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MUSSELMAN NAMED BIOLOGY CHAIRMAN

Lytton J. Musselman, Mary Payne Hogan Professor of Botany at Old Dominion University, has been named chairman of the Department of Biological Sciences.

A member of the university faculty since 1973, Musselman was first designated as an eminent scholar in 1993. Earlier this year, he was a visiting professor of biology at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon. In 2000, he was a visiting professor at Aleppo University in Syria and the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature in Jordan. In 1997-98, he was a senior Fulbright lecturer and researcher at the University of Jordan.

Musselman is director of the Old Dominion University Herbarium and manager of the Blackwater Ecologic Preserve. In 1986-87, he was a senior Fulbright lecturer and researcher at An Najah University in Nablus, the West Bank. From 1982-84, he was a senior Fulbright researcher at the University of Khartoum in Sudan.

Last year, Musselman traveled to Jordan, where he unveiled his book "Jordan in Bloom: Wildflowers of the Holy Land" for Her Majesty Rania Al-Abdullah, Queen of Jordan. The book, published by the Jordan River Foundation and commissioned by the queen, includes original watercolors of Jordanian flora by Dasha Fomicheva, a Russian artist who worked many years for then-Prince Abdullah and his wife Rania.

Writing "Jordan in Bloom" was a continuation of Musselman's work on Middle Eastern plants. His major research emphasis has been ethnobotany, the science of how people use plants of the region, particularly plants of the Bible. Musselman was a Fulbright professor in Jordan in 1997-98 and has spent several months in Jordan or Syria each year since 1998. In July, he was a visiting professor at the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature in Jordan.

Working with Fomicheva, Musselman selected 53 different Jordanian plants to feature in the book. He describes Jordan as a small but ecologically diverse country and one that would fit into the commonwealth of Virginia with 10,000 square miles to spare.

This article was posted on: September 2, 2002

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