Archived News from the University and Jepson Herbaria
See home page for current announcements

November 2, 2020
Using seaweeds to read the history of the oceans! Kathy Ann Miller, Curator of Algae in the University Herbarium, was featured in a colorful article in The Guardian speaking to the importance of collections for baseline understanding of marine environments and how they are changing. See news story here. Also, see our developing California seaweed eFlora here.
September 20, 2020
A baseline for monitoring extinction in the Anthropocene. Jepson Curator Bruce Baldwin and UC/JEPS Director Brent Mishler contributed to an analysis documenting which plants in North America have already gone extinct. Available data suggest 65 vascular plant taxa from this region have become extinct since European settlement, 19 from California alone (thumbnail shows one of them, Calochortus monanthus, the only specimen ever collected, in 1876). Read the open source paper here, and New York Times article here.
August 4, 2020
Woody vines do the twist! The research of Joyce Chery, done as part of her PhD dissertation in the labs of UC/JEPS curators Chelsea Specht and Carl Rothfels, was featured in the New York Times. She showed how the unique evolution and development of wood in lianas allows them to be both strong and flexible, to twist through the forest canopy without breaking. Dr. Chery is currently an assistant professor at Cornell University. See her webpage here.
July 24, 2020
Mosses can hide under rocks in the desert! Jenna Ekwealor, a graduate student in the Mishler Lab, along with alumna Kirsten Fisher, made this fascinating and unique discovery while studying how mosses are able to live and reproduce in dry deserts. See university news article here, New York Times article here, NPR radio interview here, and the research paper here.
June 18, 2020
The University and Jepson Herbaria joins in the stand against systemic racism and urges us all to make meaningful changes in our personal and professional lives to promote equity in our communities. UC/JEPS is committed to fostering an environment that is supportive, welcoming, and respectful of all individuals; see the campus principles of community here. We welcome feedback about improvements we can make.
April 10, 2020
Faculty curator Noah Whiteman was just named a Guggenheim Fellow. Noah works on a diverse set of topics involving plant-animal coevolution. Please see the news story here: and Noah’s Lab website here:
December 20, 2019
The Jepson eFlora Revision 7 was published in December 2019! One of the new species included is Brodiaea matsonii (photo by Robert Preston). For the full details, please see the summary here:
December 2, 2019
The 2020 schedule for Jepson Herbarium Workshops is now available! There are educational opportunities for a broad audience of professional and amateur botanists. The weekend workshop program is celebrating its 27th season and will offer courses in basic botany, plant taxonomy, regional floras, ecology, and more! For the full slate of workshops, and to enroll, please see:
October 21, 2019
UC/JEPS alum Ekaphan (“Bier") Kraichak received this year's “Young Scientist Award” in Thailand. It is given annually to outstanding scientists under the age of 35, and was presented by Princess Sirindhorn herself. Bier received his PhD from UC Berkeley in 2012, studying evolutionary ecology of liverworts in Brent Mishler’s lab, and is now an assistant professor in Botany at Kasetsart University in Bangkok, Thailand.
August 09, 2019
UC/JEPS faculty, staff, and students played a major role in the recently concluded Botany 2019 meeting. The most exciting news is that three graduate students were recognized for best student talks in three different sections: Isaac Marck won the George R. Cooley Award, Joyce Chery won the Katherine Esau Award, and Jenna Ekwealor received Honorable Mention for the A.J. Sharp Award. See our Facebook page for more details.
March 14, 2019
Join BigGive by making a gift to support undergraduate students working at the University and Jepson Herbaria. Here, they will gain valuable skills in botany and conservation biology while helping us document biodiversity and share data with the world.
November 19, 2018
A new study has been published by a UC/JEPS team evaluating conservation priorities across California from several different evolutionary standpoints, to guide land conservation efforts. Read the campus news story here and here, the research paper here, and explore the data and methods in an interactive web link here.
October 22, 2018
The Jepson eFlora Revision 6 was published in September 2018! One of the new species included is Erythranthe shevockii (photo by John Game). For the full details, please see the summary here:
August 15, 2018
The University and Jepson Herbaria recently completed a NPS funded project to database and image over 1000 specimens collected by John Muir and housed at the John Muir National Historic Site in Martinez, California. Specimens were collected in Canada and Indiana in 1864-1867 and on his world tour in 1903-1904. Many of the specimens were in poor condition and were carefully remounted by plant mounter extraordinaire, Ana Penny. The Muir specimens are accessible via our Specimen Portal:
April 30, 2018
The University and Jepson Herbaria collaborated on an exhibit entitled Sustaining Grandeur: The First 100 Years of Save the Redwoods League, on display in the Bancroft Gallery in Doe Annex, April through August, 2018 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday).
For details on assembling the exhibit, which includes specimens and archival material from the Herbaria, please see:
January 8, 2018
The Jepson eFlora Revision 5 was published in December 2017! One of the new species included is Vaccinium shastense (photo by Steve Matson).
For the full details, please see the summary here:

October 30, 2017
A second paper has been published by the same UC/JEPS team referenced in a previous news item on this page (April 11, 2017), adding phylogenetic methods to the study of diversity and endemism in the California flora. This novel "spatial phylogenetics" approach makes it possible to evaluate biodiversity from an evolutionary standpoint, including discovering significant areas of neo- and paleo-endemism. Read the campus news story here and the open-source paper here.

October 5, 2017
Ingrid Jordon-Thaden, the lab manager for Assistant Professor/Curator Carl Rothfels of Integrative Biology and University and Jepson Herbaria, has been featured in a news article for UC Berkeley Research-IT (RIT). For the full article, click this link.

