Vandana Gurung processed major plant collection

Vandana Gurung processing herbarium specimensAs the summer graduate assistant in the herbarium, Vandana Gurung (EEB graduate student, Diggle lab) facilitated the distribution of over 2,000 duplicate herbarium specimens collected by Les Mehrhoff, former collections manager of the G.S. Torrey Herbarium (CONN). Vandana’s work involved comparing a list of Mehrhoff’s collection numbers against a spreadsheet of the 22,000+ Mehrhoff collections already accessioned in the herbarium, identifying collection numbers that do not appear in the master spreadsheet (i.e., specimens filed as “duplicates” that were never mounted and added to the herbarium), and linking the remaining numbers to existing collection data from the database. She prepared excel spreadsheets of collection data which were used to generate rough drafts of over 2,000 labels, and then edited each label to eliminate replicated locality data and to ensure correct formatting. Vandana’s efficiency with R and attention to detail while editing labels expedited the transformation of several herbarium cabinets’ worth of material from mystery specimens to organized, labeled duplicates ready for distribution to other collections once covid-19 shipping restrictions are lifted.