January 1, 2004 – December 31, 2004

Undergraduate Students

Lan Ting, an exchange student from Sichuan University, conducted molecular systematics research on hybrid Impatiens xpacifica and its parent taxa (native I. ecalcarata and non-native I. capensis).  Ting used tissue harvested from herbarium specimens and plants she raised in the greenhouse to sequence the chloroplast trnL-F and the nuclear ITS regions.  Ting also volunteered weekly in the Herbarium, where she mounted and filed specimens.

Graduate Students

Susan Grose continued her study on the phylogenetic analysis of two groups in the Bignoniaceae (the tribe Crescentieae and the genus Tabebuia).  She is looking at the evolutionary relationships of these groups and examining the development of the unilocular, indehiscent fruit characteristic of the Crescentieae, which differs from the bilocular, dehiscent fruit typical of the rest of the family.  She has been databasing specimens from large loans from institutions including the Smithsonian, the Missouri Botanical Garden, and the New York Botanical Garden.

Susan attended Botany 2004 in Snowbird, Utah, where she presented a talk entitled, “The role of morphology in placing unsampled taxa in molecular phylogenies: A case study using Bignoniaceae”.

Valerie Soza continued her doctoral research in Dick Olmstead’s lab, where she is studying the systematics and evolution of breeding systems in the genus Galium (Rubiaceae).  Valerie was a Teaching Assistant for Biology 200 (Cell and Molecular Biology) and 117/317 (Plant Identification and Classification).  She received a Giles Graduate Student Field Research Award from the Biology Department, which she used to support collecting activities in Washington, Oregon, and California in the summer of 2004.  She visited the Herbarium at the Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Garden as part of her field work to compile locality data for her collecting efforts.  Valerie also attended Botany 2004 annual meeting held at Snowbird, Utah.

David Tank is conducting a phylogenetic analysis of the subtribe Castillejinae (Orobanchaceae).  By using DNA sequence data from variable chloroplast and nuclear ribosomal DNA regions, he will be able to test hypotheses of monophyly in Castillejinae, and to determine relationships within and among the main lineages of Castillejinae.  David is also using phylogenetic analyses to assess interspecific relationships within Castilleja, a genus renowned for its morphological complexity.  He is interested in determining the relative contributions of polyploidy, hybridization, and rapid/recent radiation to this morphological complexity.  David is also involved in a side project in which he is attempting to determine the phylogenetic position of Nesogenes based on cpDNA and nrDNA data
(Nesogenes is traditionally placed in the Verbenaceae – his data place it in the Orobanchaceae).

David was involved in the teaching of several courses in 2004.  He served as Course Instructor for Biology 117/317 (Plant Classification and Identification) , and as Graduate Teaching Assistant for both Biology 441 (Anatomy and Morphology of Land Plants) and Biology 354 (Fundamentals of Evolution and Systematics).  David’s was recognized for his excellent teaching skills with the Ingrith Deyrup-Olsen Distinguished Teaching Award from the University of Washington and the Outstanding Biology Teaching Assistant Award from the Tri-Beta Biological Honors Society of the University of Washington.

David was the lead author of a manuscript submitted for publication in the journal Australian Systematic Botany.  He is currently preparing two additional manuscripts for publication with collaborators Richard Olmstead and Mark Egger.  David also served as a peer reviewer of two manuscripts for the publication Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution.  

In June, David attended the Annual Meeting of the Society for Systematic Biologists at Colorado State University, where he delivered a talk entitled, “Systematics of subtribe Castillejinae (Orobanchaceae): the role of morphology in taxon delimitation”.

Yuan Yaowu – Yuan began his graduate studies in Dick Olmstead’s lab in September.  He is currently developing his dissertation research topic.

Post-doctoral Fellows

Kenneth Karol

Research Associates

Alison Colwell, Ph.D.

Mark Egger conducts research on the genus Castilleja , and will author the treatment of this genus for the Flora of North America project.  Mark is working towards a monographic revision for the entire genus, which will include a fully annotated synonymy for all taxa.  Over the past year he focused his efforts on the Castilleja of Mexico, the annotation of over 500 specimens on loan from the Smithsonian Institution, the Field Museum, and several other herbaria.  Mark also provided identifications for Castilleja specimens sent by several herbaria and other individuals.  Mark facilitated the donation of over 50 Castilleja specimens to WTU from several collectors, including important collections from northern Mexico, the Yukon, and adjacent Canada.