October 1, 2017
We are sad to announce that UC/JEPS Researcher Daniel Norris passed away September 30, 2017. Dan was an internationally famous bryologist, as well as a mentor for many students and colleagues in bryology. He is greatly missed here, and around the world.
... Read more here

April 11, 2017
New study published by a UC/JEPS team uses specimen-based distributional data, diversity metrics that include species’ relative breadth of range, and a randomization test, to map biodiversity and endemism for California native vascular plants. Download the PDF of full paper here.

March 17, 2017
UC/JEPS graduate students Joyce Chery and Carrie Tribble star in a two-part series telling the story of herbaria, including how to make plant collections, how they are curated, and how they are used in research, as part of the Science in Real Life series.
Plant Collecting & Herbarium Research ... Part 1.
Plant Collecting & Herbarium Research ... Part 2.

February 14, 2017
The Jepson eFlora Revision 4 was published in December 2016! One of the new species included is Adiantum shastense (photo by Julie Kierstead Nelson).
For the full details, please see the summary here:

January 18, 2017
UC/JEPS Researcher Benito Ching Tan has died. He was an internationally famous bryologist, as well as a helpful colleague and mentor for California botanists. We will miss him greatly. ... Read more here... and here.

September 20, 2016
University and Jepson Herbaria researchers Andrew Thornhill and Brent Mishler, as part of an international team, have published a major study using phylogenetic methods to model the effects of climate change on the eucalypts, Australia’s most dominant and widespread trees. ... Read more here.

September 16, 2016
Jepson Curator Bruce Baldwin receives the Robert Allerton Award for Excellence in Tropical Botany, from the National Tropical Botanical Garden, for his work on the origins of the Hawaiian flora. ... Full article available here.

May 23, 2016
SO BE FREE 22 to be held March 27 - 30, 2017, in the lower elevations of the Sierra Nevada, near Sequoia National Park. Participants will see a variety of spectacular habitats that are very rich in bryophytes, including the foothills where the valley fog hits the rock outcrops and oak savannahs. The geology includes marble as well as granitics. Depending on snowpack, we may be able to go to the giant sequoia forests. Registration Deadline is Dec. 15, 2016. Registration details here.
closeup photo of sticky cinquefoil flower

May 10, 2016
The California Native Plant Society released CalScape, a resource for native plant gardeners built in collaboration with the Jepson Herbarium. ... Read more from Berkeley News

March 7, 2016
Joyce Chery, a National Science Foundation Fellow and a graduate student in the lab of UC/JEPS Curator of Monocots Chelsea Specht, is a semi-finalist in the Grad Slam, a UC-sponsored competitive speaking event designed to showcase the best research presentations given by UC graduate students. Here is a short video clip from her presentation
A woman behind the branches of a woody plant, examining its leaves with a hand lens
map of California, split up by different bioregions

February 29, 2016
New feature added to the Jepson eFlora: dichotomous keys filtered to bioregions. ... Try them here

February 8, 2016
Altitudinal shifts of the flora of California, in the context of climate warming, were studied in a major new paper featuring data from the Consortium of California Herbaria ... See news coverage from Climate Central and The Atlantic
mounted herbarium specimen of Arctostaphylos glandulosa with plant and label visible
CCH logo of a stylized manzanita specimen

January 28, 2016
An article describing the value of the Consortium of California Herbaria (CCH) was published in Fremontia, the Journal of the California Native Plant Society. ... Full article available here

January 25, 2016
"A successful example of advancing an herbarium with coordinated development in the strengths of both science and public programs is the University and Jepson Herbaria of the University of California, Berkeley. Their active research is complemented by the major role they play in the Consortium of California Herbaria. They have helped pioneer data portal development and eFlora projects, and have an active public education program. In addition the molecular lab and the herbarium are well integrated and are incorporated in the plans for the future. Such examples should be sought out and highlighted by the systematics community."

Quote from Wen et al. 2015. ... Full article available here
simple phylogenetic tree to major groups of California vascular plants
Photo of small pink flowers of Linanthus bernardinus (Pioneertown Linanthus)

December 18, 2015
The Jepson eFlora Revision 3 is posted! It includes seven newly-described taxa native to California, including Linanthus bernardinus (photo by Duncan Bell). For the full details, please see the summary here:

December 7, 2015
Registration now open to all for 2016 workshops! See the schedule here
photo of workshop attendees in the White Mountains landscape
close-up photo of a winged Coulter pine seed with a dissected cone in the background

December 1, 2015
KQED public television releases a video and story about conifer reproduction, featuring Jepson Curator Bruce Baldwin. See the video here

October 19, 2015
Curators Chelsea Specht (pictured here) and Paul Fine named Fellows of the California Academy of Sciences, joining a number of University and Jepson Herbaria curators who are already Fellows: David Ackerly, Bruce Baldwin, Tom Bruns, Kathy Ann Miller, Brent Mishler, Richard Moe, Dan Norris, Ellen Simms, Alan Smith, John Strother, Ben Tan, and John Taylor. ... Read more
photo of Chelsea Specht receiving an award
a group of people at a serpentine outcrop collecting a plant

August 31, 2015
Citizen science training workshop for the NSF-funded California Phylodiversity Project was held in conjunction with the California Native Plant Society's Rare Plant Treasure Hunt, at the McLaughlin Reserve ... Read More

August 26, 2015
University Herbarium receives major grant to support digitizing of microfungal collections, as part of a nationwide consortium. ... Read more
photo of microscropic Laboulbeniales fungus growing on insect exoskeleton
image of Porella moss growing on a log

July 2, 2015
The 2016 SO BE FREE foray will be held March 18-21, 2016, in North Coast Range near Occidental, California, approximately 1.5 hours north of San Francisco. Participants will see a variety of habitats ranging from coastal prairie, coast redwood forest, live oak woodland, serpentine chaparral, and chaparral scrub. Registration details here.

