People


Dr. Khidir Hilu, Director

Dr. Hilu's research is focused on the molecular systematics and evolution of flowering plants and crops. His research has been focused on the evolution of flowering plants (angiosperms) as well as land plants in general using DNA sequence information.  This aspect of his work includes both basal angiosperms as well as eudicots.  His research program is emphasizing the rapidly evolving plastid gene matK and the trnT-trnF region.

 

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Dr. Jordan Metzgar, Curator

Jordan came to VPI after working at the University of Alaska Herbarium for ten years. His research has long focused on fern systematics, including his doctoral research on the circumboreal fern genus Cryptogramma.

 

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Thomas F. Wieboldt, Retired Curator

Tom's long career at VPI focused on growing the herbarium through personal collecting all across Virginia, enhanced trading from the Southeastern U.S., and encouraging gifts from active Virginia botanists and ecologists. Tom's interests in rare species and the flora of specialized habitats resulted in the discovery of numerous new county and state records. Groups of primary interest were Carex (Cyperaceae) and pteridophytes. In the later years, he shifted focus to bryophytes and lichens which he continues to study in retirement.

 

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John Ford, Volunteer

John is a retired computer programmer who volunteers at VPI three days a week. Recently he has been databasing grass specimens for us.

 

John in the news!


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Allen Milby, Undergraduate Researcher

Allen is a VT undergraduate from Newport News, VA. He is interested in mosses and lichens and has begun inventorying the cryptogams of Stadium Woods. He recently completed a cryptogam identification course at the Eagle Hill Institute in Maine. Allen is also working as a digitization tech through our SERNEC funding.


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Amber Reaney, Undergraduate Researcher

Amber is a VT undergraduate majoring in microbiology from Woodbridge, VA. After discovering the herbarium during our Flora of Virginia exhibit, she sought a project that would incorporate her interest in bacteria. She is working in the lab to generate DNA sequence data to better understand the coevolution of the aquatic fern Azolla and its nitrogen-fixing symbiont Nostoc.


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Erin Quesenberry, Undergraduate Researcher

Erin is a VT undergraduate who grew up in nearby Pulaski, VA. She has long been interested in plants and founded the Natural History Collections Club at VT. Erin is documenting part of the Virginia Tech campus flora by collecting plants from campus buildings. She will analyze these collections to determine the role of life history traits such as dispersal strategy in determining colonization success. 


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Jake Riney, Undergraduate Researcher

Jake is a VT undergraduate majoring in Computer Science. He developed an interest in the herbarium during our Flora of Virginia exhibit. Jake is a biologist as well, leading to his project constructing ecological niche models to infer fern distributions during the Last Glacial Maximum.   


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Ksenia Pereverzeva, Undergraduate Researcher

Ksenia is a VT undergraduate from Springfield, VA. She developed an interest in ethnobotany while taking Plant Taxonomy (BIOL 3204). Currently she is documenting historic plant uses at Smithfield Plantation and developing recommendations for native species to use in revegetation efforts along Stroubles Creek.


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Rachel Rosenquist, Undergraduate Volunteer

Rachel is a freshman majoring in environmental science at VT. She is a member of the CurVinci Living - Learning Community on campus. She is volunteering in the herbarium to further her knowledge of environmental science.


Location


We are located in room 3017 of Derring Hall on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, VA. We are in the east end of the building. 

If you are driving to campus, please visit the VT Visitor Center to obtain a free parking pass.

 

Derring Hall has a confusing layout. Use the map below to find us in the east end of the third floor.

 
 

Banner image of painted trillium (Trillium undulatum) courtesy of Virginia Wildflowers.