Mark's fieldwork included an April collecting trip to San Miguel Island and adjacent California, and while there he conducted herbarium research at the University of California-Riverside. In June, he collected in southwestern Washington, and in August he collected in Costa Rica.

Sarah Gage

Michelle Seidl, Ph.D., joined the science staff at EMLab, Inc., an indoor air quality testing laboratory located in Bellevue, WA.  Michelle provides expertise on the identification of fungal spores and pollen grains.  She remained active in mycological research, having collected in both Washington and Oregon this past year, and attended two meetings  for the Pacific Northwest Fungus Project.  The Project is a collaborative effort to launch a new peer-reviewed online journal dealing with cataloguing fungi in the Pacific Northwest, and currently Michelle serves as Secretary and one of the Associate Editors.  Michelle also remained active with public outreach activities by working with Puget Sound Mycological Society on their annual mushroom exhibit.

Peter Zika was involved in a wide range of research on Pacific Northwest taxonomy and floristics.  Peter continued his research on the genera Botrychium, Cardamine, Carex, Impatiens, Prunus, Juncus, Crataegus, and Cotoneaster.  He is currently working on publishing new species in several of these genera.  Peter is also involved with the Flora of North America Project.  He is co-authoring the Cotoneaster treatment for an upcoming volume, and as a Regional Reviewer comments on drafts of generic treatments for future volumes in the series.  Peter is also revising vascular plant lists for both Washington and Oregon, studying bird dispersal of several woody taxa in Washington.

2004 was another active year of collecting for Peter, as he donated 1,172 specimens to WTU that he collected from Washington, Oregon, Montana, Vermont, British Columbia, Massachusetts, Florida, California, Idaho, New York, and Portugal.  Nearly 75% of these specimens were collected in Washington.  Peter traveled to several herbaria where he annotated specimens associated with his ongoing research projects.  These herbaria included the University of San Diego, Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Garden, Oregon State University, Washington State University, University of British Columbia, New York Botanical Garden, and Harvard University.

Peter served as a manuscript editor for American Fern Journal, and reviewed several conservation plans for the U.S. Forest Service addressing species in the Rocky Mountains.  This work is in collaboration with conservation efforts coordinated by the Missouri Botanical Garden. He also reviewed conservation plans for the New England Wildflower Society.  Peter taught a course on invasive knotweed identification for a symposium on knotweeds held in Everett, WA, King County Noxious Weed Control Board.  He hosted Ed Alverson from The Nature Conservancy and Oregon State University Herbarium while he was in town conducting research on Pacific Northwest floristics.


David Giblin, Ph.D., (Collections Manager), was informed in January that the NSF Biological Research Collections grant that he and Dick Olmstead submitted in July 2003 was funded for $430,000 of the $500,000 requested.  Later that month he traveled to Twisp, WA to acquire over 300 Pacific Northwest vascular plant specimens from the U.S. Forest Service that USDA botanists had collected between 1912 and 1937.  The specimens were in outstanding shape considering that they had been abandoned in a storage facility for the last 60+ years.  David gave a public lecture while in Twisp on the role and importance of the UW Herbarium.  

David’s research grant proposal to the Washington Native Plant Society for construction of an image gallery of Washington State’s flora was funded in February ($1,300).  The Herbarium was recognized at the Burke’s annual Volunteer Appreciation Ceremony for accruing the most volunteer hours (2600) of any of the divisions over the past year.  The total hours were nearly 1,000 more than any other department.  

David secured funding for and participated in three TNC/NPS botanical surveys at Ebey’s Landing.  He led 13 volunteers for the 9th Annual Herbarium Foray to Fremont-Winema National Forest (June 30th-Jluy 4th) in south-central Oregon, and participated in a two-day backcountry botanical survey to Mt. Rainier as part of WTU’s ongoing collaboration with NPS.  He also spent two days collecting at Mt. Adams with the authors of an upcoming flora for the site.  David also conducted several one-day collecting trips to destinations in Kitsap, Snohomish, Skagit, and Chelan counties in an effort to improve geographical representation of the collections and obtain contemporary specimens for undercollected vascular plant families in the collection (e.g., primarily aquatic families).  In September he secured an additional $5,000 to conduct to more botanical surveys in North Cascades National Park in 2005.  

