Asa Gray (1810-1888) was responsible for establishing systematic botany at Harvard and the United States. Gray's ties with European botanists combined with his network of collectors in North America allowed him to serve as a central clearinghouse for the identification of plants from newly explored areas of North America. Through these relationships, Gray was able to build the foundation of the current Gray Herbarium at Harvard. Gray wrote a number of botanical textbooks, including his Manual of the Botany of the Northern United States, which became the standard field guide.
Gray served as a link between American and European botanical sciences. He reviewed new European scientific works regularly in the American Journal of Science and Arts and was largely responsible for introducing Darwin's theory of natural selection in the United States.
Part of the Asa Gray bicenntenial celebration at HUH in 2010 was the creation of twelve web exhibits, each highlighting a different aspect of Gray's life and career.