For information on the Carnegie Museum of Natural History Section of Botany and Carnegie Museum herbarium (CM), including loans and visits, click HERE.
Mason Heberling, Assistant Curator of Botany & Section Head
Co-Chair of Collections
Section of Botany
Carnegie Museum of Natural History
4400 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213 USA
Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh
Adjunct Research Scientist, Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation (Carnegie Mellon University)
I am a botany curator and plant ecologist studying the functional ecology of understory plant species in temperate forests, especially in the context of climate change and introduced species invasions. As a museum curator, I strive to facilitate and broaden the use of natural history collections by students, researchers, and the public. As a museum-based researcher, I use herbarium specimens, field experiments, and observational data to understand basic plant function and complex ecological interactions. My research program explores a diverse range of topics under the umbrella of global change biology and museum collections.
Ben Lee, NSF Postdoctoral Fellow
PhD 2020, University of Michigan
Ben is a forest ecologist, with special interest in the ecophysiological effects of climate change in the understory. He joined CMNH Botany in Fall 2021, funded through the NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biology, Rules of Life program. His project uses herbarium specimen roots and field sampling to understand changes in mycorrhizal communities across species' ranges and through time with global change. Ben is also an active member of our NSF-funded phenological mismatch grant research, modeling long-term phenological responses of overstory and understory species across temperate North America, Europe, and East Asia using herbarium data.
Ben is co-sponsored by Dr. Sara Kuebbing at University of Pittsburgh and Dr. David Burke at Holden Forests & Gardens.
Molly Ng, Rea Postdoctoral Fellow
PhD 2020, Unviersity of Michigan
Molly is a botanist and paleobotanist, with special interest in linkages between leaf traits and climate. She applies these functional relationships in living and extant species to understand evolution in deep time. Molly joined CMNH in August 2021 as the museum's Rea Postdoctoral Fellow. Her project uniquely integrates specimens from the CM herbarium, the Paleobotany collection, and field sampling at Powdermill Nature Reserve, the museum's environmental research center.
Abby Yancy, Post-baccalaureate student (NSF REPS)
BS 2021, University of Pittsburgh (Environmental Science)
Abby started at the museum as a part-time outdoor educator at Powdermill Nature Reserve, the museum's environmental research center. She was all set to join our undergraduate field crew in 2020, but that field work was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Abby joined CMNH Botany in spring 2021 as a field research assistant. She quickly became the point person for our phenological monitoring for our phenological mismatch projects. She is leading the charge on our outreach programs and developing several independent research projects of her own. Abby is funded through the NSF REPS program.
Alyssa McCormick, Undergraduate Researcher
Chatham University, Sustainability B.S. Program
Alyssa is studying the impacts of climate change on poison ivy using herbarium specimens. She started in CMNH Botany as a research internship and her research remains active in the herbarium.
Alyssa is co-mentored by Dr. Ryan Utz in the Falk School of Sustainability & Environment at Chatham University.
Koa Reitz, Undergraduate Researcher
University of Pittsburgh, Biology B.S.
Koa is a member of the Kuebbing Lab at the University of Pittsburgh and joined CMNH Botany in 2021 as a summer field research assistant on our phenology fieldwork.
Close collaborations with the Kuebbing Lab at University of Pittsburgh
Colleagues in CMNH Botany
We work closely with and collaborate with collections staff in CMNH, most notably Bonnie Isaac (collection manager) and Sarah Williams (curatorial assistant). For more on the activities of CMNH Section of Botany, click green buttons below!