June 25, 2015
KQED public television releases a video and story about desiccation-tolerant mosses, featuring the Mishler Lab. See:
A chunk of dirt and moss on a rock
CCH logo of an Arctostaphylos specimen

February 18, 2015
The Consortium of California Herbaria (CCH) now serving data from 2 million specimens! ... Read more

November 19, 2014
New species of mushroom discovered right on the Berkeley campus by UC Research Associate Else Vellinga, in relation to the North American Mycoflora Project. ... Read more
A dried sample of Helvella dryophila (mushrooms)
cartoon diagram illustrating google analytics tracking

November 13, 2014
David Baxter, UC/JEPS Biodiversity Informatics Manager, coauthored a recent study on trends in usage of plant biodiversity websites, which included the Jepson eFlora and the Consortium of California Herbaria. Google Analytics reveals that these California-specific resources are frequently accessed by users all over the world, and are increasingly popular on mobile platforms. ... Open access article available here

August 9, 2014
Richard G. Beidleman
June 3, 1923 — August 7, 2014
We are mourning the loss of Research Associate Dick Beidleman, who was a devoted archivist and workshop instructor. Dr. Beidleman taught at the University of Colorado, Colorado State University, and Colorado College. He co-authored Plants of Rocky Mountain National Park, and his most recent book was California's Frontier Naturalists (University of California Press). We will miss his warmth, wisdom, and humor. Read his obituary in the Pacific Grove Cedar Street Times.
Alan Smith receiving the Asa Gray Award

July 30, 2014
Alan Smith was awarded the prestigious Asa Gray Award by the American Society of Plant Taxonomists at its July 2014 annual meeting, "for outstanding accomplishments pertinent to the goals of the Society." Dr. Smith has been curator of ferns in the University Herbarium at UC Berkeley for his whole career and was lauded for both his outstanding contributions to fern floristics and phylogenetic systematics, as well as for developing one of the most important and well-curated fern herbaria in the world. ... Read more

July 18, 2014
Research team led by UC/JEPS Director Brent Mishler has just published a major paper presenting new quantitative methods for looking at patterns of phylogenetic diversity and endemism on the landscape using collection data.
Read the University news release ... The paper is available at:
Seaweed specimen

July 2, 2014
The University and Jepson Herbaria has a new specimen search portal, providing access to databased records of herbarium specimens of all plant and fungal taxa from all over the world ... Try it out

June 19, 2014
The 2015 SO BE FREE foray will be held March 27-30, 2015, in the San Bernardino Mountains of Southern California, approximately 2 hours east of L.A. and 4 hours south of Las Vegas. Participants will see a variety of habitats ranging from cismontane chaparral, oak woodland, riparian wash, conifer woodland, and transmontane high desert.
Dr. Paul Silva

June 13, 2014
Paul Claude Silva
October 31 1922 — June 12 2014
Curator of Algae, University Herbarium, University of California, Berkeley
Phycology, biological nomenclature, the California flora, UC/JEPS, and numerous political, social, and cultural causes lost a devoted friend when Paul Silva died after a several-year illness. Paul's diligence and enthusiasm have affected all of us. We will feel his loss for a long time to come.

May 14, 2014
New book on California lichens by research associate Stephen Sharnoff, with gorgeous photos, was just published. Available from Yale University Press

March 4, 2014
New NSF grant to study California plant biodiversity and endemism in a phylogenetic context, received by Brent Mishler, Bruce Baldwin, and David Ackerly, will apply novel phylogenetic methods to better understand the distribution of plant diversity across both space and time in California. This new project takes advantage of the rapidly expanding Consortium of California Herbaria, the constantly updated Jepson eFlora for California, and the wealth of phylogenetic studies that have accumulated. A comprehensive phylogeny for California plants will be built, in part using newly generated molecular data generated from fresh material gathered via an innovative collaboration with citizen scientists from the California Native Plant Society ... Read More

February 21, 2014
A new eFlora project on California Seaweeds has been funded by a three year grant from the Packard Foundation to UC Curator of Algae Kathy Ann Miller and Director Brent Mishler. This online flora will update Abbott & Hollenberg's Marine Algae of California (1976) and provide a portal for students, ecologists, managers, and the public who wish to learn more about our 750 seaweed species. ... Read more

February 3, 2014
The Daily Cal's photographic profile of Integrative Biology 157, "California Ecosystems", taught by UC/JEPS Curator of Neotropical Flora, Paul Fine. ... Read more

January 7, 2014
The University features the Jepson Public Programs on the occasion of its 20th season. ... Read more
photo of a woman in a forest with large moss-covered boulders in the foreground

November 19, 2013
The 2014 SO BE FREE foray was held March 28-31, 2014, in the Santa Cruz Mountains approximately 1.5 hours south of San Francisco. More than 50 participants visited a region rich in limestone and marble, as well as marine sandstone deposits, supporting a number of rare endemic bryophytes. Habitats seen included coastal prairie, coast redwood forest, live oak forest, and chaparral scrub.

September 11, 2013
Roderic Park, Chair of the Jepson Trustees and long-time friend of the Herbaria, dies at 81. ... Read more
portrait photo of Roderic Park
photo of Dr. Jordon-Thaden with her mentee Imari Walker

September 10, 2013
Herbaria Research Associate Ingrid Jordon-Thaden is honored twice this summer, awarded with the Margaret Menzel Award for her presentation at the Botany2013 conference, as well as the NERDS Outstanding Mentor Award.

