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Kass, Lee

Adjunct Professor of Plant and Soil Sciences

Kass taught full time at Elmira College (1982-2000), and conducted research with students as an adjunct professor at the L.H. Bailey Hortorium (BH), Cornell University (1990-present). She established the Elmira College Herbarium (ECH, 1984), founded on the historical plant collections of T. F. Lucy. At BH I completed the first edition of Field Guide to the Common Plants of San Salvador Island (1991), subsequently revised & updated (2005, 2009). While a Fulbright Scholar & Visiting Professor at the College of the Bahamas (1996), she facilitated the establishment of the Bahamas National Herbarium (BNH), of which she is currently an associate staff member. I have been Visiting Professor at Michigan State University, & Cornell University herbaria.

She is Visiting Professor and Adjunct Professor, School of Integrative Plant Science, Cornell University, and West Virginia University, Morgantown (WVU), where she focuses her efforts on publishing scientific papers and writing an intellectual biography of Nobel Laureate Barbara McClintock. She is co-author of Cornell’s Plant Breeding and Genetics Centennial history (Murphy & Kass, 2007, 2011). She consults on and investigate the biodiversity & reproductive biology of Bahamian Plants, and is a resource person for investigators on the Bahama Flora and for historians working in the field of botany and genetics. She guided Elmira College Honors and Research students in updating names for the T. F. Lucy Herbarium collection, currently housed at BH (Graver et al. 2005) and we have recently completed curating Lucy’s specimens for the Buffalo Museum of Science (Tilden et al. 2008, Kelloff & Kass 2014). At WVU, she teaches graduate and undergraduate classes and conduct research on the history of genetics and plant biology.


  1. Kass, L.B., T.K. Snyder, and K.A. Snyder. 2018. Updated List of Endemic Seed Plant Species found on San Salvador Island, The Bahamas; with a Perspective on Historical and Current Significance. Caribbean Naturalist. Special Issue No 2, 2018: 48-75.
  2. Kelloff, Carol L., Lee B. Kass. 2018. Databasing and georeferencing historical collections to discover potential sites for rare and endangered plants of New York, U.S.A., Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas [ JBRIT, formerly Sida]. Vol. 12(1) (June/July): 323-368.
  3. Cross, R., P. Fuentes, T. Jacobson, L. Kass, & A.M. Goebel. 2016. Identification of palms on San Salvador Island in the genera Coccothrinax and Leucothrinax [Family Arecaceae] using molecular methods; a preliminary report. Pp. 53 - 61. In: R. Erdman and R. Morrison (Eds.), Proceedings of the 15th Symposium on the Natural History of The Bahamas, 2013. Gerace Research Centre, San Salvador, Bahamas. []
  4. Landry, C. L., Elliott, N. B., Finkle, A. J., & Kass, L. 2014. Plant-Pollinator Interactions in Bahamian Coastal Communities. Caribbean Naturalist. 9:1-16.
  5. Kass, L. B. (Ed.). 2013. Perspectives on Nobel Laureate Barbara McClintock’s publications (1926-1984): A Companion Volume. The Internet-First University Press. URI: [On-line 30 Dec. 2013; updates 2014, 2016]
  6. Murphy, R. P. & L. B. Kass. 2011 (27 June). Evolution of Plant Breeding at Cornell University: A Centennial History, 1907-2006. Rev. ed. x, 178p., Appendices, Photo Section. The Internet-First University Press, Ithaca, NY. URI:
  7. Kass, L. B. 2009 (issued March 2011). An Illustrated Guide to Common Plants of San Salvador Island, Bahamas 3rd edition, Gerace Research Centre, San Salvador, Bahamas. 183 pp.
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