 July. Willenbrink (1997) wrote about the accomplishments of Klaus Napp-Zinn.

With the death of Napp-Zinn, the contract with Ulmer was dissolved. Subsequently, Bill assumed sole responsibility for the writing project, but with a vision of developing a more comprehensive book, titled Integrative Plant Anatomy. Published posthumously in March 2000 by Academic Press and dedicated to Bill and Marlene's three grandchildren, the book presents both classical and modern approaches to plant anatomy. Its publication crowned Bill's achievements in botany. The unique feature of the text is Bill's successful integration of plant anatomy with other fields, such as forensic science, archaeology, anthropology, herbs, spices, and even the arts and antiques. By explaining the importance of plant anatomy to other fields, the field's contribution to both science and society will be better appreciated. The book focuses on plant anatomy's foundation, evolutionary, physiological, and ecological applications, and economics and applications. Bill's stamina and strength were waning while he was reading final pa ge proofs, but he submitted all of them except for the final chapter. Those proofs arrived the day Bill died and were later checked by his close colleague Patricia Gensel. Bill had also seen the completed cover design for the book. Barry Tomlinson (2000a, 2000b), in reviewing the book, commented that the text was well presented and demonstrated careful scholarship.

VIII. Teaching

In September 1969 Bill began his UNG teaching career with a course on the Comparative Morphology of Lower Vascular Plants, a class he gave several years through 1974/1975. Subsequently, he taught Comparative Morphology of Vascular Plants, alternately with Patricia Gensel. In the spring of 1970 he first taught Vascular Plants, a study of the organs, tissues, and cells that emphasized the seed plants. He offered this course each spring through 1973. Beginning in the summer of 1970, Bill taught General Botany until the Department of Biology was established in 1982, after which time he frequently taught Principles of Biology, including many summer sessions for both courses. With Norton Miller, he planned a paleobotany course at UNG that was added to the curriculum but never taught by them. He also taught Phylogeny and Classification of Flowering Plants at least six times between 1973 and 1989.

Bill greatly enjoyed the teaching aspect of his academic responsibilities and expected exacting standards of his students. Always thoroughly prepared and backed by highly organized lecture notes, usually typed, he made his presentations clear and concise. Several former graduate students recall that Bill was exceptionally gifted in drawing accurately and artistically on the chalkboard, particularly for illustrating plant structures under discussion (Fig. 16). Interested in the undergraduates' needs, he served as a course advisor and guided students in directed reading and special research projects. As a major advisor, he counseled 4 doctoral students and 11 master's degree students (Appendix 2). Among his other graduate contributions were seminars, primarily in plant anatomy and morphology. He also directed other individual studies in systematics; "Special Topics" in morphology and anatomy, often requiring laboratory research along with directed reading; and research in plant morphology. Bill was an external examiner of four dissertations by doctoral students in India (Appendix 3).

Bill's long-term hallmark courses were Comparative Plant Anatomy and Plant Diversity. He presented these two courses by weekly giving two lectures, each followed by a laboratory session. This lecture--lab combination effectively reinforced the theoretical with the practical. For these courses he required students to keep a notebook of drawings because he believed that the close observation involved in illustrating structures was more instructional than merely looking at photographs in a textbook. With an emphasis on the mature structure of plants and a comparative and systematic bent, Bill's plant anatomy course particularly reflected his research interests. In the first lecture of the course he would show students an original edition of Nehemiah Grew's pioneering The Anatomy of Plants (1682). Bill felt strongly that students should know the history of the discipline. In fact, during oral preliminary examinations and dissertation defenses he often asked graduate students questions about important and notable botanists. For the plant anatomy laboratory instruction he wrote a 128-page manual, aptly titled Plant Anatomy. His plant-diversity course followed the classical style of Harold C. Bold, as chronicled in his Morphology of Plants (1967, 1973) and its revisions, Morphology of Plants and Fungi, co-authored with Constantine J. Alexopoulos and Charles Delevoryas (1980, 1987). Bill prepared a 109-page course-pak titled Selected Readings for Botany 51, Plant Diversity, used for the laboratory sessions. Among the first activities for the laboratory of this course were instructions for creating laboratory drawings using hard pencils, large drawings, and labeling--trademarks of Bill's laboratory style.

IX. Affiliation with Scientific Organizations

In professional organizations Bill held membership and actively participated in the Botanical Society of America, the Elisha Mitchell Scientific Society, and the International Association of Wood Anatomists. He also joined the American Institute of Biological Sciences, the American Society of Plant Taxonomists, the Association of Tropical Biology, the International Association of Plant Taxonomists, and the Torrey Botanical Club (now Society). In 1972 he was elected to the Sigma Xi honorary society.


A member of the Botanical Society of America (BSA) since 1962, Bill frequently reviewed manuscripts for the society's periodical, the American Journal of Botany. in which he himself published eight articles. Of all his paper presentations at scientific meetings, Bill presented the most (14) at the society's annual meetings, from 1971 to 1997, often held in association with the American Institute of Biological Sciences. His other services to the BSA were as a member of the Panel on Research Proposals in Comparative Anatomy at the 20-24 July 1971 meeting and as chairperson of the committee that selected the first Annual Katherine Esau Award in Structural Botany at the BSA meetings in Gainesville, Florida, in August 1985. Concerning the latter award, Bill established a basis for recognizing excellence among students in structural and developmental botany that future committee members could use.


