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Richard Pankhurst (born Richard John Pankhurst, 1940[1]–2013) was a British computer scientist, botanist and academic. From 1963 to 1966 he worked at CERN, then from 1966 to 1974 on computer-aided design at Cambridge University, and from 1974 to 1991 at the Natural History Museum as curator of the British herbarium. In 1991, he became a Principal Scientific Officer at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.[2]

Richard Pankhurst
Richard John Pankhurst

Died26 March 2013(2013-03-26) (aged 72–73)

He published over fifty peer reviewed papers[2] and sat on several committees:[2]

His book Biological Identification (1978) has been described as " the first textbook on computer methods in identification".[2]

Pankhurst died in 2013,[3] a year after the species Taraxacum pankhurstianum, endemic to St. Kilda, was named in his honour, for his suggestion that the seed from which it was grown at Edinburgh be collected.[4][5][6]

Selected worksEdit

  • Pankhurst, R.J. (1970), "A computer program for generating diagnostic keys", The Computer Journal, 13 (2): 145–151, doi:10.1093/comjnl/13.2.145
  • Pankhurst, R.J., ed. (1975), Biological identification with computers, Systematics Association Special Volume 7, London and Orlando: Academic Press, ISBN 978-0125448505
  • Pankhurst, Richard J. (1978). Biological Identification: The Principles and Practice of Identification Methods in Biology. Edward Arnold. ISBN 9780839113447.
  • Pankhurst, Richard J.; Mullin, J.M. (1991). Flora of the Outer Hebrides. ISBN 9781907807497.
  • Pankhurst, Richard J. (1991). Practical Taxonomic Computing. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521417600.
  • Pankhurst, R.J. (1993), "Principles and practices of identification", in R. Fortuner (ed.), Advances in computer methods for systematic biology: Artificial intelligence, databases, computer vision, Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, pp. 125–136, ISBN 0801844924


  1. ^ "Richard Pankhurst". Virtual International Authority File. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d "Dr. Richard J. Pankhurst". BioCISE. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  3. ^ "In Memoriam Dr Richard Pankhurst". Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  4. ^ Royal Botanical Garden Edinburgh. "New Dandelion Found". Retrieved 29 June 2012.
  5. ^ BBC News (29 June 2012). "New species of dandelion discovered on St Kilda island". Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  6. ^ Richards, A J; Ferguson-Smyth, C C (2012). "Taraxacum pankhurstianum (Asteraceae), a new dandelion endemic to St Kilda, Outer Hebrides, Scotland". New Journal of Botany. 2 (1): 16–19. doi:10.1179/2042349712Y.0000000006. ISSN 2042-3489.