MEET THE board

Dr Philip Simpson


A renowned botanist, Philip was born in Golden Bay and has returned to his roots, living at Pohara with wife Wendy on a vineyard, at the northern end of the Abel Tasman.

Phillip has a botany degree and BSC honours from Canterbury University. He then moved to California to do a PHD on the structure and evolution of the Mojave Desert’s Joshua tree, the American equivalent of our own cabbage tree.

He worked with the Commission for the Environment and DOC as a botanist before turning author. His trademark style of combining the science of a species with its cultural value and human experience has seen him become an award winning and respected author on trees.

Topics include New Zealand’s cabbage tree, pohutukawa and rata, and totara. A book about the history of the Abel Tasman National Park, called “Down the Bay” is nearing completion.

Philip was a founding member of Project Crimson and in 2009 was awarded the Loder Cup for his dedication to conserving and promoting New Zealand’s native plant life.

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