July 30, 2013
Jepson Curator Bruce Baldwin given the Asa Gray award by the American Society of Plant Taxonomists. ... Read more
photo of Madia elegans, a tarweed studied by Baldwin
drawing of the brown seaweed Cystoseira osmundacea

July 24, 2013
UC awarded a major NSF grant to complete digitizing the macroalgal collection. ... Read more.

July 15, 2013
The first set of revised treatments in the Jepson eFlora is now posted online ( The revisions involve 13 genera.
For the full details and a supplement for TJM2, please see this summary of changes:

July 5, 2013
Director Brent Mishler will spend the month of August 2013 in Australia, as a Murray-Darling Basin Futures Visiting Fellow at the University of Canberra, where he will collaborate with resident researchers in applying phylogenetic approaches to conservation efforts in this region. He will also be leading a workshop in this area of study.

June 26, 2013
The Center for Herbal Identity (CHI)
has been established, the first university-industry collaboration of its kind, dedicated to advancing the science of herbal identification and authentication using morphological and cutting-edge molecular methods.
... Read more

May 31, 2013
UC/JEPS Curator of Ethnobotany Tom Carlson featured on Public Radio's Science Friday program: ... Read more.

April 30, 2013
Annotated Checklist of the East Bay Flora
UC/JEPS Curator of Western North American Flora Barbara Ertter and restoration ecologist, botanist, and photographer Lech Naumovich have published a new edition of the Annotated Checklist of the East Bay Flora, incorporating a wealth of new information.
Order here.

April 1, 2013
The SO BE FREE 18 botanical foray was held in the Cuyamaca Mountains near Julian, California, March 26 through 29, 2013. ... Read the details

February 27, 2013
$4M grant from USDA awarded to the University and Jepson Herbaria for a project under the direction of Jennifer Sowerwine to work with tribal groups in the Klamath Basin in Oregon and California to build sustainable regional food systems and enhance tribal health and food security. ... Read more.

February 2, 2013
KQED Quest interview of Kathy Ann Miller about the importance of seaweeds, the UC algal herbarium, and the specimen digitization project ... Watch video.
Jepson Herbarium (JEPS)

January 31, 2013
The Jepson Globe, 2003 to 2012, is now available as online PDFs ... Read them all.

October 29, 2012
A symposium was held in celebration of Paul C. Silva's 90th birthday and his legacy, The Center for Phycological Documentation on 27 October, 2012
Read more ...

October 1, 2012
Brent Mishler presented an invited keynote address on the topic of "A new era for natural history collections: the impact of digitization and phylogenetics on analysis of biodiversity data," at the Australasian Systematic Botany Society Conference 2012, 23-28 September 2012, in Perth, Western Australia ... Read the abstract

July 11, 2012
Elizabeth Zacharias and Bruce Baldwin recognized for outstanding publication, by the American Society of Plant Taxonomists at its July 2012 national meeting. Read more ...

May 1, 2012
UC received major funding as part of a large consortium to digitize macrofungi collections across the nation, in the second round of the Advancing Digitization of Biological Collections program at NSF. UC Curator of Fungi Tom Bruns is campus PI. This brings us to four major digitization projects active in the Herbaria at present. .... Read more
April 2, 2012
The SO BE FREE 17 bryophyte foray was held near Clear Lake, CA, March 27-30, 2012
Read more ...
January 30, 2012
The debut of the new Jepson Manual was a hit at the San Diego CNPS conference.
(photo Bob Allen)

The Berkleyan and the UC Berkeley News Center featured an article about the Manual and Jepson Curator Bruce Baldwin by Cathy Cockrell.

BERKELEY — Thanks to new molecular-genetic tools and intensive field research, scientists' understanding of the native flora of the Golden State — one of the world's hotspots of botanical diversity — has grown exponentially in the 18 years since publication of The Jepson Manual, the authoritative reference on California botany. New native plants have been discovered, evolutionary relationships redefined, additional species threatened or endangered by development and climate change — ... Read more

December 2011
Jepson Herbarium Workshops 2011 Year in Review

November 9, 2011
UC/JEPS and the growing trend to associate herbarium archives with specimen data featured by the Smithsonian Field Book Project ... Read More

July 8, 2011
UC received major funding as part of a large consortium to digitize bryophyte and lichen collections across the nation, in the new Advancing Digitization of Biological Collections program at NSF.

Isabelle I. Tavares: October 6, 1921–May 21, 2011

UC/Jeps to co-sponsor a meeting on the Evolution of Pacific Island Biota.

KauaiThis meeting, to be held in Honolulu, Hawaii in May 2011, will examine the biogeography and evolution of terrestrial, near-shore, and freshwater biota, including humans, that are distributed across the Pacific Islands.

Visit by Kurdistan Botanical Garden Delegation

CalDay April 16, 2011!

Once again, the Herbaria flung open their doors to the public for the annual open house. Young and old alike crowded in to learn about the herbaria, see local wildflowers, press a specimen of their own, and hear talks by experts.

Major NSF grant received by the Consortium of California Herbaria

UC/JEPS Curator of Fungi John Taylor leads a novel study combining genomics and ecology in an important paper on bread molds

SO BE FREE 16 was held 23-26th March, 2011, in the northern Sierra Nevada Mountains

New Publications from UC Herbarium Researchers

CALIFORNIA MOSSES Co-authored by UC/JEPS researchers Dan Norris and Jim Shevock, with famed macro-photographers Bill and Nancy Malcom. This book is a work of art as well as of science, and is available from the California Native Plant Society. The book features easy-to-read descriptions of each species, as well as spectacular photos of habitats, reproductive structures, and high-quality color micrographs of key morphological features. Available from the California Native Plant Society.

