Dr. Edgar Julian Duncan (Julian)

Dr. Julian Duncan is a Caribbean botanist whose tissue culture technique allowed for the mass production of plant products in the Islands. Born on the island of St. Vincent, he always had a fascination with plants while growing up. He obtained a BS (1960) in Botany and Zoology from the University of the West Indies in Jamaica and his PhD (1963) in Fungal Genetics and Cytology at University of St. Andrews in Scotland.  His thesis work laid the foundation for understanding nuclear division in fungi.

He started his career as a Botany Professor at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad. He then trained in plant tissue culture approaches at Freie Universitat Berlin where he studied on a Deutsche Akademische Austauschdienst Dienst (DAAD) Fellowship and enhanced his training in Brazil. He returned to UWI in Trinidad and created a plant propagation course and founded the UWI Biotechnology Research Program. He also implemented the first semi-commercial plant biotechnology facility. During his career he mentored hundreds of students in fields spanning botany, zoology, and fungi.

He received many awards and accolades for his work. He received the inaugural UWI Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and Administration (1994) and served on the Board of Governors of the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology. He also served on the Board of the Asa Wright Nature Centre and the Institute of Marine Affairs. He was given a Lifetime Achievement Award (2000) by the National Institute of Higher Education (Research, Science and Technology) NIHERST for his contributions to plant tissue culture and in 2005 he was named as one of the Caribbean Icons in Science, Technology, and Innovation (CCST/NIHERST). He retired in 1999 and is now a Professor Emeritus in Plant Science while still located in Trinidad.


  1. https://theorg.com/org/college-of-science-technology-and-applied-arts-of-trinidad-and-tobago/org-chart/edgar-julian-duncan
  2. https://icons.niherst.gov.tt/icon/julian-duncan-ci1/ 
  3. https://icons.niherst.gov.tt/icon/julian-duncan/
  4. https://asawright.org/edgar-julian-duncan-julian-ph-d/
  5. https://alumni.wp.st-andrews.ac.uk/2021/04/21/st-andrews-where-i-became-fully-the-person-i-am-today/