The Elisha Mitchell Scientific Society (EMSS) was established in 1883 to encourage scientific research, particularly at the University of North Carolina. Since then, an impressive lineage of UNC botanists--William C. Coker, John N. Couch, and Victor A. Greulach--served as officers of the society and editors of the Journal of the Elisha Mitchell Scientific Society. Joining the EMSS in 1970, Bill Dickison continued that tradition by serving as its secretary/treasurer from 1972 to 1975 and as editor of its journal from 1975 to 1981. In 1973 he served on a committee that recommended revisions to the EMSS constitution. While editor, he was challenged by excessive delays in publishing time and numerous years of pronounced financial exigencies. His efforts in 1975 to revitalize and enhance this joint publication of the EMSS and the North Carolina Academy of Science included designing a new cover for the journal, switching to a new printer (Allen Press, of Lawrence, Kansas), improving production standards, and attrac ting prospective authors. The implementation of page charges in 1977 only temporarily alleviated the perennial budget shortfalls, and the North Carolina Academy of Science assumed publication responsibilities for the journal, effective 1 January 1981. Bill's editorial services concluded with the spring 1980 issue, published in 1982.


Elected a member of the International Association of Wood Anatomists (IAWA) in 1970, Bill made several contributions to the organization. He chaired the nominating committee for restructuring the association's Council in 1973. As a member of the IAWA Organizing Committee for the XIIth International Botanical Congress, held in Leningrad on 3-10 July 1975, he also chaired its Session III, on the taxonomic and evolutionary value of wood anatomy. Additionally, he was cochairman of two IAWA groups, one that was responsible for establishing regional subgroups and one for arranging a Pan American regional meeting of association members at the meetings of the Botanical Society of America and affiliated groups held in Blacksburg, Virginia, on 25-29 June 1978.

X. Beyond Academia

Bill maintained strong interests in sports throughout his life. Such pursuits included playing basketball noontimes at UNC and playing catch or shooting baskets with his son, Christopher, in the backyard of their home. Marlene and Bill played singles and mixed doubles at the local tennis club. An avid fan of the UNC Tarheels, he regularly attended their basketball and football games. The Reverend James L. Pike, Bill's pastor and friend, revealed Bill's savvy at sports in relating how he taught the pastor the perfect moment to leave the UNC basketball games in time to hear the postgame show on the radio--and to avoid the traffic snarls after the game. When Bill realized that the advance of his cancer prevented him from playing basketball and eventually tennis, he took up archery again, left in abeyance since his youth in Des Plaines. He practiced at the campus archery targets set up for physical education classes. Joining the Back Creek Bow Shooters Club also provided him a wonderful opportunity to continue pa rticipating in athletics. Bill won a trophy in the traditional bow class.

Bill's love of nature, nurtured since his childhood, provided him great enjoyment. Not one for crowds, he liked solitary settings. Thus his walks in the woods instilled in him comfort and solace (Fig. 17). During the year he would take his family to Cedar Island, North Carolina, where, in the quiet of the early morning, they would take a ferry to the Outer Banks to watch the migrating waterfowl. Even in his last year, Bill would take long walks in his neighborhood.

Few people knew about Bill's avid interest in Civil War history. In addition to reading biographies and histories on the topic, he visited Civil War battlefields throughout North Carolina and also in Virginia and Pennsylvania. His fondness for history extended to visiting small towns in North Carolina, where he and Marlene traveled and explored side roads. Bill also learned about foreign lands through collecting stamps, an interest he had held since boyhood. His stamp collection featured flowers and plants.

Bill led a productive life. Research, publications, attendance at meetings, and teaching classes were important foci in his career. His family (Fig. 18), however, took center stage and remained his first love. He always placed them first in his life and was present whenever needed. Displaying a quiet and reserved demeanor, Bill taught others through his daily actions. His actions spoke well, and Christopher Dickison was blessed with the love, safety, and opportunity that Bill gave to his family. Their close ties were evident when Christopher chose Bill to be bestman at his wedding. Bill shared his life with his family--whether accompanying him on plant-collecting trips around the world, taking a ride in the country, or attending sporting events.

XI. Concluding Years

Bill received a bone-marrow transplant in the summer of 1997. Although the advance of the myeloma and the chemotherapy sessions slowed his pace in his last two years, his devotion to teaching and research continued. In the fall semester of 1999 he was lecturing on plant diversity and reading and correcting page proofs of his new plant anatomy book. During that time I visited him frequently in his office. True to his character of being well organized and orderly, he maintained a research environment in which books were neatly upright on the bookshelves and papers and documents in use were tidily stacked in piles on his desk and countertop. On the walls of his office and laboratory were pictures of transverse sections of Connaraceae and photographs of botanists, including I. W. Bailey, Sherwin Carlquist, Arthur Cronquist, Peter Endress, and Armen Takhtajan. In his laboratory, from which the spicy aroma of oil of cloves used for staining slide preparations emanated, I remember an eye-catching photograph of Welwi tschia mirabilis. Specimens of his last research projects, on Thymelaeaceae and Pelliciera, were neatly arranged in his laboratory. At some point our conversations usually touched on bluegrass music, which formed a common bond between us for many discussions, especially about our favorite performers. Bill also mentioned how his perspectives and priorities in life had taken on a new focus in later years.

