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Biographical entry Jacobs, Surrey Wilfrid Laurence (1946 - 2009)

29 April 1946
26 November 2009
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


Surrey Jacobs was one of Australia's foremost experts on the taxonomy, systematics and ecology of aquatic plants, particularly the families Aponogetonaceae, Hydrocharitaceae, Nymphaeaceae and Zosteraceae. Early in his career he worked on major revisions of grasses, including Triodia and Stipa. He collected widely across Australia, especially in remote areas, and described over 80 new taxa. His extensive knowledge of wetlands and grasslands led to his membership of State Government scientific advisory committees relating to environmental monitoring and the implementation of management policies. Jacobs's published output included both scholarly papers and (with colleagues) works on grasses and aquatic plants intended for a wider audience, some of which ran to several editions.



Career position - Joined the National Herbarium of New South Wales as Botanist
Education - PhD, University of Sydney
1983 - 1984
Career position - Australian Botanical Liaison Officer, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
2000 - 2009
Career position - Adjunct Professor, University of New England
2008 - 2009
Career position - Senior Principal Research Scientist, National Herbarium of New South Wales
Life event - Retired
Award - T. Wayne Miller Distinguished Service Award, International Aquatic Plant Management Society
Award - Public Service Medal
Award - Member (posthumous), Hall of Fame, International Waterlily and Water Garden Society

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Published resources

Journal Articles

  • Les, Donald H., 'Surrey W. L. Jacobs (1946-2009) and Aquatic Plant Research in Australia', Telopea, 13 (2011), 23-35. Details
  • Wilson, Karen L., 'Surrey Wilfrid Laurence Jacobs 1946-2009', Australian Systematic Botany Society Newsletter (2010), 3-8. Details
  • Wilson, Karen L., 'Surrey Wilfrid Laurence Jacobs 1946-2009', Telopea, 13 (2011), 13-21. Details


Helen Cohn