Edited by UC researcher Momei Chen, this book features the ancient redwood lineages in both China and the United States, and provides scientific material in both Chinese and English. The book bridges language and cultural barriers and will hopefully focus public attention on these endangered trees in both countries.

moss photoSpring 2010: SO BE FREE 15 was held in New Mexico in late March, and was another successful foray facilitating interactions between beginners and experts in the study of mosses. See the trip report and photos!

Syntrichia ruralis. Photo by Russ Kleinman.


Isabella Kauakea Aiona Abbott, distinguished ethnobotanist and phycologist at the University of Hawaii — PhD in Botany from the University of California, Berkeley in 1950 and the first woman of Hawaiian ancestry to attain a PhD in science — passes away at age 91. More ...

CalDay 2010 Photos!

Once again, the Herbaria flung open their doors to the public for the annual open house. Young and old alike crowded in to learn about the herbaria, see local wildflowers, press a specimen of their own, and hear talks by experts.

All photos by Ana Penny

NEW ORCHID SPECIES!: Ornithidium donaldeedodii.

orchid photoNamed for orchidologist Donald Dod, who collected the specimen in Haiti in the 1980s, and who served, in his later years, as a research associate here at the UC Herbarium. Dod died in 2008, at 95.

A living specimen of the new species is blooming at the UC Botanical Garden, and has showy, flame-orange flowers. Photo by James Gaither.

The holotype specimen (right) is housed at the University Herbarium.

See the UC Berkeley news article about the discovery!

See the official scientific publication by Ackerman and Whitten in Lankesteriana.

Spring 2010: The University and Jepson Herbaria receive Canada-California Strategic Innovation Partnership.

This funding will support collaboration in biodiversity informatics with a consortium of Canadian herbaria, natural history museums and botanical gardens. The first meeting of the new consortium will be in Berkeley March 13 and 14. More information.


Fall 2009: The Moorea Biocode Project and Director Brent Mishler featured in California Magazine, the UC alumni publication.

CalDay 2009 Photos!

Summer 2009: UC Student wins Prize for Best Paper.

Eric Harris, recent Ph.D. from the Mishler Lab in the Herbaria, received the 2009 William Starling Sullivant Award from the American Bryological and Lichenological Society for best paper published in the previous volume of The Bryologist. The article is entitled "Ethnobryology: traditional uses and folk classification of bryophytes."

You can read the paper in The Bryologist 111(2), pp. 169-217. 2008.

Spring 2009: Dr. Tahbaz meets with Iranian botanists.

Dr. Fosiee Tahbaz, Curator of Middle Eastern Flora and Coordinator of the American-Iranian Botanical Program, meets with Iranian botanists at the Research Institute of the University of Ferdowsi Mashhad.

Left to right: Dr. Kiani, Dr. Mahdavian, Dr. Tahbaz, Dr. Rashed, Dr. Joharchi and Dr. Memariani.


May 1, 2, 3: The Jepson Herbarium co-sponsors the 2009 California Wildflower Show!

wildflower thumbnailVisitors to the Oakland Museum of California heard from the experts and savored the colors and fragrance of hundreds of freshly collected native flowers.

For a complete list of talks and Friday's sneak preview, click on the columbine at right. Or visit for more information.


February, 2009: Iranian Botanist visits UC/JEPS Herbaria.

Dr. M. H. Rashed (center), Professor and former Dean of the Agriculture College and Director of the Herbarium of Ferdowsi University of Mashed, Iran, visits with Dr. Fosiee Tahbaz (left) and Dr. Brent Mishler (right) at the University Herbarium in Berkeley. Dr. Rashed was one of the collaborators in the American-Iranian Botanical Program exchange in 1999. Dr. Rashed has invited Drs. Mishler and Tahbaz to visit his university in Iran.




Celebrate Darwin's 200th birthday February 12th, 2009.

Special events on campus.

Brent Mishler quoted in ScienceNews "Evolution's Evolution."

SO BE FREE 14 ----March 24-27, 2009

The 2009 SO BE FREE bryological foray was held in the lower elevations of the central Sierra Nevada, near Oakhurst, California. The region offered montane coniferous forest, oak woodland with rocky outcrops, chaparral, and deep gorges cut into the granite by swiftly flowing waters. Bryophyte diversity spanned a range of life strategies, from California's spring ephemerals to the brown mosses of continuously wet sites. The wildflowers were at the peak of flowering.

Founded in 1996, SO BE FREE is a series of West Coast forays focusing on bryophytes, but open to all botanical interests and levels of experience. This year's event was organized by Paul Wilson. See the trip summary, with photos!

December 2008: Consortium of California Herbaria passes million record mark!
Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden and Santa Barbara Botanic Garden together uploaded nearly 40,000 records to the Consortium data view, bringing the total number of specimen records served to 1.03 million. See the main Consortium search page.

2008 Holiday

The University and Jepson Herbaria had their holiday party December 17 2008. Santa Claus even put in an appearance, but we noticed that his phenotype has converged with that of a certain bryologist, who also happens to be the Director of the Herbaria. Happy Holidays to all, and best wishes for a fantastic New Year!

David Gowen featured in DISCOVER MAGAZINE, Nov. 2008, for his discovery of two new wildflower species near Mount Diablo

The Lime Ridge Navarretia (Navarretia gowenii) and the Lime Ridge Woollystar (Eriastrum sp. nov.) were discovered on East Bay public lands in an area that has been studied by botanists for 150 years. Outdoor enthusiast, retired carpenter, and UC/JEPS volunteer David Gowen was encouraged by the Jepson Herbarium's Barbara Ertter to persist in his search for rare and new species in the region. The California Native Plant Society, Save Mount Diablo, and the Walnut Creek Open Space Foundation are working together on a conservation plan.

