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Dr John Dransfield (United Kingdom) graduated at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge University, gaining his PhD under Professor E.J.H. Corner in 1970 with a study of two Malaysian palm genera, Eugeissona and Johannesteijsmannia. He devoted his working life to palm research, working first in Indonesia for four years specialising in rattan, the climbing palms that are the source of cane for cane furniture. In 1975 he continued palm research at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew where he was head of Palm Research until his retirement in 2005. Dransfield is Honorary Research Fellow at Kew and author of several books on palms (including rattan) and numerous scientific papers.