In September, David represented the Burke Museum at the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign’s international conference held at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.  In October, David oversaw the conversion of the compactor system to a mechanical assist system, a project funded by the NSF collections improvement grant.  As part of the grant, four new computers were added to the collections for the databasing portion of the project, and David acquired an additional computer through resources within the University.  David wrote and coordinated the mailing of the Annual Appeal letter in support of the Herbarium Endowment.  The appeal generated $4,000 in donations to the Endowment.

David continued his collaboration with Dr. Peter Dunwiddie of TNC, and in November they planned a multi-year, inter-agency botanical survey of the islets and rock outcroppings found throughout the San Juan Islands.  Participating agencies include NPS, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, WA Department of Natural Resources, Washington State Parks and Recreation, and San Juan County Land Bank.  In December he submitted a research grant proposal to the Washington Native Plant Society in support of this project.  He also collaborated with U.S. Forest Service Botanist Therese Ohlson from the Okanogan National Forest to submit a grant proposal to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to support two botanical surveys in the Pasayten Wilderness of north-central Washington.  Collections from this area are essentially nonexistent due to the remoteness and difficulty in accessing this area.

David was a guest lecturer in Spring and Summer quarters for Biology 117/317.  He continued his service on the Editorial Board of the Washington Native Plant Society, oversaw the activities of three graduate students conducting Herbarium practica in Winter Quarter. David co-advised Lan Ting, an undergraduate student in the UW-Sichuan University exchange program, on her research on hybridization in native and non-native species of Impatiens.  David collaborated with Drs. Kern Ewing and Kee Dae Kim in the College of Forestry on a research project studying the efficacy of willow stake plantings on controlling invasive reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea), and continued his responsibilities associated with the management of the Erna Gunther Ethnobotanical Garden at the Burke Museum’s entrance.

Katherine Glew, Ph.D., (Assistant Curator) joined the Herbarium staff in October as Assistant Curator for Lichens and Bryophytes, a position supported through WTU’s collections improvement grant from NSF.  Katherine researches rare lichens species of Washington, alpine lichens, and lichen biodiversity of Far East Russia.  Before starting her position, she taught Introductory Botany at Bastyr University, and served as Field Supervisor for teacher interns with City University.  Katherine was a technical advisor to the Washington Department of Natural Resources for the updated publication of the Natural Heritage Program's "Rare lichens for Washington State".  She also provided technical assistance to the U.S. Forest Service regarding rare lichens species collected as part of the Survey & Manage program, and taught “Introductory Lichen Workshop” for the U.S. Forest Service in Cove, Oregon.   Katherine also is working with The Nature Conservancy to develop a list of rare lichens for the Okanogan Ecoregion.

Katherine made over 600 lichens collections in 2004 from throughout Washington, as well as in Oregon, Utah, and Estonia.  She was in Estonia to deliver a poster at the International Association of Lichenologists entitled, “Distribution of Rare Alpine Lichens in Washington State, USA”, and visited the herbarium in Tartu.  She also attended Botany 2004 in Utah, where she delivered an invited paper entitled, “Current Status of Rare Lichens and Their Conservation in Washington State” as part of the American Bryological and Lichenological Society annual meeting.  She also attended the Northwest Science Annual Meeting at Boise State in Idaho, where she gave a talk entitled, "Alpine Lichens from Mount Rainier National Park, Washington State, USA".  Katherine also attended the annual meeting of Northwest Science, where the Northwest Lichenologists also met.  She served as journal editor and peer reviewer for The Bryologist (Journal for the American Bryological and Lichenological Society).  Katherine hosted Dr. Tor Tonsberg, a lichenologist from the University of Bergen in Norway, while he was conducting field research in the Pacific Northwest in summer 2004.

Katherine collected lichens as part of WTU’s botanical survey project at Ebey’s Landing with The Nature Conservancy and National Park Service.  Katherine also traveled to Colville National Forest to conduct a lichen survey, focusing on species from the Forest Service’s Sensitive Species List.  She was also very active with public outreach efforts, as she led trips or gave talks for the Washington Native Plant Society, the College of Forest Resource’s Center for Urban Horticulture, and Adopt-a-Stream of Everett.  She also worked with UW’s Summer Institute for Life Sciences, where she provided “hands on” learning activities in biology for K-8 teachers.