October 2008: Bryophyte data going online!

Label data from 95,000 specimens collected by Dan Norris and Jim Shevock now available. See the data!

June 2008--Herbarium data used to project the effects of climate change. 

David Ackerly, Curator of Ecology at UC/JEPS and Professor of Integrative Biology, was the leader of a team that analyzed current distributions of over 2,000 California endemic plants based on data from the Consortium of California Herbaria and the Jepson Flora Project.  The team discovered that many of these species are in great danger unless they can move to new localities with appropriate climate.

The Jepson Herbarium participates in 2008 California Wildflower Show at Oakland Museum
shootingstarpicOn April 19th and 20th, hundreds of wildflowers from around the state were on display!
Slide lectures were presented on horticulture, California flora, and the history of plant collecting in the state.

Oakland Museum Wildflower Show.
horizontal line
High-level Iranian officials make a rare visit to the University and Jepson Herbaria
iranmapDecember 2007--High-level Iranian officials made a rare visit to the University and Jepson Herbaria, seeking to augment ongoing scholarly collaboration with UC Berkeley scientists and students.

"Politics is going to fluctuate, but science is something that is not going to change with the president," said Dr. Mostafa Rahmani, director of the Islamic Republic of Iran's office at the Pakistan Embassy in Washington, D.C. "We need to invest for what is more permanent… Animosity is not going to go away unless these two great countries enhance their interaction in peaceful arenas."

Right: On a map of his nation, Iranian official Mostafa Rahmani spots sites of recent collaborative research by Iranian and UC botanists, as Dr. Foisee Tahbaz and Dr. Abolfazi Mehrabadi look on.
(Cathy Cockrell photo)

Read the UC press release
Learn about the American-Iranian Botanical Program
The first moss genome is published December 13th, 2007

mosspicThe first moss genome was published online in Science Express December 13th, 2007, in advance of its print publication in Science January 4th, 2008, providing insights into traits involved in the movement of plants onto land. University and Jepson Herbaria Director Brent Mishler co-authored the paper.

Learn more about it:

Read the UC press release.
Explore the The Moss Genome Project.

Bruce Baldwin receives Botanical Society of America Merit Award

Bruce Baldwin
Bruce Baldwin
At the 2007 national meetings in Chicago, the Botanical Society of America presented its prestigious Merit Award to Bruce Baldwin, Curator of the Jepson Herbarium and Professor of Integrative Biology.

“Dr. Bruce Baldwin is recognized for his contributions in plant systematics. Beginning in graduate school, Dr. Baldwin studied one of the icons of island biogeography, the Hawaiian Silversword Alliance. His dissertation work using chloroplast DNA was one of the pioneers on island plant groups and confirmed that this morphologically diverse group represented a single colonization event from ancestors in North America. Baldwin reconfirmed these results using nuclear genes, the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region. His development of ITS for plant phylogenetic study is perhaps his most widely recognized contribution. Less well-known outside of California is that Dr. Baldwin has made major contributions to plant floristics, through his efforts editing the Jepson Desert Manual and the 2nd edition of the Jepson Manual of California plants. For his many contributions to the systematics of Asteraceae, Hawaiian plant biogeography and evolution, and advances in molecular systematics, the BSA is pleased to recognize Dr. Bruce Baldwin with its highest award.”

The August 2007 newsletter of the American Society of Plant Taxonomists announced that its membership has selected Dr. Baldwin as the society’s President-elect for the coming year.

The ASPT has also selected Abby Moore as recepient of a Graduate Student Research Award for her population genetic study of the genus Grindelia (Compositae).

Welcome Anna Larsen, new Coordinator of Public Programs

Anna Larsen
Anna Larsen
In July 2007, Anna Larsen joined the staff of the Jepson Herbarium as Coordinator of Public Programs. Anna will have many responsibilities but the biggest component of her new position will be to develop and implement the 2008 workshop season. The full schedule will be available this fall and from the classes that she has planned so far, I can see that 2008 will be an exciting workshop season!

Many of you may have met Anna when she served as Interim Coordinator in 2005. When I asked her what she enjoyed most about that position she said “I love the people, the places we go, the plants we get to see and I love the sense of community.” When the position of full-time coordinator became available this summer, Anna was eager to apply.

Anna attributes her interest in science to her early introduction to the natural world – she grew up in rural Vermont about a mile from the Canadian border and she spent a lot of time in the woods behind her house catching monarch butterflies and climbing trees. Anna developed a strong interest in Botany as an undergraduate at Skidmore College when she took a non-majors course ‘Biology of the Green World’. This course opened her eyes to how closely the lives of people and plants are intertwined and led Anna to the popular literature on medicinal plants. Her interests continued to develop and eventually she came to UC Berkeley where she has pursued (and almost completed!) her Ph.D. studying the prehistorical co-movement of plants and people in Oceania.

During her dissertation studies, Anna traveled to the Society Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Indonesia, and Hawaii. She also lived in Australia for a year as an undergraduate. Through all of these travels, Anna has gathered many interesting stories to share around the campfire!

Anna has also been very active in the field of science education. She has taught various courses for UC Berkeley undergraduates including General Biology, Medical Ethnobotany, and the Biology and Geomorphology of Tropical Islands. She co-taught a natural history course for middle and high school biology students at Richmond High School and Adams Middle School. Most recently, she was an instructor for Project POSIT’s Summer Institute, a professional development partnership between the Oakland Unified School District and partner organizations, including the Berkeley Natural History Museums.

Each coordinator brings their own expertise to the position and we encourage each one to pursue their own professional interests. When I asked Anna how she would like to see Jepson’s education program develop, she said “I would love to see the program expand to include more opportunities for kids (or their science teachers) to get involved in nature and natural history. By the time they reach middle school, students are primed to understand how science works and they still have the energy and enthusiasm for getting involved. That’s the age when you can catch their interest. Kids really come alive when they get the chance to get out of the classroom and get into nature.”

