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Moriarty Science Seminar: Understanding the Mid-Atlantic Flora…One Specimen at a Time
January 24, 2022, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
R.W. Moriarty Science Seminar Presents: Understanding the Mid-Atlantic Flora…One Specimen at a Time
Speakers: Cindy Skema, Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania
Plant collections and their archiving in herbaria form a cornerstone in the foundation of plant science studies. We will discuss the why, how, and where of this work, as well as the process of digitization, i.e., how we bring these invaluable specimens into the digital realm. The Mid-Atlantic Megalopolis (MAM) Project, a National Science Foundation funded collaboration between 13 institutions including Carnegie Museum of Natural History, has enabled the digitization of >1.2 million specimens since 2016 and the creation of a virtual consortium of herbaria throughout the Mid-Atlantic. I will introduce the project, its participants, and outcomes. We will end with a consideration of Ripariosida hermaphrodita (Virginia mallow), a case study that uses MAM data to better understand the biology of a plant that is threatened in the Mid-Atlantic region.
Close-up of a high resolution image of an herbarium specimen of Cornus florida (flowering dogwood), taken as part of the MAM Project’s herbarium digitization efforts. Copyright Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania.