William Louis Culberson

William Louis Culberson
Born (1929-04-05)April 5, 1929
Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Died February 8, 2003(2003-02-08) (aged 73)
Durham, North Carolina, United States
Residence United States
Citizenship United States
Nationality United States
Fields Lichenology
Institutions Duke University
Alma mater University of Cincinnati, University of Paris, University of Wisconsin–Madison
Influences E. Lucy Braun
Notable awards Acharius Medal (1992)
Spouse Chicita F. Forman (m. 1953)

William Louis "Bill" Culberson (April 5, 1929 in Indianapolis, Indiana—February 8, 2003 in Durham, North Carolina) was a lichenologist.

Professional history

Culberson earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Cincinnati, where he was influenced by E. Lucy Braun;[1] he subsequently attended the University of Paris and the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

In 1955, Culberson joined the botany department at Duke University; he subsequently managed Duke's acquisition of the lichen-centric herbaria of Julien Harmand and Johan Havaas. He served as the Hugo L. Blomquist Professor.[2] In 2010, the lichen collection was officially named the William Louis & Chicita F. Culberson Lichen Herbarium & Library.

He served as president of the Botanical Society of America and the American Bryological and Lichenological Society[3] and as director of the Sarah P. Duke Gardens.[4] He was the first editor-in-chief of the journal Systematic Botany.[5] In 1992, he became one of the first modern recipients of the Acharius Medal.[6]

Personal life

In 1953,[7] Dr. Culberson married fellow lichenologist Chicita F. Forman.


  1. WILLIAM LOUIS CULBERSON (1929-2003) in BOTANICAL ELECTRONIC NEWS (archived at the University of Oklahoma); by Lewis E. Anderson; published February 26, 2003
  2. Yoon, Carol Kaesuk (June 13, 1995). "Pariahs of the Fungal World, Lichens Finally Get Some Respect". The New York Times.
  3. Elix, John A.; Nash III, Thomas H. (2003). "A tribute to William Louis Culberson". The Lichenologist. 35 (2): 93–95. doi:10.1016/S0024-2829(03)00025-2.
  4. Obituary: Dr. William Louis Culberson (1929 - 2003); by Isao Yoshimura; in the Newsletter of the Japanese Society for Lichenology, no. 21 (page 72 - English version); retrieved October 22, 2013
  5. PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN: A Publication of the Botanical Society of America, December 1975 Vol. 21 No. 4; archived at Botany.org
  6. Acharius Medallists at Lichenology.org; retrieved October 22, 2013
  7. Acharius Medallists: William Louis Culberson at Lichenology.org; retrieved October 22, 2013
  8. IPNI.  W.L.Culb.
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