William Starling Sullivant
|Died||April 30, 1873 70) (aged|
|Alma mater||Yale (Baccalaureate 1823)|
|Children||13, including T. S. Sullivant|
William Starling Sullivant (January 15, 1803 – April 30, 1873) was an early American botanist recognized as the foremost authority on bryophytes in the United States.
Sullivant was the oldest son of Lucas Sullivant and Sara (Starling) Sullivant. He was born in Franklinton, Ohio, a frontier town that had recently been established by his father and which eventually became part of Columbus, Ohio. He was sent to Kentucky for his initial education, then spent a year studying at Ohio University when it first opened in Athens, Ohio. Later he transferred to Yale and received a bachelor's degree in 1823. 
The death of his father that same year obliged Sullivant to return home and take over management of the family business. He became a surveyor and civil engineer and successfully invested in mills, stone quarries, canals and other endeavors. He became interested in botany around 1834, influenced in part by his second wife, Eliza Griscom Wheeler. Initially he was interested in flowering plants and in 1840 published A Catalogue of Plants, Native and Naturalized, in the Vicinity of Columbus, Ohio.
Sullivant collected plants throughout the Ohio region and built up a large herbarium with an emphasis on grasses and sedges. He identified and published several new plant species. He became acquainted with other botanists in America, notably Asa Gray and John Torrey. Their support encouraged Sullivant to continue his botanical studies and he turned his focus to mosses and liverworts. 
In 1843 Sullivant traveled with Asa Gray through the Allegheny Mountains collecting mosses. He presented his findings in a bound two-volume folio, Musci Alleghaniensis (1845,1846), containing dried specimens of the mosses he had collected along with accompanying text in Latin for each species.  He also authored the sections on mosses and liverworts in Gray's Manual of the Botany of the Northern United States (1848).  Sullivant's contribution was later published separately under the title, The Musci and Hepaticae of the United States, east of the Mississippi River (1856).
He was elected as a member to the American Philosophical Society in 1862. 
In 1864 Sullivant published his most important work, Icones Muscorum, containing 129 illustrations and descriptions of the mosses indigenous to eastern North America. The breadth of this work and the excellent illustrations cemented Sulivant's reputation as the pre-eminent American bryologist of his time.
He contracted pneumonia and died in Columbus on April 30, 1873.  He had been working on a supplement to Icones Muscorum which was completed in 1874 by his colleagues, Leo Lesquereux. Lesquereux and Thomas P. James also completed his Manual of Mosses of North America in 1884. 
During his career Sullivant had named and described 270 species of bryophytes and had gained worldwide recognition as the preeminent authority on North America mosses and related plants. He built an herbarium of some 18,000 moss specimens which were donated to Harvard University. The Sullivant Moss Society was named in his honor and later became known as the American Bryological and Lichenological Society. 
He married three times: Jane Marshall in 1824, Eliza Griscom Wheeler in 1834 and Caroline Eudora Sutton in 1851. He had thirteen children with his three wives. His son, T. S. Sullivant, was the influential cartoonist published in Life and other magazines.
The Marchantiophyta are a division of non-vascular land plants commonly referred to as hepatics or liverworts. Like mosses and hornworts, they have a gametophyte-dominant life cycle, in which cells of the plant carry only a single set of genetic information.
Richard Spruce was an English botanist specializing in bryology. One of the great Victorian botanical explorers, Spruce spent 15 years exploring the Amazon from the Andes to its mouth, and was one of the first Europeans to visit many of the places where he collected specimens. Spruce discovered and named a number of new plant species, and corresponded with some of the leading botanists of the nineteenth century.
Metzgeriales is an order of liverworts. The group is sometimes called the simple thalloid liverworts: "thalloid" because the members lack structures resembling stems or leaves, and "simple" because their tissues are thin and relatively undifferentiated. All species in the order have a small gametophyte stage and a smaller, relatively short-lived, spore-bearing stage. Although these plants are almost entirely restricted to regions with high humidity or readily available moisture, the group as a whole is widely distributed, and occurs on every continent except Antarctica.
Buxbaumia is a genus of twelve species of moss (Bryophyta). It was first named in 1742 by Albrecht von Haller and later brought into modern botanical nomenclature in 1801 by Johann Hedwig to commemorate Johann Christian Buxbaum, a German physician and botanist who discovered the moss in 1712 at the mouth of the Volga River. The moss is microscopic for most of its existence, and plants are noticeable only after they begin to produce their reproductive structures. The asymmetrical spore capsule has a distinctive shape and structure, some features of which appear to be transitional from those in primitive mosses to most modern mosses.
Charles Léo Lesquereux was a Swiss-born bryologist and a pioneer of American paleobotany who studied the formation of peat bogs.
