Dr. K. M. Matthew SJ (1974-2004)
K.M. Matthew, S.J., B.A., M.Sc.a, M.Sc., (U.K.), Ph.D., the Founder Director of RHT, Fellow of the Linnean Society (Londan), was a committed systematic botanist from South India. During 1958-83, he spent 863 days in field botany and accumulated nearly 100,000 collections, His earlier books on The Exotic Flora of Kodaikanal and An Enumeration of the Flowering Plants of Kurseong pertained to two extremities of the Indian subcontinent. The Carnatic Flora one in three volumes took his full attention from 1975 including four years’ leave from teaching and one trip abroad. He believed that a new Flora of India that could effectively replace The Flora of British India completed in 1897 should be a high priority for Indian plant taxonomy. No easy task this, because of the massive amount of data that have accumulated during this century that await reviewing before being incorporated into the new Flora of India. This work, technically called monography, should be interdisciplinary and synthetic with recourse to all new data and making use of modern techniques. Such a work is truly an Obligation to International botany from India, the home of a Rich land varied flora, such a National enterprise will neatly coincide with the urgent work of Nature Conservation.
His overseas experience (1971- 1974, 1982) was centred on Kew (U. K.) and Leiden (Netherlands) form where he had visited all the major European herbaria. He was a number of several international botanical societies and reviewer for periodicals.
Dr. S. John Britto SJ (1983-till)
Dr.S.John Britto SJ FLS (London) served as Professor in the department of Plant Biology & Plant Biotechnology at St. Joseph’s College (Autonomous), Tiruchirappalli, a premier institution of higher education in India. He was the Principal, St.Joseph’s College (Autonomous) & presently Director of The Rapinat Herbarium in the same college. His research interests range from Biodiversity, Floristics, Vegetation Mapping using Remote sensing and GIS, and Micropropagation of Endangered Plants. He has successfully completed twenty major research projects funded by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, DST, DOS, DBT, ICMR, ISRO(NRSA) and the UGC. He is the recipient of the state level award for innovative research on Environment and Bio diversity for the year 2002. He is a member of different National & International Bodies. He has authored five books and more than 140 research publications, guided 50 M.Phils & 35 Ph.Ds in different aspects of Plant Sciences. He has travelled widely in Europe and East Asia.