Past Symposia

jlw_20121018_037_02019 Symposium: Early-career innovators in herbarium-enabled research and future-proofing for the next waves of inventiveness.

August 1, 2019 7:30 am- 1:00 pm
Botany 2019 Conference, Tuscon, Arizona.

The Society of Herbarium Curators Early Career Innovators symposium, co-sponsored by iDigBio, will provide a venue for eight current and recent NSF Postdoctoral Fellows to present their herbarium-enabled research. Speakers will provide fresh opinions on how collections can position themselves and the specimens and data that they curate to produce maximum research relevance in the next waves of innovation. These eight participants will present on a range of collections-enabled research topics, including such topics as Plant Invasions, Plant Responses to Extreme Events, Sand-Entrapment by Plants, Plant Extinctions on Islands, Evolution of Floral Scent, Herbarium Genomics, Parasitic Plants, and Tropical Tree Diversity.

The 25-minute research talks will be interspersed with whole-group discussions of ideas raised by the speakers.

Organizers: Austin Mast (Department of Biological Science, Florida State University) and Patrick Sweeney (Peabody Museum of Natural History, Yale University).

Emily Bellis, Herbarium-enabled ecological modeling of a parasitic weed predicts host specialization and resistance, Penn State University, State College, PA.

Ian Breckheimer, Computer vision, crowd-sourcing, and the synthetic future of herbaria, Harvard University Herbaria, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.

Elliot Gardner, Title TBA, Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL.
J. Mason Heberling, Quantifying functional trait changes through a century of invasion, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh, PA.

Anna Johnson, Using pollen on stigmas of herbarium specimens to document long term pollen transfer dynamics, Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program, Pittsburgh, PA.

Eric LoPresti, Title TBA, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI.

Tracy Misiewicz, Elucidating the role of natural selection in the diversification of an Amazonian tree: Integration of genomic, phenotypic, geographic and ecological data from herbarium collections, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK.

Kathryn Turner, Herbarium genomics of a plant invasion, Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA.

Leveraging digital specimen data and derivatives for herbarium curation and collections’ management.

Location: Botany 2018 – Mayo Civic Center, Rochester, MN
Registration information: see Botany 2018 website:

Sylvia Orli – IT and Digitization Manager, Department of Botany, National Museum of Natural History. “Deep learning with botanical specimen images: a voyage into neural networks.”

Jason Best – Director of Biodiversity Informatics, Botanical Research Institute of Texas. “Evaluating herbarium cabinet capacity using computer vision – a progress update.” and “BRIT Digitization Appliance – tools for increasing digitization throughput and quality.”

Katie Pearson – Curator, R. K. Godfrey Herbarium and Graduate Student, Florida State University, “Leveraging digital data to understand and mitigate collection biases.”

Mary Barkworth– Director Emeritus, Intermountain Herbarium, Department of Biology, Utah State University.“Symbiota2: Enabling greater collaboration and flexibility for mobilizing biodiversity data.” 

Patrick Sweeney – Senior Collections Manager, Division of Botany, Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History. “The role of globally unique identifiers (GUIDs) in specimen digitization, curation, and mobilization.”


Strategic Planning for YOUR Herbarium—A Professional Development Opportunity brought to you by the Society of Herbarium Curators and iDigBio.

What is strategic planning? Why is it valuable? Where does one begin?
Join us for a morning of discussion and talks facilitated by a professional project manager. Learn from your colleagues’ experiences and build a plan for initiating the process within your own herbarium. Although we’ve done a good job with strategic planning across the collections community as a whole, relatively few herbaria have undertaken the activity for themselves. Strategic planning is important because it forms the foundation for long-term sustainability and helps communicate your herbarium’s value and vision to administrators, the public, colleagues, and policymakers.

Come and start YOUR strategic planning process today!

Location: Botany 2017 – Fort Worth, Texas. Omni Hotel Conference Center.
Registration information: see Botany 2017 website:

The Society of Herbarium Curators and ASPT sponsored a half-day symposium to encourage broader discussion and sharing among the membership about issues related to herbarium management, sustainability, and visibility. More than 50 participants attended.

Two themes were selected based on a poll of the herbarium community that occurred in early Fall 2015:
I. Successful models for communicating the importance of herbaria to decision-makers within universities, government and other institutions and
II. Digital herbarium “big data” resources: their curation and use in research.

Andrea Weeks, Introductory Remarks [ Download PDF ]

Barbara Thiers – William and Lynda Steere Herbarium, New York Botanical Garden, “Preserving for perpetuity in a changing world.” [ Download PDF ]

Brent Mishler – University and Jepson Herbaria, University of California, Berkeley, “The Consortium of California Herbaria: Integrating curation, information, and research.” [ Download PDF ]

John Nelson – A.C. Moore Herbarium, University of South Carolina, “How the A. C. Moore Herbarium was brought from the unknown and unimportant to a place of high respect by the university and society.” [ Download PDF ]

Lena Struwe – Chrysler Herbarium, Rutgers University, “The Herbarium Army at Rutgers – creating opportunities in research, education, and outreach at a university herbarium.”

Neil Snow – T.M. Sperry Herbarium, Pittsburg State University, “Reference collections in herbaria: A versatile but underutilized tool to enhance teaching, outreach and research.” [ Download PDF ]

Anna Monfils – Central Michigan University Herbarium, “Lessons learned in building educational networks that incorporate natural history collections.”

Wendy B. Zomlefer – University of Georgia Herbarium, “Best-practices for hosting regional herbarium curator workshops.”

Austin Mast – Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium, Florida State University, “The Worldwide Engagement for Digitizing Biocollections (WeDigBio) event—a global stage for your herbarium.” [ Download PDF ]