Bernice Schubert was born in 1913 in Boston. She received her B.S. at the University of Massachusetts, Desmodium and Begonia. She assisted with M.L. Fernald's Gray's Manual of Botany (8th edition) and Edible Wild Plants of Eastern North America.Amherst in 1935. She earned her M.S. in 1937 and her Ph.D. in 1941, from Radcliffe College. She worked as a research assistant in systematic botany at Harvard's Gray Herbarium from 1936 to 1939, where she did taxonomic research on Desmodium and Begonia. She assisted with M.L. Fernald's Gray's Manual of Botany (8th edition) and Edible Wild Plants of Eastern North America.
From 1950 to 1951, she conducted research on legumes as a Guggenheim fellow in Europe. She worked at the Jardin Botanique de l'Etat in Brussels from 1951 to 1952. From 1952 to 1961, she was employed as a plant taxonomist for the U.S.D.A. One of her projects was a program with the National Heart Institute and the National Institutes of Health to screen plants for the presence of alkaloids that could be used to treat hypertension. Schubert next began working at Harvard, where she continued until her retirement in 1984.
|The Arnold Arboretum|
Among various positions, she was the curator of the Arnold Arboretum, a senior lecturer on biology, and the editor of the Journal of the Arnold Arboretum. She also continued her research focusing on Dioscoreaceae, Leguminosae, and Begoniaceae. Schubert published over 100 scientific papers, was the first secretary of the Women's Organization at Harvard, and was a founding member of the International Association of Plant Taxonomists. She traveled widely, especially to Latin America and Mexico, where she had many contacts in the botanical community. Schubert died August 14, 2000 in Lexington, Massachusetts at age 86.