The Missouri Botanical Garden has named Dr. Gunter A. Fischer as its new Senior Vice President of Science and Conservation.
Fischer is a world-renowned scientist, plant taxonomist, conservationist and restoration ecologist. Most recently, he has served as Head of the Flora Conservation Department at Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden in Hong Kong since 2010. In that role, he directs the herbarium, laboratories, nurseries, greenhouses, all plant conservation and research programs and manages the Botanic Garden and its associated Nature Reserve.
“I am delighted to welcome Dr Fischer to the Missouri Botanical Garden’s team,” Dr. Peter Wyse Jackson, President of the Missouri Botanical Garden, said. “His extensive expertise in botanical research and plant conservation, combined with his rich experience with botanic gardens, make him ideally suited to head up the major research division at the Garden.”
Fischer is a prominent authority on ecological restoration and has led ground-breaking initiatives in this area in Hong Kong, restoring tropical forest on degraded mountain slopes with diverse threatened native species. Fischer has extensive international research experience and has undertaken plant conservation, surveys, capacity-building programs, plant collection and expeditions in China, Costa Rica, Cambodia, Cuba, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Laos, Madagascar, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Vietnam and Uganda.
“I am very excited to join the Missouri Botanical Garden and to be part of one of the leading botanical gardens in the world,” Fisher said. “I look forward to working with the excellent team to help to stop the ongoing loss of biodiversity and to mitigate climate change in a rapidly changing world by bridging science and conservation.”
Fischer earned his Ph.D. at the University of Vienna, studying the correlation between climate and ecological change and speciation bursts of the orchid genus Bulbophyllum in Madagascar and the Mascarenes. He is an Honorary Associate Professor in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Hong Kong and is a member of Botanic Gardens Conservation International’s Advisory Council.
Fischer will take up his appointment with the Missouri Botanical Garden in early 2022.