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This profile was last updated on 2/11/14  and contains information from public web pages.

Dr. Robert L. Dressler

Wrong Dr. Robert L. Dressler?

Research Biologist

Local Address:  Costa Rica
Jardin Botanical Lankester

Employment History


  • Ph.D.
    Harvard University
10 Total References
Web References
Staff of Eria Designs, 13 May 2015 [cached]
Dr. Robert Dressler and his wife Kerrybegan Bio-Photo Services (our partner) over 20 years ago while Bob worked as a Biologist for the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama. After 20 + years with STRI in Panama Bob retired to Florida. Retirement lasted about 6 months. His current project is Co-ordinator for the Orchidaceae Section of the Flora MesoAmericana for the Missouri Botanical Gardens. Kerry took up Photography in order to follow Bob around the world, and she keeps the computers running. She hopes he might slow down someday.. but that looks to be a ways off. Together they have collaborated on four books, 3 CD's, and Kerry has taken to making internet shopping carts.
Field Guide to the Orchids of Costa Rica and Panama, 16 Feb 2007 [cached]
FIELD GUIDE to the ORCHIDS of COSTA RICA and PANAMA by Robert L. Dressler
The first field guide to the orchids of Costa Rica and Panama, this book is lavishly illustrated with 240 stunning color photographs and 229 line drawings. It contains keys to all the orchid genera in the region and most of the orchid species. To make it possible for nonbotanists to identify at least the genus of the orchids, Robert L. Dressler emphasizes feaures that can be readily seen with the naked eye or a hand lens.
Written in a friendly and accessible style, this guide begins with succinct descriptions of the geography, climate, and vegetation of Costa Rica and Panama, and includes appropriate comments on the peoples and cultures of the area. A discussion of orchid structure and ecology follows. The identification keys are preceded by instructions for use, and a general key directs the user to the appropriate chapter, where condensed descriptions and additional keys narrow the choices for the plant's identity. Dressler avoids complex terminology where possible and supplies a glossary of technical terms that will be helpful to those unfamiliar with botanical vocabulary. A short appendix describes how to prepare orchids for study and summarizes the laws that affect plant collectors, and another lists the authors of species names used in the guide.
Robert L. Dressler is a highly respected orchid specialist and Adjunct Curator at the Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida. He has worked at the Missouri Botanical Garden and was at the Smithsonian Tropical Institute in Balboa, Panama, from 1963 until 1985. A graduate of the University of SouthernCalifornia, he received his Ph.D. from Harvard University. He is the author of The Orchids; Natural History and Classification.
Selby Gardens Research Department | Selby Gardens, 1 Nov 2012 [cached]
Robert Dressler, Missouri Botanical Garden, Lankester Botanical Garden
Robert Dressler, Missouri Botanical Garden, residing in Costa Rica
New Page 1, 10 Dec 2007 [cached]
Robert Dressler - "Recent Work on Sobralias and Lankester Garden"
Biography :
Robert Dressler received his Ph.D., in biology, from Harvard University, in 1957. He has been employed by the Missouri Botanical Garden and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, is now employed by the Jardin Botanico Lankester, University of Costa Rica, and is associated with the Florida Museum of Natural History, Marie Selby Botanical Garden, and the Oakes Ames Orchid Herbarium at Harvard University.
He has worked on orchid classification, the natural pollination of orchids and the classification of the Euglossine bees, pollinators of many tropical American orchids. He is currently concentrating on Sobralia.
He is an Honorary Member of the AOS, and received the AOS Gold Medal in 2001 for his contributions to orchid research. He is the author of 6 books and well over 200 scientific articles. His wife, Kerry, is skilled at photography and computers (he is not), and has been a great help in his research and field work.
Robert L. Dressler,
Plant Science Bulletin - December 1963, Volume 9, Issue 4, 22 Jan 2001 [cached]
Other resignations from the Garden include DR. ROBERT GILLESPIE, who has joined the faculty of the Junior College District, St. Louis; DR. JAMES A. DUKE, now with U. S. Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, Maryland; and DR. ROBERT DRESSLER, who has taken a position with the Smithsonian Institution.
Dr. Dressler is a plant taxonomist at the Smithsonian's Canal Zone Biological Area.
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