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Abstract Detail


Mumich, Mary Margaret [1], Reeds, Karen [2], Struwe, Lena [3].

Women of the Chrysler Herbarium: Barbara F. Palser and Erica M. Frank.

As women have become more prominent in plant sciences, it is important to recognize the contributions of earlier women scientists who broke the ground for women who followed. This poster highlights the works and lives of two women botanists who contributed important collections to Chrysler Herbarium at Rutgers University: Barbara F. Palser and Erica M. Frank. Palser (1916-2008), a collector of primarily Ericaceae specimens and a plant anatomist, was at first the Secretary of the Botanical Society of America. Forty years ago, in 1976, she became the fourth female President of BSA since the society’s founding in 1894. She also received the Centennial Award from the Botanical Society of America, as a “[b]otanist and plant anatomist of many talents, editor, writer of handbooks, [and] adviser of students.” Her Ericaceae collections reflect her national and international travels, with specimens ranging from the United States to New Zealand, India, and Australia. Frank is represented in Chrysler Herbarium by 1736 specimens of lichens and 1626 specimens of bryophytes, mostly collected in the summer months of 1960 through 1985 in Canada, the UK, and across the United States, comprising nearly half of the Chrysler’s total lichen and moss collection. While the Chrysler files give no information about Erica Frank's career, the most likely candidate is Erica Moore Frank, PhD (1921-2013), whose obituary identifies her as a biology teacher at Centenary College, Hackettstown NJ, who received her doctorate in botany at the University of Wales before coming to America. As Frank was a much less prominent botanist than Palser, much of her career still needs to be explored. All of Frank’s and Palser’s specimens at Rutgers have been digitized as part of NSF-funded research projects. Frank’s collections are available in the open access databases Consortium of North American Lichen Herbaria and Consortium of North American Bryophyte Herbaria. This poster is the first stage in an undergraduate honors research project. The project aims to document Palser and Frank’s work, evaluate their scientific collections and accomplishments, and bring wider recognition of their work through websites, presentations, and publications for audiences in botany, history of science, and gender studies.

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Related Links:
Chrysler Herbarium
Consortium of North American Lichen Herbaria
Consortium of North Amerrican Bryophyte Herbaria

1 - Rutgers University, Dept. of Women’s and Gender Studies, 162 Ryders Lane, New Brunswick, NJ, 08901, USA
2 - Princeton Research Forum, 19 Woodland Drive, Princeton , NJ, 08540, USA
3 - Rutgers University, Dept of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources & Dept of Plant Biology and Pathology, 59 Dudley Road, New Brunswick, NJ, 08901, USA

women in science

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P, Historical Section: Posters
Location: Exhibit Hall/Savannah International Trade and Convention Center
Date: Monday, August 1st, 2016
Time: 5:30 PM This poster will be presented at 5:30 pm. The Poster Session runs from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Posters with odd poster numbers are presented at 5:30 pm, and posters with even poster numbers are presented at 6:15 pm.
Number: PHS001
Abstract ID:647
Candidate for Awards:Emanuel D. Rudolph Award

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