Surrounded by his immediate family, William Campbell Dickison died peacefully at his home on the morning of 22 November 1999. His family, friends, and colleagues paid tribute to him at a memorial service held on 27 November 1999 at the Olin T. Binkley Memorial Baptist Church in Chapel Hill, of which Bill had been elected a deacon in 1997. The Reverend James L. Pike, a close friend of Bill's, presided and recounted his fond recollections of him. Patricia Gensel, Bill's longtime colleague and friend, spoke about his professional career, and Christopher Dickison recounted a sampling of fond moments he spent with his father. How fitting that Bill had requested that one of his favorite bluegrass songs, "Someday," recorded by Blue Flighway, be played at the conclusion of the service. At a private ceremony held on the following day, friends and family witnessed the scattering of Bill's ashes in the UNC Coker Arboretum, where an oak bench now stands as a memorial to him (White, 2000). In honor of Bill, his collected publications are bound in three volumes in UNC's John N. Couch Biology Library, Botany Section. More than 475 volumes from Bill's scientific library were donated to the North Carolina Botanical Garden.

Our fond memories of Bill are as varied as his productive and diversified life: friend, scholar, appreciative naturalist, devoted botanist, dedicated teacher, and compassionate husband, father, and grandfather. Bill's former student, Phil Rury (pers. comm., 2001), expressively summed up his thoughts, adapted and modified as follows:

Bill was an international team player in botany, always quick to recognize, acknowledge, and build upon the innovative thinking and scientific insights of others, such as Pieter Baas, Sherwin Carlquist, and Ledyard Stebbins. He did not seek to compete with them, but rather to collaborate in the selfless interest of advancing science and to make his own insightful interpretations of observations based on his detailed plant anatomical and morphological studies. His career was dedicated to academic excellence with the stimulus of new thinking, through educational and research collaborations ranging from sharing ideas with students and colleagues to publishing tomes such as Vascular plant systematics. His contributions were made with the same team spirit that he witnessed at the Tarheel ball games he attended... . Bill taught from the heart, led by example, and shared knowledge and opportunity with younger generations.... Bill has earned a worldwide reputation of academic excellence, all without even the slightes t inkling of his own greatness.

Surviving Bill are his wife Marlene (Varner) Dickison, son Christopher Campbell Dickison, daughter-in-law Cheryl, and grandchildren, Andrew Campbell Dickison, Erica Grace Dickison, and namesake William Campbell Dickison. Bill's brothers, Dennis and Alexander Dickison, and sister, Alison Tansley, also survive.

XIV. Appendix 1: Publications by William C. Dickison


WCD. Comparative morphological studies in Dilleniaceae. Ph.D. diss. Indiana University, Bloomington. 152 pp.


WCD. Comparative morphological studies in Dilleniaceae, I. Wood anatomy. J. Arnold Arbor. 48: 1-23 + plates 1-6.

WCD. Comparative morphological studies in Dilleniaceae, II. The pollen. J. Arnold Arbor. 48: 23 1-240.


WCD. Comparative morphological studies in Dilleniaceae, III. The carpels. J. Arnold Arbor. 49: 3 17-329 + plates 1-3.


WCD. Comparative morphological studies in Dilleniaceae, IV. Anatomy of the node and vascularization of the leaf. J. Arnold Arbor. 50: 384-400 + plates 1-10.

WCD & E. M. Sweitzer. [Abstract]. Morphology and relationships of Barbeya oleoides Schweinf. P. 46 in Abstracts of the papers presented at the XI International Botanical Congress, August 24-September 2, 1969 and the International Wood Chemistry Symposium, Seattle, September 2-4, 1969. [XI International Botanical Congress and International Wood Chemistry Symposium], Seattle.


WCD. Comparative morphological studies in Dilleniaceae, V. Leaf anatomy. J. Arnold Arbor. 51: 89-101 + plates 1-12.

WCD. Comparative morphological studies in Dilleniaceae, VI. Stamens and young stem. J. Arnold Arbor. 51: 403-418 + plates 1-4.

WCD & E. M. Sweitzer. The morphology and relationships of Barbeya oleoides. Amer. J. Bot. 57: 468-476.


WCD. Anatomical studies in the Connaraceae, I. Carpels. J. Elisha Mitchell Sci. Soc. 87:77-86.

WCD. [Abstract]. Carpel morphology of Connaraceae. Amer. J. Bot. 58: 458.

