Elsa Pooley was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in 2008. She won the prestigious Marloth Medal of the Botanical Society of South Africa (2004), and was awarded the Certificate of Merit for Outstanding Contribution to Botany by the SA Association of Botanists in 1999. She was the KZN Wildlife and Environment Society’s Conservationist of the Year in 1996.
Elsa grew up in Johannesburg, Harare and Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. In 1965 she married conservationist and crocodile ecologist Tony Pooley. They had three sons, Simon, Justin and Thomas. She lived in game reserves of Zululand for 20 years making an extensive collection of the plants of the region, and publishing research papers on vegetation mapping and traditional plant use by local people. The family moved to Clansthal on the KZN South Coast and Elsa began work on her field guides.
* now fully revised and updated by Richard Boon and published under the title Pooley’s Trees of the Eastern Region