Dr Louis Ronse De Craene obtained an MSc at the University of Reading and a PhD at the University of Leuven (Belgium) and became attached to the laboratory of Systematics in Leuven as postdoctoral researcher. Since 2002, he has been director of the MSc course on the Biodiversity and Taxonomy of Plants at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh. His research interests include the morphology and evolution of flowers and encompass a broad range of angiosperm families. His particular interests lie in floral ontogeny, an important tool in modern systematic research; he applies data from comparative morphology in a phylogenetic and evolutionary-developmental context, to address hypotheses on the evolution of floral forms and systematic relationships. As such he has built up an extensive expertise in floral structure and development. He is author of more than 80 publications, mostly in peer-reviewed international journals and is also an associate editor for the international journal Plant Systematics and Evolution.
Of all the extraordinary and obscure plants that have been fermented and distilled, a few are dangerous, some are downright bizarre, and one is as ancient as dinosaurs—but each represents a unique cultural contribution to our global drinking traditions and our history.
This fascinating concoction of biology, chemistry, history, etymology, and mixology—with more than fifty drink recipes and growing tips for gardeners—will make you the most popular guest at any cocktail party.