Emily L. Gillespie
Curator of the Marshall University Herbarium
Ph.D. Wake Forest University
M.S. Appalachian State University
B.A. University of North Carolina at Asheville
Andrew P. Hart. Fall 2012-present.
Andrew is a Marshall undergrad and Yeager Scholar who began working in the lab during his first semester of college (Fall 2012). He is managing his own project studying the evolutionary relationships among the Labrador teas (Rhododendron Subsection Ledum). Andrew has generated a five-gene data set, culminating in his Capstone and Yeager projects during Spring 2015.
One of the most interesting discoveries of Andrew's study is that some members of this small genus appear to be hybrids of other rhododendrons.
Update: Andrew is writing up his Ledum publication while looking for a great Ph.D. program. We look forward to seeing where Andrew ends up next Fall.
Krystal T. ("KT") Payne. Fall 2013-present.
KT is an M.A. student finishing up in May, 2015. She has taken a variety of courses at Marshall, ranging from plant taxonomy to museum studies.
Update: KT is settling into the next phase of her life in Virginia while she finishes up a couple of requirements to graduate with her Master's degree in hand!
Zachary Shamblin. Fall 2015-present.
Zach was in my intro course a few semesters ago, and decided that he liked the idea of herbarium informatics. Zach is doing an Independent Study for Fall 2015, and we're hoping that it grows into his Capstone study for Spring 2016. He is using specimens to understand how the distribution of Dwarf Cinquefoil (Potentilla canadensis, Rosaceae) has changed over time and the factors behind that distribution shift. In the process of studying his specimens, he is digitizing them completely, contributing to our efforts to mobilize the data held in the herbarium. Zach's study is a first for the herbarium, in that is not just studying the information on the specimens, but attempting to extrapolate evolutionary processes from that information. We're really glad that Zach agreed to be a guinea pig, because he's helping us develop best practices for future students.
Herbarium 'Triple Threat'
SERNEC TCN Herbarium Assistants
Ashley, Kristen and Katrina all came into the herbarium as freshman Federal Work Study students and quickly mastered basic herbarium and record keeping. When our NSF grant got up and running in late Fall 2014, they focused their effort on troubleshooting protocols, learning a good amount of plant taxonomy, and fundamentals of photography. These three are now the glue that holds all visitors, short-term research students and work study students together, taking on virtually all duties in the herbarium like pros. (They're really awesome).
Seniors Shad Mitchell and Michael Peterson joined the herbarium in September 2015 as student employees on our current NSF grant to digitize the collection.
Shad was in my intro course a few semesters ago and now volunteers for the same course as a learning assistant, and Michael came to us by way of MU's Museum Studies course run by Dr. Suzanne Strait. They've both quickly gotten up to speed and are now barcoding, imaging and filing like they've been here forever.