Assistant Curator of Botany
Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Plant physiological ecology, Invasion biology, Phenology,
Any and all things relating to herbarium specimens
*Heberling and Caitlin McDonough MacKenzie and co-authors win 2020 George Mercer Award by the Ecological Society of America [press release]
*Phenology research with Sara Kuebbing covered by The Allegheny Front radio program. Listen here.
*We were awarded funding from the US National Science Foundation to expand our research on phenological mismatch between forest layers! News coverage here.
*Recent review on a century of herbarium specimen use in BioScience (link) featured on the cover of October issue! Read the iDigBio Research Spotlight.
*Press releases (here and here) on new research with collaborators showing different responses to climate change between overstory trees and understory wildflowers that depend upon high light in the spring. News coverage here, here, here, and here.
*New paper looking at mycorrhizal communities from century old herbarium specimen roots (link) (museum blog).
* New approach linking specimens to iNaturalist observations published in Applications in Plant Sciences (link) (museum blog).
* Live from the herbarium as part of Scientists Live series to discuss our herbarium digitization project (link).
* Check out our organized oral session at the 2018 ESA meeting entitled "New Uses for Old Collections: Herbarium Data in an Era of Ecological Change" (link).
* Carnegie Museum herbarium was funded by the US National Science Foundation to join the Mid-Atlantic Megalopolis project! Featured on Pittsburgh's NPR station, WESA (link).
Who I am
I am a curator in the Section of Botany at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. My research program seeks to understand the ecophysiological strategies of plants in the context of global change, especially plant invasions and climate change. I am fascinated by herbarium specimens and their roles in understanding change in the Anthropocene. I use herbarium specimens in my research and facilitate innovative and longstanding use of natural history collections by other researchers.
Previously, I was a postdoc funded through an NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology, where I leveraged decades of herbarium data to document and understand trait changes in invasive species through space and time. Before that, I was a postdoc in the lab of Susan Kalisz studying the effects of deer and plant invasions on the physiology and demography of forest understory species.
I did my PhD on the ecophysiology of forest understory shrub invasions at Syracuse University, advised by Jason Fridley.