Ben Legler (Database Manager) joined the Herbarium staff as Database Manager in October, a position supported through WTU’s collections improvement grant from NSF.  He is responsible for coordinating the databasing of WTU’s entire collection of Pacific Northwest vascular plants.  Prior to taking the position he worked on several externally funded database and Web site development projects in the Herbarium.  Through grant funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Service (IMLS), Ben improved and expanded the operability of WTU’s online database.  Most importantly, he improved the search pages and created the ability of users to download query results from the WTU database to their computers.  Through grant funding from the Washington Native Plant Society, Ben created an online image gallery of the Washington State flora.  The site covers 1,200 species to date, and is supported by over 5,600 images.  As part of the gallery, he also created an online identification key based on simple characters that amateur botanists can use in identifying plants.

As part of the NSF-funded databasing project, Ben oversaw the purchase and networking of several computers, and completely redesigned the database program to maximize data entry efficiency and to allow multi-port data entry.  On WTU’s Web site, he also created a county-level species list generator for Washington, allowing individuals to create custom species list for any combination of counties in the state based on WTU’s specimens.  Ben also worked with other Burke Museum staff to integrate WTU’s Web site within the Museum’s overall Web site.
Ben led three collecting trips to Ebey’s Landing as part of WTU’s ongoing botanical survey work with the National Park Service, and he participated as a volunteer collector on the Mount Rainier survey.  Collectively, the Ebey’s Landing surveys added over 130 species to the vascular plant species list for the site.  He participated in the 2004 UW Herbarium Foray, and traveled extensively throughout Washington to collect and photograph the state’s flora.  Some of the areas that Ben visited included the Columbia River Gorge, Blue Mountains, Columbia Basin, northeast corner of the state, North Cascades, Okanogan region, and the Puget Sound lowlands.  He made 950 vascular plant collections, many of which were new county records for either WTU or all herbaria in the state.  He also took over 12,000 photographs of nearly 1,000 species; over 4,000 of these photos are currently accessible online through WTU’s Image Collection Web site.  Ben contributed a distribution map to WTU Research Associate Peter Zika’s upcoming publication describing a new hybrid Impatiens species here in the Pacific Northwest

Sharon Rodman was contracted by the National Park Service (NPS) to create a database of label information from WTU specimens collected on NPS land.  By federal law, all plants collected on NPS land after April 1984 belong to the NPS, however they are on permanent loan to the herbaria which currently house the specimens.  The work is part of an on-going inventory of plants collected in parks of the North Coast and Cascade network, which includes Ebey’s Landing National Historic Reserve, Fort Clatsop National Memorial, Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, North Cascades National Park Service Complex, Mount Rainier National Park, Olympic National Park, and San Juan National Historic Park.  In 2004, Sharon added approximately 1,500 new records to the National Park Service database from specimens housed at WTU.


Joe Ammirati, Professor, continued his long term research on the taxonomy of the mushroom genus Cortinarius in North and Central America, with emphasis on the boreal and montane species of the Pacific Northwest and the Rocky Mountains.  His main collaborators are Meinhard Moser (University of Innsbruck) and Michelle Seidl.  He also works with Roy Halling (New York Botanical Garden) on fungi of Costa Rica and with Greg Mueller (Field Museum).  Other long-term interests include the taxonomy and distribution of agaric species and macrofungi of the Pacific Northwest, and also species richness and fungus diversity in conifer ecosystems in the Olympic and Cascade Mountains.  Joe is actively involved with the Mycological Society of America (MSA).
Eugene N. Kozloff, Professor Emeritus of Zoology, is currently working on a flora of Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia west of the Cascades.  The anticipated publication date is September 2005.  Permanently based at Friday Harbor Laboratories, Gene visits the Herbarium frequently to examine specimens and to select others for additional study at Friday Harbor.  He has used over 2,000 WTU specimens to develop dichotomous identification keys in the book and to locate plants in the field.  The book will be comprehensive for the region, and will be useful to amateurs, non-specialist professionals in various kinds of environmental work, and students in courses on plant classification and identification.  Its general organization includes keys to families, genera, and species, along with over 700 color photographs and line drawings.  The book will be similar to that of Beidleman and Kozloff:  “Plants of the San Francisco Bay Region”, revised edition, 2003 published by University of California Press.  His work in the Herbarium has been generously aided by specialists who work there.