Welcome Anna, we all look forward to working with you as you continue the excellent tradition of the Jepson workshop program and expand the opportunities for a new audience!

Learn more about Anna’s work by visiting the Contra Costa Times website and viewing a presentation that recently featured the GK12 Exploring California Biodiversity Project. The presentation is of a field trip to the intertidal zone, including high school students, classroom teachers, and graduate student researchers. View the online Flash Slideshow.

—Staci Markos

Congratulations to our graduate students!

Herbaria graduates 2007
From left to right: Eric Harris (PhD), Elizabeth Zacharias (PhD), Anna Larsen (PhD), Professor Bruce Baldwin, Ruth Kirkpatrick (PhD), Professor Brent Mishler, Danica Harbaugh (PhD), Professor Tom Carlson, Bianca Knoll (MS), and Andy Murdock (PhD).
Congratulations to our Herbaria graduate students! A large cohort of Herbaria-associated students were awarded their advanced degrees May 19th, 2007, at the Department of Integrative Biology graduation (fully 28% of the department's total!). A champagne reception, well-attended by family and friends, was held afterwards in the front room of the Herbaria to wish them continued success. (Click on images for larger versions.)
Herbaria graduates 2007

From left to right: Bianca Knoll, Elizabeth Zacharias, Anna Larsen, Andy Murdock, Danica Harbaugh, Ruth Kirkpatrick, and Eric Harris.

Joel Nitta (right), who did his senior thesis in Brent Mishler's Lab on filmy fern systematics, received the Integrative Biology Departmental Citation for the most outstanding undergraduate.

Two events celebrate the rediscovery of the Mount Diablo buckwheat

Mount Diablo buckwheat (Eriogonum truncatum)
Mount Diablo buckwheat
(Eriogonum truncatum)
Meet the Mount Diablo Buckwheat (Wednesday, May 16, 7 pm) and
First Annual Find the Mount Diablo Buckwheat Day (Saturday, May 19)

The Mount Diablo buckwheat (Eriogonum truncatum) had not been observed since 1936, and was considered possibly extinct until recently. A single population of the East Bay and Solano County endemic Mount Diablo buckwheat was found in 2005 by Mike Park, a graduate student at the UC and Jepson Herbaria. The Mount Diablo working Group has organized a Mount Diablo Buckwheat identification workshop to help botanists search for new populations. The world buckwheat expert, Dr. Jim Reveal, will demonstrate diagnostic morphological characters and identification tips. In addition, you can meet the buckwheat! Mount Diablo buckwheat individuals, in cultivation at the UC Botanical Garden, will be available for up close examination.

The workshop is an excellent way to prepare for the First Annual Find the Buckwheat Day. This event is co-sponsored by East Bay CNPS and the Working Group, and will be a coordinated survey for the buckwheat in historic locations and likely habitat in eastern Contra Costa County. Teams of botanists will survey and document their searches. Each team will be given maps and background data. Botanists of all backgrounds are needed to ensure thorough searches and documentation. Some teams will be searching in areas otherwise not open to the public. Find the Buckwheat day is a great opportunity to botanize new natural areas in the East Bay!

Two brochures are available from Mount Diablo Working Group. One is an identification guide for buckwheats in eastern Contra Costa County; the other is a pamphlet about the Mount Diablo buckwheat.

American-Iranian Botanical Program makes campus news

American-Iranian Botanical Program, coordinated by Dr. Fosiee Tahbaz, is featured in the Berkeleyan:

Fosiee Tahbaz - Photo credit: Barbara Errter
Photo credit: Barbara Ertter

Botanist Fosiee Tahbaz, coordinator of the American-Iranian Botanical Program, photographs a rarely sighted wild orchid during a 2004 botanizing foray to western Iran, undertaken with several of her Iranian and American colleagues.

Director Brent Mishler with Iranian representatives

Holiday Season 2006

Herbaria Staff 2006
Holiday greetings from all of us at the University and Jepson Herbaria and best wishes for a prosperous 2007!

Herbaria popular at Homecoming & Parents Weekend 2006

A recent report from the UC Berkeley News Center:

Kim Kersh and Danielle Hacker, Homecoming 2006 - Photo credit: Peg Skorpinski
Photo credit: Peg Skorpinski
Freshman Danielle Hacker and collections manager Kim Kersh examine a specimen of Mexican lily (Beschorneria yuccoides), collected from Cerro Tres Picos, north of Tonalá, Chiapas. A tour of the University and Jepson Herbaria, housing 2.2 million specimens, was a popular feature of Homecoming events.

Herbarium visit to Rockpile Ranch and Vineyard

In June, faculty, staff, and students of the herbaria spent a special day at Rockpile Vineyard, home of Jepson Trustee, Rod Park and his wife Cathy. Rod and Cathy hosted the group in a lovely outdoor setting with a "wild" pig roast and tastings of wine from the vineyard. After lunch, the group went on a short excursion to view petroglyphs and add to the plant list that was started during the herbarium's first trip to the ranch in the early 1990's.

Photo credits: Thomas J. Rosatti
Calochortus luteus - Photo credit: Thomas J. Rosatti
Calochortus luteus
The group at Rockpile Vineyard - Photo credit: Thomas J. Rosatti Lunch at Rockpile Vineyard - Photo credit: Thomas J. Rosatti The buffet at Rockpile Vineyard - Photo credit: Thomas J. Rosatti
Brent Mishler, Rod Park, and the group. Lunch on the front lawn. The fabulous buffet.

