Real name: 

Primary Discipline

Primary Discipline: 

  • Old HierarchyHistory
Secondary Discipline

Secondary Discipline: 

  • Old HierarchyBiology


Not given

Recent scholarly activity: 

I am currently working on a general-interest book about New Jersey in the mid-18th century, as seen through the eyes of an astute visitor: the Swedish-Finnish scientist, Pehr Kalm (1716 –1779). (The work is supported by a publication grant from New Jersey Historical Commission.) The project grows out of my long-standing interest in the history of botany and medicine and, more directly, from two exhibitions: Come into a New World: Linnaeus and America (2007-9) and A State of Health: New Jersey's Medical Heritage (1999-2006).  I gave the keynote address on Kalm at the FinnFest (Buffalo, October 2015). 
Another project deals with an earlier European naturalist, Rev. John Banister (1654-1692), his exploration of Virginian botany, and the fate of his copy of a huge herbal, Theatrum Botanicum by John Parkinson (1640).  A preliminary report appears in:

Karen Reeds, “Mark Catesby’s Botanical Forerunners in Virginia,” in

The Curious Mister Catesby: A “truly ingenious” naturalist explores new worlds, ed. E. Charles Nelson and David J. Elliott (Athens GA: University of Georgia Press, 2015), Chapter 3, pp 27-38.


Recent publications: 

"Searching beyond the Medical Heritage Library: An Analytic Bibliography of On-Line Neo-Latin Texts," Bulletin of the History of Medicine. Winter 2015, Vol. 89 Issue 4, p793-795.  [A digital humanities review of Dana Sutton, An Analytic Bibliography of On-Line Neo-Latin Texts:  ]  ]“Houses No Warmer Than Barns: Peter Kalm on Fireplaces and Firewood in Colonial Pennsylvania”. The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 139 (3) (2015). Historical Society of Pennsylvania: 349–52. doi:10.5215/pennmaghistbio.139.3.0349.Stable URL:
“Mark Catesby’s Botanical Forerunners in Virginia,” in The Curious Mister Catesby: A “truly ingenious” naturalist explores new worlds, ed. E. Charles Nelson and David J. Elliott (Athens GA: University of Georgia Press, 2015), Chapter 3, pp 27-38.
Invited catalogue essay, “Impossible Plants,” Weird, Wild, & Wonderful: The Second New York Botanical Garden Triennial Exhibition, curated by the American Society of Botanical Artists (Bronx, NY: New York Botanical Garden and American Society of Botanical Artists, 2014), 9-11.
Review of Elisabeth Fairman, Of Green Leaf, Bird, and Flower: Artists' Books and the Natural World (Yale UP, 2014), in The Botanical Artist, 20:4 (2014), 11.
Karen Reeds and Isabelle Charmantier, “Botany,” Brill’s Encyclopaedia of the Neo-Latin World, ed. Philip Ford, Jan Bloemendal, and Charles Fantazzi (Renaissance Society of America, Texts and Studies, 3) (Leiden: Brill, 2014), Micropaedia: 933-35.
Karen Meier Reeds and Tomomi Kinukawa, "Medieval Natural History." In The Cambridge History of Science. Vol. 2, Medieval Science, ed. by David C. Lindberg and Michael H. Shank (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013), pp. 569-589.
“Saint John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum L.) in the age of Paracelsus and the great herbals: Assessing the historical claims for a traditional remedy,” (Chapter 9), 265-305, in Herbs and Healers from the Ancient Mediterranean through the Medieval West: Essays in honor of John M. Riddle, ed. Anne Van Arsdall and Timothy Graham, Medicine in the Medieval Mediterranean (Farnham, Surrey, UK: Ashgate, 2012).
“Finding a Plant in an Early Herbal: Hypericum, Saint John’s Wort, in Hieronymus Bock (Tragus), Kreüter Buoch, 1546,” [Book Technology II: Marking Places], AVISTA Forum Journal, 19:1/2 (Fall 2009), 70-72.
“Medicine and Public Health,” in Mapping New Jersey, ed. Maxine Lurie and Peter Wacker (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2009).
“Don’t Eat, Don’t Touch: Roanoke Colonists, Natural Knowledge, and Dangerous Plants of North America,” pp 51-57. In European Visions: American Voices, ed. Kim Sloan
British Museum Research Publication 172 (2009); online edition:
“Smallpox in colonial North America,” The Encyclopedia of Plague, Pestilence and Pandemic, ed. Joseph P. Byrne (Santa Barbara: Greenwood/ABC Clio, 2008).
“Unlocking the Virtual Stacks” [From the Field forum],” American Periodicals: A Journal of History, Criticism, and Bibliography, 17 (1) 2007, 121-123.
“A translation of Carl Linnaeus’ Introduction to Genera Plantarum (1737),” translated by Staffan Müller-Wille and Karen Reeds, Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 38:3 (2007), 563-572.
Come into a New World: Linnaeus and America (Philadelphia: American Swedish Historical Museum, 2007; distributed by Diane Publishing [p.4]), 32pp., exhibition guide.
Co-editor and contributor. Visualizing Medieval Medicine and Natural History, 1200-1550, ed. Jean Givens, Karen Reeds, Alain Touwaide. AVISTA Studies in the History of Medieval Technology, Science, and Art (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006): Chapter 8: “Leonardo da Vinci and Botanical Illustration: Drawing, Nature Printing, and Printing circa 1500.”
 Invited paper.“When the Botanist Can’t Draw: The Case of Linnaeus.” Special issue on scientific illustration, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, 29:3 (2004), 248-258.

Other activities: 

Princeton Research Forum: Secretary; Grants committee; NCIS liaison
Volunteer Mentor, ScienceMentors (mentoring inner-city high school students on science/environmental research projects)
Coordinator, Princeton Public Library Origami Group

Organization Title: 

Secretary; Grants committee; NCIS liaison


Princeton Research Forum

Contact us

National Coalition of Independent Scholars