Richard G. Olmstead, Professor of Botany in the Biology Department, Herbarium Curator, and Burke Museum Curator of Botany, has projects ongoing in the systematics and phylogeny of the Asteridae and various groups within Asteridae (e.g., Solanaceae, Boraginaceae, and Lamiales, including Bignoniaceae, Lamiaceae, Scrophulariaceae s.l., and Verbenaceae), as well as basal land plants and phylogeny of all green plants.

Dick’s research is supported by a number of grants through the National Science Foundation: 2004-2007: NSF Biological Research Collections Grant:  “Databasing, Curating, and Protecting:  A proposal to update and modernize the University of Washington Herbarium”, , NSF 0346624 (D. Giblin, Co-PI) ($429,000); .  
2004-2009.  NSF IGERT:  “Multinational Collaborations on Challenges to the Environment” (G. Kalonji, Project Director, R. Olmstead, Co-PI).  (recommended for funding at:  $3,367,000); 2004-2006. NSF Dissertation Improvement Grant:  “Molecular Systematics and Evolution in Castilleja and Subtribe Castillejinae (Orobanchaceae).” (for David Tank) (DEB 0412653 - $14,462);  2004-2009.  NSF Research Grant: "Collaborative Research: ATOL:  The Angiosperm Tree of Life:  Resolving the Trunk of the Tree and 12 of its Thorniest Nodes."  EF-0431184 (UW budget: $262,356).  

In addition to writing and receiving research grants, Dick served on the German Research Panel for "Phylogenetic Radiations" in Bad Honnef, Germany, which included the review of 12 grant proposals. He also served as a peer reviewer for nine manuscripts originating from journals that included American Journal of Botany, Taxon, Nature, Systematic Botany, SIDA, and Plant Systematics and Evolution.  Dick was also asked to serve as a reviewer for two Tenure/Promotion evaluations.

Dick attended both national and international meetings in 2004.  In June, he participated in the annual meetings of the Society for Systematic Biologists/Society for the Study of Evolution held at Colorado State University in Ft. Collins, Colorado, where he delivered a talk entitled, “A preliminary phylogeny of Verbenaceae using three hierarchical levels of molecular data”.  Dick was an invited speaker at the International Society of Phylogenetic Nomenclature (ISPN) conference in Paris, France in July, where he presented and collaborated on two talks with Dr. Phil Cantino, “Phylogenetic nomenclature of Lamiaceae”, and “Phylogenetic nomenclature of Lamiales. In August, Dick traveled to Snowbird, Utah to attend joint meetings of the American Society for Plant Taxonomists and the Botanical Society of America, where he delivered a talk entitled, “Phylogenetic fallout: A preliminary phylogenetic assessment of what’s left of the Verbenaceae”.  He was also co-author of a poster presentation entitled, “The complete chloroplast genome sequence of the lycopod, Huperzia lucidula (Lycopodiaceae): implications for land plant phylogeny”, and contributed to three presentations by current and past graduate students in his lab.  Finally, Dick participated in the Assembling the Tree Of Life (ATOL) Principle Investigator’s Conference in Arlington, Virginia in November.

Dick was granted sabbatical leave for the academic year 2004-2005.  He spent six months of his sabbatical as a Senior Fellow at the US National Herbarium at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., during which time he worked with collections of Verbenaceae and several other groups. As part of his Smithsonian Fellowship, Dick traveled to Argentina for a month of collecting during November and December.  He visited herbaria at Instituto Botanico Darwinion, San Isidro (SI), and Universidad de Cuyo, Mendoza (MERL).  In collaboration with graduate students and staff at each institution, he made plant collections in the northeast provinces of Buenos Aires, Entre Rios, Corrientes, and Misiones and in the Western provinces of Mendoza and San Luis.  He made approximately 150 collections in replicate for local institutions, the US National Herbarium and WTU.  The focus of the collections was Verbenaceae, but several collections of other groups of interest also were made.