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University of Wisconsin–Madison
Ken Cameron

Ken Cameron

Expert on plant biology, especially orchids, Vanilla, and the flora of Wisconsin; natural history science museum collections

Professor, Botany; Director, WI State Herbarium Work: 608-265-9237 — Home and cell phones available upon request Home page


  • Biology of vanilla, the world's most important flavor and fragrance
  • >400 million years of plant evolution and diversity, from the tropics to the temperate zone
  • Evolution and classification of the orchid family (orchids; Orchidaceae), the largest family of plants on Earth
  • Scientific, historical, and cultural research value of natural history museum collections
  • Curation of the world class WI State Herbarium, a collection of 1.3 million preserved plant specimens


  • Author of "Vanilla Orchids: Natural History and Cultivation". 212 pages. Timber Press, Portland, OR. 2011
  • Recipient of the 2014 Peter Raven Award for Exceptional Scientific Outreach, American Society of Plant Taxonomists.
  • Author or co-author on >100 peer-reviewed scientific papers in the field of plant systematics
  • Frequent contributor to local and national media stories, including NOVA, HGTV, NPR, BBC Radio, NYTimes, and others