Herbaria host international moss conference

Moss: Physcomitrella patens
An international meeting of moss experimental biologists, Moss 2006 was held at UC Berkeley from June 26th through July 1st, 2006, hosted by Integrative Biology Professor Brent Mishler. The meeting, attended by 70 participants from all over the world, was timed to coincide with the completion of sequencing of the full genome of the moss Physcomitrella at the Joint Genome Institute (JGI). Dr. Mishler was one of two co-PIs on this project, and Integrative Biology Adjunct Professor Jeffrey Boore was the liaison with JGI. This moss genome, nearly 500 million nucleotides in size, is the first land plant genome sequenced outside the flowering plants. Many functional and evolutionary insights are already being discovered, and were presented at Moss 2006.

Cal Day Review 2006
Cal Day, April 22, 2006, was a tremendous success and saw thousands of people come through the Valley Life Sciences Building. The Herbaria were one of the main attractions with numerous exhibits designed at educating and reaching the public by interaction with herbarium staff, students, and volunteers. Five 'behind the scenes' tours gave parties a historical insight and overview of what the functions of the Herbaria are and how plants are collected, processed, and archived. The wild flower showcase was equally popular and received a lot of attention from young and old alike. Other exhibits included edible fungi, economic plants, T-shirt sale, and a UC Botanical garden display.  
Girl and carnivorous plant
Cal Day 2006 gave the Herbaria an opportunity to showcase research, outreach, and publications. We plan to make Cal Day 2007 equally as appealing with a host of new ideas to engage our visitors.
Wild flower display and lecturer
The wild flower display was hosted by staff and volunteers with children receiving miniature herbarium sheets that they could keep and use to identify by matching with living plants.
Director Brent Mishler with tour
Herbaria Director Brent Mishler explaining the use of historical specimens as part of the behind the scenes tour.
Second edition treatments are now available
Treatments prepared for the Second Edition of The Jepson Manual are now available for public viewing at Treatments will be incrementally posted after they have undergone both technical and scientific editing within the Jepson Flora Project. Comments are currently being accepted; feedback is welcomed.

Herbaria web site gets a new look
March 27, 2006 — Over the next few weeks, many of the pages will be updated and some new features added. There may be a bit of reorganization and fine-tuning during this period. Thanks for your patience as we improve our site.

New publication
The Revised Catalog of Lichens, Lichenicoles, and Allied Fungi in California by Shirley C. Tucker and Bruce D. Ryan is issued as number 84 of Constancea.

Graduate student delivers keynote address at international conference

Danica Harbaugh visits the Colo-I-Suva Nursery in Fiji
Danica Harbaugh visits the Colo-I-Suva Nursery in Fiji

Graduate student Danica Harbaugh presented the keynote address to an international conference on sandalwood research.

The conference was held November 28 to December 1, 2005 in Nadi on the island of Fiji. Participants were invited from Pacific island countries and territories with additional representatives from Australia, Indonesia, Timor Leste, and the United States. The conference dealt with sandalwood research, development, and extension work in Pacific island countries and territories.

Danica's dissertation research focuses on reconstructing the phylogeny of the genus Santalum (Santalaceae) which includes the sandalwoods (commonly known for their use in the essential oil industry). She is interested in determining the evolutionary relationships of the taxa as well as in elucidating dispersal patterns of the genus throughout its distribution (Australia, India, Indonesia and the Pacific Islands). In addition, she is working on a taxonomic revision of Santalum and a monograph of the genus.

Pictures from the conference

Conference details:

Mount Diablo Buckwheat rediscovered after 70 years
Mike Park - Photo credit: Scott Hein/Save Mount Diablo
Mike Park

Photo credits: Scott Hein/Save Mount Diablo

Mike Park, a graduate student in the Jepson Herbarium, has rediscovered a population of Eriogonum truncatum on Mount Diablo. Read about it in an article by Robert Sanders

Listen on NPR

Search Google

Eriogonum truncatum - Photo credit: Scott Hein of Save Mount Diablo
Eriogonum truncatum
New MEKA-Edit available
Chris Meacham, funded by a grant from the Lawrence R. Heckard Fund of the Jepson Herbarium, has produced a new version of MEKA-Edit, the program by which keys are constructed in MEKA. The new version takes advantage of Windows features to make key-building easier and more flexible. It also includes a converter so that MEKA keys may be displayed on the Web. MEKA-Edit, bundled with MEKA and keys to >150 genera of California Asteraceae, can be freely downloaded and distributed.

MEKA keys added to the Online Interchange
The multiple-entry keys for >150 genera, mostly of Asteraceae, that have been so far available only as as a download, have been converted by Chris Meacham to a format (SLIKS) that can be displayed directly in a browser. All the keys are listed on one page and each generic key is listed with the appropriate Interchange genus page (e.g. Ageratina) and linked to the Manual taxonomic treatments (e.g., Ageratina adenophora).

Danica Harbaugh receives Lawrence Memorial Award
During the BSA banquet at the Botany 2004 conference in Snowbird, UT, Danica Harbaugh was awarded the Lawrence Memorial Award, which commemorates the achievements of the founding director, Dr. George H.M. Lawrence, of the Hunt Institute of Botanical Documentation at Carnegie Mellon University. The annual award of $2000 is given to a doctoral candidate for travel as part of dissertation research in systematic botany or horticulture. Danica used the funding to conduct fieldwork in Australia in August-September 2004, as part of her dissertation on the phylogeny and taxonomy of the sandalwoods (Santalum, Santalaceae).
American–Iranian Botanical Program
Collection list for 2004 posted.

New features in the Online Interchange
The dichotomous keys from The Jepson Manual are now available online

See archive page for past news