WCD. Comparative morphological studies in Dilleniaceae, VII. Additional notes on Acrotrema. J. Arnold Arbor. 52: 319-331 + plates 1-2.


WCD. Anatomical studies in the Connaraceae, II. Wood anatomy. J. Elisha Mitchell Sci. Soc. 88: 120-136.

WCD. [Abstract]. Aspects of leaf anatomy in Xanthophyllum (Polygalacene). Amer. J. Bot. 59: 678.

WCD. Observations on the floral morphology of some species of Saurauia, Actinidia, and Clematoclethra. J. Elisha Mitchell Sci. Soc. 88: 43-54.


WCD. Anatomical studies in the Connaraceae, III. Leaf anatomy. J. Elisha Mitchell Sci. Soc. 89: 12 1-138.

WCD. Anatomical studies in the Connaraceae, IV. The bark and young stem. J. Elisha Mitchell Sci. Soc. 89: 166-171.

WCD. [Abstract]. Aspects of leaf anatomy in Connaraceae. Amer. J. Bot. (Suppl.) 60(4): 37.

WCD. Nodal and leaf anatomy of Xanthophyllum (Polygalaceae). Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 67: 103-115 + plates 1-6.


Radford, A. E., WCD, J. R. Massey & C. R. Bell, with contributions by B. W. Smith et al. Vascular plant systematics. Harper & Row, New York. 891 pp. [WCD contributed chapter 1, Introduction to taxonomy, section C III, p. 5; chapter 7, Anatomical evidence, pp. 167-210 (except section D); chapter 8, Palynological evidence, pp. 211-222 (except section B); chapter 9, Embryological evidence, pp. 223-236; chapter 14, Physiological and ultrastructural evidence, pp. 306-308; and chapter 27, Structural evolution and phylogeny, pp. 553-582.]

WCD. [Abstract]. Gynoecial morphology in Cunoniaceae. Amer. J. Bot. (Suppl.) 61(5): 55.


Burtt, B. L. & WCD. The morphology and relationships of Seemannaralia (Araliaceae). Notes Roy. Bat. Gard. Edinburgh 33: 449-464 + plates 6-8.

WCD. The bases of angiosperm phylogeny: Vegetative anatomy. Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 62: 590-620.

WCD. Floral morphology and anatomy of Bauera. Phytomorphology 25: 69-76.

WCD. Leaf anatomy of the Cunoniaceae. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 71: 275-294.

WCD. Studies on the floral anatomy of the Cunoniaceae. Amer. J. Bot. 62: 433-447.

Musselman, L. J. & WCD. The structure and development of the haustorium in parasitic Scrophulariaceae. Bat. J. Linn. Soc. 70: 183-212 + plates 1-9.


Carpenter, C. S. & WCD. The morphology and relationships of Oncotheca balansae. Bot. Gaz. 137: 141-153.

WCD. Review of Ecological Strategies of Xylem Evolution, by S. Carlquist. University of California Press, Berkeley, 1975. xii + 259 pp. Quart. Rev. Biol. 51: 127-128.

Giebel, K. P. & WCD. Wood anatomy of Clethraceae. J. Elisha Mitchell Sci. Soc. 92:17-26.


WCD. [Abstract]. Pollen morphology of the Connaraceae. Bot. Soc. Amer., Misc. Ser., Publ. 154: 7-8.

WCD. Wood anatomy of Weinmannia (Cunoniaceae). Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 104: 12-23.

WCD & P. Baas. The morphology and relationships of Paracryphia (Paracryphiaceae). Blumea 23: 417-438.

Rury, P.M. & WCD. Leaf venation patterns of the genus Hibbertia (Dilleniaceae). J. Arnold Arbor. 58: 209-241 + plates 1-15.


WCD. Comparative anatomy of Eucryphiaceae. Amer. J. Bot. 65: 722-735.

WCD, P. M. Rury & G. L. Stebbins. Xylem anatomy of Hibbertia (Dilleniaceae) in relation to ecology and evolution. J. Arnold Arbor. 59: 32-49.


WCD. A note on the wood anatomy of Dillenia (Dilleniaceae). [AWA Bull. 1979: 57-60.

WCD. A survey of pollen morphology of the Connaraceae. Pollen & Spores 21: 31-79.

Schadel, W. E. & WCD. Leaf anatomy and venation patterns of the Styracaceae. J. Arnold Arbor. 60: 8-27 + plates 1-10.


WCD. Comparative wood anatomy and evolution of the Cunoniaceae. Allertonia 2: 281-321.

WCD. [Abstract]. Diverse nodal anatomy of the Cunoniaceae. Bot. Soc. Amer., Misc. Ser., Publ. 158: 30-31.

WCD. Diverse nodal anatomy of the Cunoniaceae. Amer. J. Bot. 67: 975-981.


WCD. Contributions to the morphology and anatomy of Strasburgeria and a discussion of the taxonomic position of the Strasburgeriaceae. Brittonia 33: 564-580.

WCD. The evolutionary relationships of the Leguminosae. Pp. 35-54 in R. M. Polhill & P. H. Raven (eds.), Advances in legume systematics, Part 1. Roy. Bot. Gard., Kew.

