Oliver Gilbert was a pioneer, an outstanding field botanist and inspirational scientist. He worked in the broad fields of urban and lichen ecology and had almost 40 years of teaching and research experience within universities. Above all he was very approachable, an excellent teacher and fun to be with. Oliver was a leading figure in the British Lichen Society serving as BLS Bulletin Editor (1980–89 except 1987), President (1976–77) and was a frequent Council Member. He was elected an Honorary Member in 1997 and received the prestigious Ursula Duncan Award in January 2004. Oliver had an exceptional ability to find rare and interesting lichens and plant communities that others had overlooked and he constantly challenged conventional wisdom that particular habitats were uninteresting, especially urban habitats. His ecological ‘field craft’ skills were equally legendary. Passion for field work and British Lichen Society field meetings led him to organize a small grant awards scheme to stimulate others to attend field meetings and to submit their results for publication in the BLS Bulletin.
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