Sandra Knapp obtained her PhD in 1986 from Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. She is a specialist on the taxonomy of the nightshade family, Solanaceae, and has spent much time in the field in Central and South America collecting plants. She is the author of more than 150 peer-reviewed scientific papers and actively involved in promoting the role of taxonomy worldwide. She is also the author of several popular books on the history of science and botanical exploration, including the award-winning Potted Histories (2004). In 2009 she was honored by the Peter Raven Outreach Award by the American Society of Plant Taxonomists and the UK National Biodiversity Network’s John Burnett Medal. Her current projects include Flora Mesoamericana, a world-wide taxonomic monograph of the megadiverse genus Solanum (Solanaceae), collaborative research in phylogenetics and genomic evolution of Solanaceae, and field guides for conservation in the Neotropics.
Four new non-spiny Solanum (Solanaceae) species from South America