Simpson, M. O. & WCD. Comparative anatomy of Lachnanthes and Lophiola (Haemodoraceae). Flora 171: 95-113.


WCD. Vegetative anatomy of Oncotheca macrocarpa, a newly described species of Oncothecaceae. Bull. Mus. Natl. Hist. Nat., B, Adansonia, ser. 4,4:177-181.

WCD, J. W. Nowicke & J. J. Skvarla. Pollen morphology of the Dilleniaceae and Actinidiaceae. Amer. J. Bot. 69: 1055-1073.


WCD. [Abstract]. Fruits and seeds of the Cunoniaceae. Amer. J. Bot. 70 (5, Pt. 2): 19.

WGD & P. K. Endress. Ontogeny of the stem-node-leaf vascular continuum of Austro baileya. Amer. J. Bot. 70: 906-911.


WCD. Fruits and seeds of the Cunoniaceae. J. Arnold Arbor. 65: 149-190.

WCD. On the occurrence of silica grains in woods of Hibbertia (Dilleniaceae). IAWA Bull. 5: 341-343.

WCD & K. D. Phend. [Abstract]. Wood anatomy of the Styracaceae. Amer. J. Bot. 71(5, pt. 2): 24.

Rury, P. M. & WCD. Structural correlations among wood, leaves and plant habit. Pp. 495-540 in R. A. White & W. C. Dickison (eds.), Contemporary problems in plant anatomy. Academic Press, New York.

White, R. A. & WCD (eds.). 1984. Contemporary problems in plant anatomy. Academic Press, New York. xii + 598 pp.

White, R. A. & WCD. Preface. Pp. xi-xii in Richard A. White & W. C. Dickison (eds.), Contemporary problems in plant anatomy. Academic Press, New York.


WCD. [Abstract]. Pollen morphology of the Staphyleaceae. Amer. J. Bot. (Suppl) 72(6): 8. WCD & K. D. Phend. Wood anatomy of the Styracaceae: Evolutionary and ecological considerations. IAWA Bull., n.s., 6: 3-22.

Rao, T. A. & WCD. The veinsheath syndrome in Cunoniaceae, I. Pancheria Brongn. & Gris. Proc. Indian Acad. Sci. P1. Sci. 95: 87-94.

Rao, T. A. & WCD. The veinsheath syndrome in Cunoniaceae, II. The genera Acsmithia, Codia, Cunonia, Geissois, Pullea, and Weinmannia. Proc. Indian Acad. Sci. P1. Sci. 95: 247-261.


WCD. Floral morphology and anatomy of Staphyleaceae. Bot. Gaz. 147: 312-326.

WCD. Further observations on the floral anatomy and pollen morphology of Oncotheca (Oncothecaceae). Brittonia 38: 249-259.

WCD. Wood anatomy and affinities of the Alseuosmiaceae. Syst. Bot. 11: 214-221.


WCD. [Abstract]. Steps toward the natural system of the dicotyledons: Stem anatomy. P. 281 in W. Greuter, B. Zimmer & H.-D. Behnke (eds.), Abstracts of the general lectures, symposium papers and posters presented at the XIV International Botanical Congress, Berlin, July 24 to August 1, 1987. [XIV International Botanical Congress], Berlin.

WCD. Leaf and nodal anatomy and systematics of Staphyleaceae. Bot. Gaz. 148: 475-489.

WCD. A palynological study of the Staphyleaceae. Grana 26: 11-24.

Hils, M. H., WCD, T. W. Lucansky & W. L. Stern. [Abstract]. Anatomy, morphology and systematics of Tetracarpaea tasmannica Hook. Amer. J. Bot. 74: 736.


WCD. Xylem anatomy of Diegodendron humbertii. IAWA Bull n.s., 9: 332-336.

Hils, M. H., WCD, T. W. Lucansky & W. L. Stern. Comparative anatomy and systematics of woody Saxifragaceae: Tetracarpaea. Amer. J. Bot. 75: 1687-1700.


WCD. Comparisons of primitive Rosidae and Hamamelidae. Pp. 47-73 in P. R. Crane & S. Blackmore (eds.), Evolution, systematics, and fossil history of the Hamamelidae. Vol. 1. Introduction and "Lower" Hamamelidae. Syst. Assoc., Clarendon Press, Oxford.

WCD. Review of Plant Anatomy, by J. D. Mauseth. Benjamin/Cummings PubI. Co., Menlo Park, CA, 1988. 560 pp. ASB Bull. 36: 15-16.

WCD. Stem and leaf anatomy of the Alseuosmiaceae. Aliso 12: 567-578.

WCD. Steps toward the natural system of the dicotyledons: Vegetative anatomy. Aliso 12: 555-566.

WCD & R. Rutishauser. [Abstract]. Developmental morphology of stipules of the Cunoniaceae and allies. Amer. J. Bot. (Suppl.) 76(6): 32.

Rutishauser, R. & WCD. Developmental morphology of stipules and systematics of the Cunoniaceae and presumed allies, I. Taxa with interpetiolar stipules. Bot. Helv. 99: 147-169.


