Barbara M. Thiers
Director, William and Lynda Steere Herbarium, The New York Botanical GardenPh.D., University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA (1982)
"Branching in the Lejeuneaceae (Hepaticae)"
Expertise: Tropical Hepaticae, Herbarium Management, Biodiversity Information Management
As Director of the Herbarium, I am responsible for overseeing the Garden's nearly seven million herbarium collections of algae, bryophytes, fungi, lichens and vascular plants. The New York Botanical Garden herbarium is the largest in the Western Hemisphere, and among the five largest in the world. It is one of the world's most actively used herbaria in terms of the number of specimens sent on loan each year, and the number of visitors to the herbarium. I have been particularly interested in the application of information technology to herbarium management, and to increasing access to specimen-based data for the scientific community. In the early years, I developed database applications for keeping track of transactions, but today I supervise a team of Bioinformatics Managers who work in conjunction with the Garden's Computer Services Department to manage the Garden's Virtual Herbarium. The Virtual Herbarium is the umbrella under which all the Garden's electronic collection management activites, current and future, are gathered. The subject of my research is the Hepaticae. In particular, I am interested in the systematics and morphology of the largest family of Hepaticae, the Lejeuneaceae. This family is primarily tropical in distribution, and its members can be found growing, often profusely, on the bark and sometimes on living leaves of trees in tropical rainforests. My studies of these small but beautiful plants have taken me to Australia, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, French Guiana, Papua New Guinea, Puerto Rico and Venezuela. I am currently completing a treatment of the approximately 125 species of Lejeuneaceae that occur in Australia for the Flora of Australia project.
1982. Branching in the Lejeuneaceae I: A comparison of branch development in Aphanolejeunea and Cololejeunea. Bryologist 85: 104-109.
1982. Type studies in the Lejeuneaceae. I. Archilejeunea pabstii, Hygrolejeunea pacifica, and Hygrolejeunea spongia. Brittonia 34: 294-298.
1983. Type studies in the Lejeuneaceae. II. Pteryganthus, a new subgenus of Lopholejeunea. Brittonia 35: 81-86.
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