Amy Blackwell

Coordinator, South Carolina Plant Conservation Alliance
Adjunct Assistant Professor
SC Botanical Garden

Office: 332 West Earle Street
Phone: 864-346-5926


 Educational Background

J.D. Law
University of Virginia 1997

Ph.D. Plant and Environmental Science
Clemson University 2013

M.A. History
Vanderbilt University 1992

A.B. Medieval and Renaissance Studies
Duke University 1991


Amy Hackney Blackwell earned her Ph.D. in Plant and Environmental Science from Clemson in 2013, working with Patrick McMillan on reforming the South Carolina Botanical Garden as a modern scientific institution. She, Patrick, and her husband Christopher Blackwell (Furman University, Dept. of Classics) work together on their historical botany project, Botanica Caroliniana (, which is working on reassembling a digital collections of plant materials collected in the Carolinas in the colonial days and held today in collections in Europe. Amy is also a former lawyer (recovering lawyer?) and a writer. Her academic research focuses partly on the legal regime governing the ownership and international exchange of genetic materials (Convention on Biological Diversity, etc.) Her writing credits include Mythology for Dummies, LSAT for Dummies, and several scientific reference works for the educational publisher Gale/Cengage Learning. She is very excited to have the chance to work with the SCPCA on plant conservation.

 Research Interests

Plant Conservation
Historic Botany
International Conservation Law
Botanical Gardens

 Extension and Outreach

• Invited speaker, “Teaching and Research Across 300 Years: Wilderness, Herbarium, Garden.” Leiden Hortus Botanicus: 425 Years. Leiden, Netherlands, 2015.
• Invited speaker, “Rediscovering Catesby’s Carolina,” Natural History Museum London, 2014.
• Invited panelist, “Mastering and wielding the Convention on Biological Diversity for your garden,” APGA Annual Conference, 2014.
• Invited speaker, “Ex Situ, Ex Tempore, and Back in the Garden: 300 years of Carolina Botany Repatriated,” U.S. Botanical Garden, 2014.
• Invited Respondent, APGA’s 2012 National Issues Forum Face2Face Summit on United National Convention on Biological Diversity, Washington, DC, October 2012.
• “Mark Catesby’s Hortus Siccus, a Digital Herbarium, and Modern Ecology,” Southeastern Ecology and Environmental Conference, 2012.


• “Proposal to conserve the name Clethra alnifolia (Clethraceae) with a conserved type,” Taxon, June 2015.
• “John Lawson’s Plant Collections, Virginia and North Carolina 1710-1711,” Phytoneuron, 2014.
• “Hijacking Cultural Heritage: Cultural Artifacts and Intellectual Property Rights,” Chicago-Kent Journal of Intellectual Property, 2014.
• “The Vascular Plants Collected by Mark Catesby in South Carolina: Combining the Sloane and Oxford Herbaria,” Phytoneuron, 2013.
• “Collected in 1704 in South Carolina: The plants of Joseph Lord.” Phytoneuron, 2013.
• “Botanical Gardens: Driving Plant Conservation Law,” Kentucky Journal of Equine, Agriculture, and Natural Resources Law, January 2013.
• “The vascular plants in the Mark Catesby collection at the Sloane Herbarium – with notes on their taxonomic and ecological significance,” Phytoneuron, 2013.
• “Image Quotation Using the C.I.T.E. Architecture,” Ariadne, July 2011.
• Living Green: Your Questions Answered (under contract; ABC-CLIO, Greenwood, 2018)
• East Asia and the Pacific, Social Progress and Sustainability Series (Mason Crest, 2017)
• Encyclopedia of Weather, Climate, and Natural Disasters Second Edition, editor (Complete rewrite and reorganization, Gale Cengage UXL, 2015)
• Encyclopedia of Science Third Edition, editor (Update and new content, 2014, Gale Cengage UXL)
• Beacham’s Guide to Endangered Species (Update and new content, 2012-2013, Gale Cengage).
• Plant Sciences, editor (Update, 2011, Gale Cengage).


SC Wildlife