WCD. [Abstract]. The floral morphology and anatomy of the Caryocaraceae. Amer. J. Bot. (Suppl.) 77(6): 13.

WCD. An additional note on the floral morphology and affinities of Medusagyne oppositifolia (Medusagynaceae). Brittonia 42: 191-196.

WCD & R. Rutishauser. Developmental morphology of stipules and systematics of the Cunoniaceae and presumed allies, II. Taxa without interpetiolar stipules and conclusions. Bot. Helv. 100: 75-95.

WCD. The morphology and relationships of Medusagyne (Medusagynaceae). Pl. Syst. Evol. 171:27-55.

WCD. A study of the floral morphology and anatomy of the Caryocaraceae. Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 117: 123-137.


WCD. Kingdom Plantae (pp. 867-872); Classification (pp. 881-882). Encycl Brit., ed. 15, 25.

WCD. Review of The Vascular Cambium, edited by M. Iqbal. Research Studies Press. Taunton, England, 1990. 246 pp. ASB Bull. 38: 168-169.

WCD. Review of Nephelieae Pollen (Sapindaceae): Form, Function, and Evolution, by R. W. J. M. van der Ham. Rijksherbarium, Leiden, 1990. 255 pp. Palynos 14(1): 7.


WCD. III. Comparative morphology and anatomy of the stem of the flowering plants. Progr. Bot. 53: 44-62.

WCD. [Abstract]. Cunoniaceae, a phylogenetically important family from the southwest Pacific. JAWA Bull., n.s., 13: 242-243.

WCD. [Abstract]. Morphology and anatomy of the flower and pollen of Saruma henyi Oliv., a phylogenetic relict of the Aristolochiaceae. Amer. J. Bot. (Suppl.) 79(6): 141.

WCD. Morphology and anatomy of the flower and pollen of Saruma henryi Oliv., a phylogenetic relict of the Aristolochiaceae. Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 119: 392-400.

Hufford, L. & WCD. A phylogenetic analysis of Cunoniaceae. Syst. Bot. 17: 181-200.

Miller, R. B. & WCD. [Abstract]. Wood anatomy of Asteropeia (Asteropeiaceae) and Physena (Physenaceae); two endemics from Madagascar. Amer. J. Bot. (Suppl.) 79(6): 41-42.

Morton, C. M. & WCD. Comparative pollen morphology of the Styracaceae. Grana 31: 1-15.


WCD. Floral anatomy of the Styracaceae, including observations on the intra-ovarian trichomes. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 112: 223-255.

WCD & R. B. Miller. 1993. Morphology and anatomy of the Malagasy genus Physena (Physenaceae), with a discussion of the relationships of the genus. Bull. Mus. Natl. Hist. Nat., B, Adansonia, ser. 4, 15: 85-106.


WCD. A re-examination of Sanango racemosum, 2. Vegetative and floral anatomy. Taxon 43: 601-618.

WCD. II. Comparative morphology, anatomy, and function of the stem and root of the flowering plants. Progr. Bot. 55: 39-58.

WCD. Review of The Embryology, Reproductive Morphology, and Systematics of Lecythidaceae, by C.-H. Tsou. Mem. New York Bot. Gard., 71. New York Bot. Gard., Bronx, 1994. 112 pp. Bull. Torrey Bat. Club 121: 383-384.

WCD, M. H. Hils, T. W. Lucansky & W. L. Stem. Comparative anatomy and systematics of woody Saxifragaceae. Aphanopetalum Endl. Bot. J. Linnean Soc. 114:167-182.


WCD. [Kunonia ka]/Cunoniaceae; [Biwamodoki ka]/Dilleniaceae, Shokubutsu No Sekai 58: 310-312; 78: 198-199.

WCD. Review of Diversity and Evolutionary Biology of Tropical Flowers, by P. K. End-ress. Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, 1994. xiv + 511 pp. Taxon 44:284-285.

WCD & A. L. Weitzman. [Abstract]. Leaf anatomy of Bonnetiaceae, including observations on a foliar endodermis. Amer. J. Bot. (Suppl.) 82(6): 17.


WCD. [Abstract]. The stem and leaf anatomy of Saruma henryi Oliv.; including observations on raylessness in the Aristolochiaceae. Amer. J. Bot. (Suppl.) 83(6): 37.

WCD. Stem and leaf anatomy of Saruma henryi Oliv., including observations on raylessness in the Aristolochiaceae. Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 123: 261-267.

WCD & A. L. Weitzman. Comparative anatomy of the young stem, node, and leaf of Bonnetiaceae, including observations on a foliar endodermis. Amer. J. Bot. 83: 405-418.


WCD. III. Comparative morphology, anatomy, and function of the stem and root of the flowering plants. Progr. Bot. 58: 86-111.

WCD. Review of The Anther: Form, Function and Phylogeny, edited by W. G. D'Arcy & R. C. Keating. Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, 1996. xii + 351 pp. Taxon 46: 152.