The American Bryological and Lichenological Society is an organization devoted to the scientific study of all aspects of the biology of bryophytes and lichen-forming fungi and is one of the nation's oldest botanical organizations. It was originally known as the Sullivant Moss Society, named after William Starling Sullivant. The Society publishes a quarterly journal distributed worldwide, The Bryologist, which includes articles on all aspects of the biology of mosses, hornworts, liverworts and lichens. The Society also publishes the quarterly journal Evansia, which is intended for both amateurs and professionals in bryology and lichenology and is focused on North America.
Clara Eaton Cummings was an American cryptogamic botanist and Hunnewell Professor of Cryptogamic Botany at Wellesley College in Massachusetts.
Charles Reid Barnes (1858-1910) was an American botanist specializing in bryophytes. He was co-editor of the Botanical Gazette for over 25 years.
William Campbell Steere (1907–1989) was an American botanist known as an expert on bryophytes, especially arctic and tropical American species. The standard author abbreviation Steere is used to indicate this person as the author when citing a botanical name.
Lois Clark (1884-1967) was an American botanist, bryologist, and professor who studied plants of the Northwestern United States, particularly the genus Frullania. She taught at the University of Idaho and the University of Washington. The standard author abbreviation L.Clark is used to indicate this person as the author when citing a botanical name.
John Milton Bigelow was an American physician and botanist. He had a successful medical practice, and also, a keen interest in botany - especially native plants with medical applications. He participated as a botanist and surgeon on two important expeditions through the American Southwest—the Mexican Boundary Survey and the 35th Parallel Expedition for the Pacific Railroad Surveys. He also amassed a significant collection of California plants that yielded many new species. He communicated his botanical results with the three top American botanists of the day, John Torrey, Asa Gray, and George Engelmann. Many of his botanical discoveries were named after or by him. He contributed to the botanical and medical literature of his day.
Alexander William Evans was a botanist, bryologist, and mycologist that specialized in the flora of Connecticut.
Margaret Hannah Fulford was an American bryologist who was active in identifying the flora of North and South America. The standard author abbreviation Fulford is used to indicate this person as the author when citing a botanical name.
Andrew Denny Rodgers, III, was a lawyer and botanist who was born and died in Ohio. He graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1922, and obtained an LL.B. degree from Ohio State University in 1925. He practiced law from 1926 to 1933, then undertook graduate study at Northwestern University from 1933 to 1935, and became a member of scientific organizations. He published articles in plant science and other journals. He became a serious student of the history of North American botany, primarily of the later nineteenth century. In 1940 he published his first book, Noble Fellow. Noble Fellow was an extensive treatise on Rodgers' great grandfather, bryologist William Starling Sullivant; it dealt with Sullivant's heritage and then followed with a thorough discourse on his life and times. In subsequent years he wrote and published six more books on North American botanical topics. His books received high praise from botanical professionals who reviewed them. Some examples:
Adolph E. Waller, in the Forward to Noble Fellow, wrote: "It is much more than a memoir of a distinguished ancestor. It seems that this biography with its wealth of Americana can be claimed the first attempt to bridge the gap between the recent past of our United States and the rapidly changing world in the fields of modern scientific research."
Conway Zirkle, in his review of Rodgers' book on John Torrey, wrote: "Mr. Rodgers tracks down his source material with rare skill, enormous energy, and, we can use no other word, gusto. He ferrets out forgotten or lost manuscripts, college and society records, family letters, anything that bears on his subject. The result is that his work is authoritative, detailed, and remarkably complete... This is one of the most satisfactory biographies to appear in recent years."
Albert F. Hill, reviewing Rodgers' Liberty Hyde Bailey, wrote "... no review can do it justice. It must be read to be appreciated-and read at one's leisure-in order to assimilate the wealth of material within its pages... it is a worthy successor to [Rodgers' earlier books], and carries the saga of North American botany another step nearer completion."
H. H. Chapman wrote of Rodgers' Bernard Edward Fernow: A story of North American Forestry "In completeness of coverage, fidelity to facts, and freedom from bias, this volume should rank as the most comprehensive and trustworthy history of the origin and development of forestry in the U. S. and Canada that has yet appeared... In a careful reading of the text, based on personal knowledge covering fifty years, the reviewer has not discovered any inaccuracies... This text is far more than a life of Dr. Fernow. Literally hundreds of persons are mentioned, with the part they played in forest history."
William Henry Pearson (1849–1923) was an English bryologist, known as an outstanding expert on British liverworts (hepatics).
John Michael Holzinger was a German-born American bryologist, expert on the bryoflora of Colorado, and third president of the Sullivant Moss Society.
Geneva Sayre was a bryologist and bibliographer. She "pioneered bibliographical and historical bryology, a new field in the study, evaluation, and organization of the literature of bryology."
Theodore Christian Frye was an American botany professor and one of the world's leading experts on bryology.
Harvey Alfred Miller was an American botanist, specializing in Pacific Islands bryophytes.
Wilfred "Wilf" Borden Schofield was a Canadian botanist, specializing in mosses and liverworts. He was considered by many "the foremost bryologist in Canada".