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Plant Pest Diagnostics Center

Dean G. Kelch

Dr. Dean G. Kelch

former Senior Plant Taxonomist

Plant Pest Diagnostics Branch, California Department of Food & Agriculture
3294 Meadowview Road, Sacramento, CA 95832-1448, U.S.A.
916-262-1100 office, 916-262-1190 fax, dkelch@cdfa.ca.gov


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Curriculum vitae


  • Doctor of Philosophy  Botany & Systematics, University of California, Davis, 1996 .
  • Master of Science Botany, University of California, Davis, 1987 .
  • Bachelor of Science Botany, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1984 .


  • 2011-present, Primary State Botanist, California Department of Food & Agriculture
  • 2008-2011, Senior Plant Taxonomist, CDFA Herbarium, Plant Pest Diagnostics Branch, California Department of Food & Agriculture
  • 2006-2008, Associate Plant Taxonomist, CDFA Herbarium, Plant Pest Diagnostics Branch, California Department of Food & Agriculture
  • 2003-present, Assistant Researcher, University of California
  • 2002-2003, Associate Specialist, University of California
  • 2000-2002, USDA postdoctoral fellow, Plant Systematics, University of California
  • 1997-2000, Director, Ruth Bancroft Garden, Walnut Creek, California

Professional Activities

  • 2007, President, California Botanical Society
  • 2007, Past-President, San Francisco Succulent and Cactus Society
  • 2006, President, San Francisco Succulent and Cactus Society



  1. Mishler, B. D. and D. G. Kelch. In Press. Phylogenomics and early land plant evolution. Chaper 4 in Bryophyte Biology, 2nd ed. J. Shaw and B. Goffinet, eds. Cambridge Press.
  2. Wolf P., D, K. G. Karol, D. F. Mandoli, J. Kuehl, K. Arumuganathan, M. W. Ellis, B. D. Mishler, D. G. Kelch, R. G. Olmstead, and J. L. Boore. 2005. The first complete chloroplast genome sequence of a lycophyte, Huperzia lucidula (Lycopodiaceae). Gene. 350(2): 117-28.
  3. Kelch, D. G. and A. McClay. 2004. Putting the phylogeny into the centrifugal phylogenetic method. Proceedings of the XI International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds, James Cullen, Ed. (CSIRO), Melbourne, Australia
  4. Kelch, D. G., B. Mishler and A. Driskell. 2004. Inferring phylogeny using genomic characters: a case study using land plant plastomes. Molecular Systematics of Bryophytes, ed. B Goffinet. Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Saint Louis.
  5. Kelch, D. G. and B. G. Baldwin. 2003. Phylogeny and ecological radiation of New World thistles (Cirsium, Cardueae -- Compositae) based on ITS and ETS rDNA sequence data. Molecular Ecology. 12: 141-151.
  6. Kelch, D. G. 2002. Phylogenetic assessment of the monotypic genera Sundacarpus and Manoao (Coniferales: Podocarpaceae) utilizing evidence from 18S rDNA sequences. Austral. Syst: Botany. 15: 29-35.
  7. Kelch, D. G. 2002. Consider the Lilies: Changes in monocot classification. Fremontia, 30: 23-30.
  8. Kelch, D. G. and Baldwin, B. G. 2002. Evidence for recent radiation of New World Cirsium based on comparison of rDNA transcribed spacer variation in the New World Clade and in Canada thistle, C. arvense. American Journal of Botany 89 (abstract) 130.
  9. Kelch, D. G. and Baldwin, B. G. 2001. Utility of the External Transcribed Spacer (ETS) in Compositae tribe Cardueae phylogeny reconstruction and rapid evolution of North American thistles (Cirsium species). American Journal of Botany 88 (abstract) 115.
  10. Kelch, D. G. 1998. The phylogeny of the Podocarpaceae based on 18s ribosomal DNA sequence and morphological data. American Journal of Botany 85: 986-996.
  11. Kelch, D. G. 1997. The phylogeny of the Podocarpaceae based on morphological evidence. 1997. Systematic Botany 22: 113-131.

Synergistic Activities

  • President, California Botanical Society 2006-present
  • Collection and curation of plant specimens collected in expeditions to the Mediterranean Region, South America, the South Pacific, and South Africa Jepson Herbarium Cirsium Workshop leader, June, 2002 and 2005.
  • Botanical consultant to Carquinez Regional Environmental Education Center (CREEC)
  • Lecturer, University of California, Berkeley 2004-2007

Collaborators and Other Affiliates

    Bruce G. Baldwin (U.C. Berkeley), Raymond Cranfill (U.C. Berkeley), Alec McClay (Alberta Research Council), Linda Vorobik (University of California, Berkeley), Grady Webster (University of California, Davis), Brent Mishler (University of California, Berkeley), Paul Wolf (Utah State University), Ken Karol (University of Washington, Seattle), Dina Mandoli (University of Washington, Seattle), Jennifer Kuehl (Joint Genome Institute, Walnut Creek, CA), K. Arumuganathan (Benaroya Research Institute, Seattle, WA), Richard Olmstead (University of Washington, Seattle), Jeffrey Boore (Joint Genome Institute, Walnut Creek, CA), Linda Raubeson (Central Washington University) Sarah Mathews (Harvard University), Aaron Liston (Oregon State University), Andrea Schwarzbach (Kent State University) Christopher Campbell (University of Maine), Dennis W. Stevenson (New York Botanic Garden), Gar W. Rothwell (Ohio State University), Gene Mapes (Ohio State University), Jianhua Li (Harvard University), Rich Cronn (U.S. Forest Service), Robert Adams (Baylor University), Ruth Stockey (University of Alberta), William Friedman (University of Colorado), Sean Graham (University of British Columbia).

Graduate and post-Doctoral advisors of Dean G. Kelch

  • Graduate Advisor: Grady Webster (University of California, Davis)
  • Post-Doctoral advisors: Bruce Baldwin & Brent Mishler (University of California, Berkeley)