Horn, J. W. & WCD. [Abstract]. Structural biology and phylogenetics of the Sphaerosepalaceae and Diegodendraceae. Amer. J. Bot. (Suppl.) 84(6): 44.

WCD. Ceratopetalum (pp. 153-154); Schizomeria (pp. 509-511); and Weinmannia (pp. 580-581) in M. S. M. Sosef, L. T. Hong & S. Prawirohatmodjo (eds.), Timber trees: Lesser-known timbers. Backhuys, Leiden.

Ter Welle, B. J. H. & WCD. Wood anatomy. Pp. 687-688 in B. Wallnofer, A revision of Styrax L. section Pamphilia (Mart. ex A. DC) B. Walin. (Styracaceae). Ann. Naturhist. Mus. Wien 99B.


Cameron, K. M. & WCD. Foliar architecture of vanilloid orchids: Insights into the evolution of reticulate leaf venation in monocotyledons. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 128: 45-70.

WCD. [Abstract]. The current status of comparative wood anatomy. P. 351 in P. Macana (ed.), Diversidad y conservacion de los recursos vegetales en Latinoamerica: Libro de resumenes. Sociedad Botanica de Mexico, [Mexico City].

WCD & A. L. Weitzman. Floral morphology and anatomy of Bonnetiaceae. J. Torrey Bot. Soc. 125: 268-286.


WCD. A view of the current status of comparative wood anatomy. Bol. Soc. Bot. Mexico 64: 87-91.


WCD. Integrative plant anatomy. Academic Press, San Diego, Calif. xvii + 533 pp.


WCD. Physenaceae. Pp. 332-333 in K. Kubitzki & C. Bayer (eds.), The families and genera of vascular plants. Vol. 5. Flowering plants, Dicotyledons: Malvales, Capparales, and non-betalain Caryophyllales. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.

In Press

WCD. Strasburgeriaceae; Medusagynaceae; Oncothecaceae; and Paracryphiaceae. In K. Kubitzki & C. Bayer (eds.), The families and genera of vascular plants. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.

WCD. Wood anatomy of Gesneria onacaensis Rusby. Gesneriana.

XV. Appendix 2: University of North Carolina Graduate Students of William C. Dickison



Lytton J. Musselman. A comparative study of the structures and development of the haustorium in parasitic Scrophulariaceae.


Phillip M. Rury. Systematic anatomy of the Erythroxylaceae.


Teresa Terrazas Salgado. Wood anatomy of the Anacardiaceae: Ecological and phylogenetic interpretation.


Kenneth M. Cameron. Phylogenetic relationships of the vanilloid orchids: An integration of molecular, morphological, and anatomical data. (co-advisor with Mark Chase)



Carol S. Carpenter. The morphology and relationships of Oncotheca balansae. (M.A.)

Virginia Anne Benson Harris. [Thesis title unknown]. (M.S.)

Mary Ann Pritchard Nelson. [Thesis title unknown]. (M.S.)


Phillip M. Rury. Leaf venation patterns of the genus Hibbertia Andr. (Dilleniaceae) and their systematic and ecophyletic significance. (M.A.)

Kristen P. Giebel. Comparative wood anatomy and relationships of the Clethraceae. (M.A.)


William E. Schadel. Leaf anatomy and venation patterns of the Styracaceae. (M.A.)


Barbara Zim Taylor Plumblee. Wood anatomy of Rhododendron. (M.S.)

Michael George Simpson. Wood anatomy and floral vasculature of Lachnanthes and Lophiola (Haemodoraceae). (M.S.)


Stephen Dwight McGrady. Observations on the bark of Cunoniaceae. (M.S.)


Cynthia M. Morton. Comparative pollen morphology of the Styracaceae. (M.A.) 1997

James W. Horn. Morphology and phylogenetic relationships of Sphaerosepalaceae. (M.S.)

XVI. Appendix 3: Doctoral Students for Whom William C. Dickison Served as External Examiner


Sm. Jayasri Bhattacharyya. Studies on the comparative morphology of foliar sclereids in Boronia Sm. and allied data in relevance to the taxonomy of a few taxa of angiosperms. University of Kalyani, West Bengal, India.


Ms. Silpi Pal (Silpi Das). Comparative taxonomic implications of foliar sclereids in a few taxa of angiosperms. Calcutta University, India.


Sri A. K. Mahapatra. Foliar anatomy as an aid to identifying some angiosperm taxa. University of Kalyani, West Bengal, India.


Sri T. S. Vaideshwara. A survey of the anatomy of the Boronia leaf in relation to the taxonomy of the genus. Bangalore University, India.

