David Hunt

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David Hunt

Post by Phil_SK » Fri May 24, 2019 6:28 am

Rob Wallace has posted on FB that:
I just received the very sad news from Graham Charles that my friend and colleague David Hunt passed away on Sunday, 19 May 2019 (b. 1938; age 81) due to rapidly progressing cancer. David was one of the foremost scholars of the Cactaceae, and certainly was one of the most influential botanists, if not THE most influential botanist, to revise and develop a broad understanding of the family, and encourage discussion and communication about its various groups and classification systems among those of us around the world who studied the cacti botanically. He will be sorely missed, as there likely will never be another person so dedicated to communication and publications of all kinds on the cactus family, including his commitment to conservation, that we enjoyed with Dr. Hunt. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Margaret Phillips. Rest well David, and thank you for all that you did for the Cactaceae, and for those of us who also love these plants.
As editor of the Cactus and Succulent Journal of Great Britain from 1976 until the merger of the Societies that lead to the BCSS, he was responsible for turning the CSJGB into the place to publish the more technical C&S articles, which he was able to continue doing post-merger as co-editor of Bradleya with Nigel Taylor for the first ten issues. He edited/published and wrote much of Cactus Consensus Initiatives / Cactus Systematics Initiatives, from 1996 until the 40th edition, published last summer. It started as a way of publishing name changes needed ahead of the New Cactus Lexicon but has continued long since, becoming an amazing little publication that I will miss. But it's perhaps as the lead author of the New Cactus Lexicon that he will longest be remembered.
Phil Crewe, BCSS 38143. Mostly S. American cacti, esp. Lobivia, Sulcorebutia and little Opuntia
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Tony R
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Re: David Hunt

Post by Tony R » Fri May 24, 2019 7:49 am

This is indeed very sad news, Phil, thank you for sharing it more widely. Sincere condolences to the family.
Two more books which David edited and I refer to often, are of course:

opuntia studies.jpg
opuntia studies.jpg (275.34 KiB) Viewed 1057 times
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Re: David Hunt

Post by Terry S. » Fri May 24, 2019 8:16 am

A life to be celebrated. I first met David in the 1970s when he gave talks to the North Surrey Branch of the Cactus & Succulent Society of Great Britain (CSSGB), perhaps as a consequence of a shared interest with our branch secretary Bill Maddams. He was initially employed by Kew to work on certain genera of the Commelinaceae (Tredescantia family) which conveniently grow in Mexico. He was therefore able to use the field trips to also study the genus Mammillaria which was his first love amongst the cacti. I had the privilege of serving with him on the Council of the CSSGB in my role of Seed Distribution Organiser during the period leading to the merger with the National Society at the start of 1983. David encouraged me to write a manuscript on the cultivation of succulent plants for a Society booklet that unfortunately was shelved as a consequence of the merger. David broadened out his interest in the Cactaceae which lead to a major input into the New Cactus Lexicon as described above. After retirement from Kew and moving westwards, David did not give many talks/lectures but concentrated on his writing and organ-playing. It is difficult to think of any other Brit who has made such a contribution to the study of the cactus family.
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Re: David Hunt

Post by KarlR » Fri May 24, 2019 10:54 am

Very sad news! I never had the pleasure of meeting him, but it still feels like a big loss.
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Re: David Hunt

Post by Chris43 » Sat May 25, 2019 11:44 am

This is very sad news.

As Terry has said, David's first love among cactus plants was the genus Mammillaria. He took this large genus and worked unceasingly to create a structure and understanding that has lasted for decades. I only met David on a relatively few occasions, though in more recent years much of our contact was through email. He had started an electronic journal, Huitzilopchtlia, and in that continued his critical assessment of the proliferation of "new" names. These assessments are invaluable to our understanding of these plants. I will always remember his guidance that one should look more for similarities than for differences.

His contribution to our world of cacti and succulents was far wider that just this genus, and he will forever be remembered as one of the greats of cactus botany.
Chris, Chinnor, Oxon, UK
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Re: David Hunt

Post by Mike P » Sun May 26, 2019 2:25 pm

Very sad indeed. Never met him in person but had several exchanges of emails with him on the topic of Tunilla which he was working on. Difficult to imagine who will pick up that line of research now.
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Re: David Hunt

Post by Ian Thwaites » Mon May 27, 2019 10:34 am

I am very sorry to hear this. David was a giant in the cactus world and did so much work work on the plants we all love and was the author of many books on Cacti including the New Cactus Lexicon which with his co-authors was a monumental task.

I met David many times through the years and he was very supportive of my nomination and subsequent election to he IOS in the 80's and I had the pleasure of his company on many congresses throughout the world. I was also privileged to hear David play the piano and it was wonderful.

In later years David asked me to become treasurer of the IOS and unfortunately due to work commitments was unable to help him at that stage. David worked tirelessly to keep the IOS alive and I hope that this work will be continued as it is a great meeting opportunity for botanists and serious amateurs from all over the world.

What people will probably not realise is that he was very fond of Crassula and he was also an expert in tree's (the exact type I am sorry I do not know). David had an interest and great knowledge of many plant types and he will be sorely missed.
Ian Thwaites
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Re: David Hunt

Post by Christer Johansson » Thu May 30, 2019 8:06 pm

My condolences.
The New Cactus Lexicon is something I associate with David Hunt, and that work is close to my heart.
My site: plantae.se
DPP4, Capture One 10, CombineZM
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