A faculty member since 1983, in 2011 Dr. Rundel was honored with UCLA’s Distinguished Teacher Award. In addition to teaching, Dr. Rundel serves as faculty director of UCLA’s Stunt Ranch Santa Monica Mountains Reserve, a field station for education and research in the Santa Monica Mountains. He was also involved with the establishment of the UCLA La Kretz Center for California Conservation Science.
Life Sciences Division Dean Victoria Sork stated that Dr. Rundel’s “impeccable scientific pedigree, vast leadership experience, and passion for conservation of plant ecosystems made him ideally suited to lead one of UCLA’s most beloved and scientifically important treasures.”
The Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden is a living museum of unusual plants, with special collections that benefit both the teaching and research missions on campus. Serving as a refugium for biodiversity, it offers its educational content to the campus community, residents of Los Angeles, and visitors from around the world to enhance learning about plants and promote greater appreciation for relevance of plants to society. The Garden is also a special place of beauty and reflection for the campus community and neighbors.