XII. Acknowledgments

I am very grateful for the continual assistance of Marlene Dickison, who kindly shared biographical stories, dates, and photographs. James W. Horn, Jessica Kilfoil, and Kenneth J. Wurdack critically reviewed the entire manuscript and offered helpful, constructive ideas. I am especially indebted to Phil Rury for his steadfast help in assessing Bill's ecophyletic work and for providing text of that for this article. I also thank Jason Bradford, Mary Gregory, Norton Miller, and Barry Tomlinson for providing useful information. Special thanks are extended to Susan Whitfield for preparing the photographs. Among the individuals who reviewed sections of the article are Jeffery S. Beam, Jason Bradford, James E. Canright, Dennis Dickison, Mary Gregory, Robert Henry, Lytton Musselman, Phil Rury, and Richard A. White. Useful resources included Bill's correspondence (now housed at the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation); the annual reports of the UNC Department of Botany (later Biology); high school and college y earbooks during Bill's enrollment; and historical records of the Southern Historical Collection and University Archives, housed at the UNC Louis Round Wilson Library; transcripts of Bill's memorial service; and personal recollections kindly shared by James E. Canright, Dennis Dickison, Marlene Dickison, Patricia Gensel, Ronald Gilmour, Robert Henry, James W. Horn, Lytton Musselman, Asta Napp-Zinn, Phil Rury, and Kenneth J. Wurdack.

XIII. Literature Cited

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Bradford, J. C. & R. W. Barnes. 2001. Phylogenetics and classification of Cunoniaceae (Oxalidales) using chloroplast DNA sequences and morphology. Syst. Bot. 26: 354-385.

Burk, W. R. 2001. William Campbell Dickison (1941-1999); A tribute. J. Elisha Mitchell Sci. Soc. 117: 90-93.

Cowan, R. S. 1975. Review of Vascular Plant Systematics, by A. E. Radford, W. C. Dickison, J. R. Massey & C. R. Bell, with contributions by B. W. Smith et al. Harper & Row, New York, 1974. xiv + 891 pp. Taxon 24: 383-384.

Cutler, D. F. & M. Gregory (eds.). 1998. Anatomy of the dicotyledons. Vol. 4. Saxifragales (sensu Armen Takhtajan). Ed. 2. Clarendon Press, Oxford.

Dickison, W. C., P. M. Rury & G. L. Stebbins. 1978. Xylem anatomy of Hibbertia (Dilleniaceac) in relation to ecology and evolution. J. Arnold Arbor. 59: 32-49.

Endress, P. K., P. Baas & M. Gregory. 2000. Systematic plant morphology and anatomy--50 years of progress. Taxon 49: 401-434.

Fay, M. F., S. M. Swensen & NI. W. Chase. 1997. Taxonomic affinities of Medusagyne oppositifolia (Medusagynaceac). Kew Bull. 52: 111-120.

Gensel, P. G. 2000. William Campbell Dickison, 1941-1999. PI. Sci. Bull. 46: 14-15.

Grew, N. 1682. The anatomy of plants: With an idea of a philosophical history of plants, and several other lectures, read before the Royal Society. Printed by W. Rawlins, for the author, [London].

Metealfe, C. R. 1987. Anatomy of the dicotyledons. Vol. 3. Magnoliales, Illiciales, and Laurales (sensu Armen Takhtajan). Ed. 2. Clarendon Press, Oxford.

----- & L. Chalk. 1979. Anatomy of the dicotyledons. Vol. 1. Systematic anatomy of leaf and stem, with a brief history of the subject. Ed. 2. Clarendon Press, Oxford.

----- & -----. 1983. Anatomy of the dicotyledons. Vol. 2. Wood structure and conclusion of the general introduction. Ed. 2. Clarendon Press, Oxford.

Rury, P. M. & W. C. Dickison. 1984. Structural correlations among wood, leaves and plant habit. Pp. 495-540 in R. A. White & W. C. Dickison (eds.), Contemporary problems in plant anatomy. Academic Press, New York.

Schmid, R. 1985. Review of Contemporary Problems in Plant Anatomy, edited by R. A. White & W. C. Dickison. Academic Press, New York, 1985. 598 pp. BioScience 35: 448-449.

Stebbins, G. L. 1974. Flowering plants: Evolution above the species level. Belknap Press of Harvard Univ. Press, Cambridge, MA.

Thomas, J. H. 1976. Review of Vascular Plant Systematics, by A. E. Radford, W. C. Dickison, J., R. Massey & C. R. Bell, with contributions by B. W. Smith et al. Harper & Row, New York, 1974. xiv + 891 pp. Quart. Rev. Biol. 51: 126-127.

Tomlinson, P. B. 2000a. Review of Integrative Plant Anatomy, by W. C. Dickison. Academic Press, San Diego, Calif. xvii + 533 pp. IAWA J. 21: 374-375.

-----. 2000b. Review of Integrative Plant Anatomy, by W. C. Dickison. Academic Press, San Diego, Calif. xvii + 533 pp. PI. Syst. Evol. 225: 245-246.

Wheeler, E. A. 2000. William Campbell Dickison (1941-1999). IAWA 3. 21: 133-134.

White, P. 5. 2000. William Campbell Dickison, 1941-1999. North Carolina Bot. Gard. Newslett. 28(2): 15.

Willenbrink, J. 1997. Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Klaus Napp-Zinn. Flora Colonia 5/6: 1-4.
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Title Annotation:Biography
Author:Burk, William R.
Publication:The Botanical Review
Article Type:Bibliography
Date:Oct 1, 2002
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