Frank Alameda: Bruce Tiffney is at the University of California in Santa Barbara. He received his BA degree in Geology from Boston University in 1971 and a Ph.D. in Paleobotany from Harvard in 1977. After completing his graduate work, he joined the facility at Yale University where he taught courses in Paleobotany, Introductory Botany, Biogeography, and Evolutionary Biology. He also served as Curator of the Paleobotanical Collections and of the D. C. Eaton Herbarium at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History. In 1986 he moved to UC Santa Barbara.
Professor Tiffney's research embraces both classical and descriptive systematics based on anatomy and morphology, and broader, more speculative, hypotheses. His special research interest centers on the study of fossil fruits and seeds of flowering plants. The information accumulated in these studies has led him to explore ideas of increasingly greater scope, including patterns of plant geography, plant/animal interactions and broad scale evolution. He has authored numerous scientific papers. He has served as an editor for several professional journals. He has organized scientific symposia and has held many offices and professional societies. The title of his talk today is The Influence of Plants on the Evolution of Terrestrial Communities. Please join me in welcoming Professor Tiffney.
Bruce Tiffney: I want to thank the organizers of the BioForum for having me back again. I was here 5 or 8 years ago, giving a different presentation. It is a delight to be back. It is much more difficult however, to be the individual who immediately follows Karl Niklas who has an extraordinary gift for taking very complicated things and making them quite simple. By contrast, I am going to take a relatively simple set of contentions and make them fairly complicated before I am through.