Description: Oxydendrum arboreum leaves

The University of North Carolina
A Department of the North Carolina Botanical Garden


Internships at the University of North Carolina Herbarium




Ellie Kravets



Ellie Kravets, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Class of 2017 majoring in Biology, is the Charles T. Mohr Intern in the University of North Carolina Herbarium for 2016.  Ellie was raised in New Orleans, Louisiana and attended Benjamin Franklin High School near Lake Pontchartrain.


Ellie took Local Flora (Biology 272) with Dr. Alan Weakley as a sophomore and started volunteering in the Herbarium soon afterwards.  She spent much of last year examining and annotating specimens collected ca. 1901 in Colombia by Herbert Huntingdon Smith (see “Local Flora, Deaf Botanists, Type Specimens, Colombia, and Trains:  A Typical Day in the Herbarium”). Ellie spent the summer of 2015 as an Intern at the Audubon Nature Institute’s Species Survival Center and helped to costume-rear Mississippi Sandhill Cranes (Grus canadensis pulla).  “We were rearing cranes to be released into the wild, therefore we did not want them to imprint on humans.  So I donned a costume – as far as the chicks were aware, I was just another (tall, awkwardly shaped) crane,” explains Ellie. This past fall semester she organized our collection of bryophytes (mosses, liverworts and hornworts).  Though our bryological collection is small – ca. 3500 specimens -- it is of local interest as many specimens were collected in Battle Park, a natural area on the UNC-CH campus that is managed by the North Carolina Botanical Garden.


For her Mohr Internship, Ellie will be diving into the specimens that were transferred from the Dartmouth College Herbarium to the University of North Carolina Herbarium.  The Dartmouth Herbarium (HNH) decided to retain only specimens collected in New England so that they could continue to document the flora of their area.  They sent their material from the Southeastern United States to Chapel Hill, and material from elsewhere to the Botanical Research Institute in Texas.  Many of the Dartmouth specimens date from the 1870’s-1920’s and many were collected by noted botanists.  Ellie will get valuable curatorial experience as she handles these old specimens – from repairing & re-affixing plants that have loosened over the past century and reading 19th century handwriting, to annotating specimens with current nomenclature and filing in our collection.  She will enter the information from each label into a searchable on-line database of herbarium specimens (  Over the next few years, digital images of each specimen will be added to the database record as part of the National Science Foundation funded project, Key to the Cabinets:  Building & Sustaining a Research Database for a Global Biodiversity Hotspot.


Few of the Dartmouth specimens have been used by botanists, and we trust that once Ellie “daylights” them by making them known via the on-line database, they will be borrowed, studied and rejoin the scientific community.


When Ellie and I peeked through the first stack of specimens which she will start processing, we found a specimen collected by Charles T. Mohr – a good omen for our Mohr Intern!



Marshallia mohrii grown from seed
“Mohr’s Barbara Buttons” is endemic to the Southeastern United States and named in honor of botanist Charles T. Mohr
Photograph courtesy of Bill McAvoy


Description: Curriculum in Ecology                 Description: North Carolina Botanical Garden               Description: Biology Department
Curriculum                               North Carolina                                 UNC

   In Ecology                              Botanical Garden                   Biology Department

University of North Carolina Herbarium
CB# 3280, Coker Hall
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3280
phone: (919) 962-6931

Last Updated: 21 January 2016