Campus News

Plant biology associate professor gets NSF grant

Wendy Zomlefer, an associate professor of plant biology in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, received $74,385 from the National Science Foundation as part of a $2.5 million collaborative grant comprising 12 institutions, headed by Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina.

This project will allow researchers to make data available for 5 million plant specimens from the Southeast using the latest digitization and data capture tools. The Southeast is botanically rich, and millions of plant specimens have been collected from this region over the past three centuries. But it is difficult to retrieve data from these specimens currently residing in herbaria at museums and universities. Upon completion, the data set will facilitate exploration of the effects of climate change, speed the discovery of vulnerable populations and improve the ability of land managers to conserve regional biodiversity.