2011 inductee, Tennessee Botanists Hall of Fame, Elsie Quarterman,
Elsie Quarterman was born in 1910 in Georgia. She completed her undergraduate work at Georgia State Woman’s College in 1932. Post-graduate studies were done at Duke Univ. where she obtained her Ph.D. in 1949 under Henry J. Osting. She accepted a faculty position at Vanderbilt Univ. and later became the University’s first female department chair, heading the Biology Department in 1964.
Dr. Quarterman is best known for her work on the ecology and plant communities of the cedar glades of the Central Basin. She is widely recognized for the re-discovery of the Tennessee Coneflower (Echinacea tennesseensis) in 1969, a plant once thought to be extinct and subsequently the first plant endemic to Tennessee to be protected by the Endangered Species Act. She has received many honors including our very own TNPS Conservation Award. The Elsie Quarterman Cedar Glade State Natural Area was named in her honor in 1998.