Check this section for research, grant, and press news!

November 2022: Jacob and co-authors publish New Zealand Fern Distributions from the Last Glacial Maximum to 2070: A Dynamic Tale of Migration and Community Turnover. 

September 2022: Skylar Lynch successfully passed their third semester exam and is diving into statistics 

July 2022: Seth Raynor, Skylar Lynch and Jacob Watts attend and present at Botany 2022 in Ancorage Alaska.

June 2022: Skylar Lynch spearheaded initiative to bring awareness to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and successfully lobbied the department for a semi permanent social justice installation! 

May -November 2022: Seth Raynor had a successful field season in Indian Peaks Wilderness National Park, collecting thousands of specimens! Impressive!

May – August 2022: Adele spent the summer in the field in Southern Colorado conducting her floristic study. So Fun!

March 2022: Erin and Acanth colleagues Carrie Kiel and Igor Azevedo complete a successful 2-week collections trip throughout the Cerrado biome of Brazil (and Erin finishes her Fulbright Fellowship there)! LOTS of stories!

February 2022: With 30+ botanists forming a new collaboration around the world, the Herbarium Training Course aims to be the first ever formal online course in herbarium curation / management! Module development is officially underway!

December 2021: Winter issue of Taxon, Erin & colleagues publish a major taxonomic revision/reclassification of the Acanthaceae, complete with worldwide dichotomous keys to the genera… a first revision of the family in over 100 years! (

April 2021: Jacob Watts was awarded the GRFP!

April 2021: Two new NSF TCN awards to Erin and the COLO Herbarium crew! (1) Building a global consortium of bryophytes and lichens: keystones of cryptobiotic communities, and (2) Bringing Asia to digital life: mobilizing underrepresented Asian herbarium collections in the US to propel biodiversity discovery.

February 2021: Erin and co-authors submit a major manuscript that revises the classification of worldwide Acanthaceae, which includes the first ever global dichotomous keys to the genera

January 2021: Erin and 30 colleagues from herbaria around the world launch initial stages of the first ever formal Herbarium Training Course

November 2020: Angie finalizes plans for fieldwork in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park this upcoming summer to observe and isolate microinvertebrate fauna from lichens. Looking forward to collaborating with Park Education Branch Chief, Susan Sachs, to create protocols for lichen-oriented citizen science in the Park!

October 2020: Jes Persinger hired as a researcher to spearhead remaining genomic work on NSF Dimensions Southern Appalachian Lichens project!

August 2020: Skylar Lynch and Angie Romano officially start graduate school!

May 2020: Carly and Erin travel by small plane to prepare series of field lichenology teaching videos, in effort to rapid-fire design a new lab manual for a former field course now moved fully online (thanks, Covid). Success! See our youtube channel:

March 2020: Field Guide to the Lichens of Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Tripp & Lendemer, Univ Tennessee Press) is published! 14 years in the making!

August 2019: Lucinda McDade of Team Acanthaceae wins ASPT’s prestigious Asa Gray Award, nominated by Erin Tripp

June 2019: Erin Tripp elected President (President-elect) of the Society of Herbarium Curators

November 2018: Erin is gearing up for Acanthaceae fieldwork in the Chiapas.

Carrie Kiel, Erin Tripp, Lucinda McDade, and Amanda Fisher receive a NSF collaborative research grant [2018-2022]: “New World Justicia s.l.: A Microcosm for understanding covariation of floral traits and pollinators in a phylogenetic context”

November 2018: Carly co-lectures with her colleague Jordan Hoffman (NYBG), “Charismatic Cladonia: multi-dimensional explorations into a diverse lichen genus”, at the Torrey Botanical Society

October 2018: Look out for Mat’s most recent article, “RAD Sequencing Rejects a Long-Distance Disjunction in Stellaria L. (Caryophyllaceae) and Yields Support for a New Southern Rocky Mountains Endemic” (upcoming in Taxon).

October 2018: Congratulations to Carly on her newest grants!

  1. Society of Systematic Botanists: Graduate Student Research Award
  2. Hawaiian Audubon Society Student Scholarship: “Expedition Hawaii: Answering major questions about Cladonia lichens in the Hawaiian Archipelago”

Carly is gearing up for a collection trip to Kauai and Maui, Hawaii to find endemic and long-neglected species of Cladonia!

August 2018: Carly publishes “Lecanora markjohnstonii (Lecanoraceae, lichenized Ascomycetes), a new sorediate crustose lichen from the southeastern United States”, check it out here in The Bryologist!

July 2018: Off to San Juan, Puerto Rico, Carly is in route to the International Mycological Congress where she will present a poster entitled “Cladonia: Assembling a global phylogeny using RADseq data optimized for metagenomic organisms.”

March 2018: Louise returns after three successful months of field work in the Drakensberg mountains of South Africa!

2018: Congratulations Mat on his Graduate Research Grant: “Understanding the origins of apetaly in the cosmopolitan genus Stellaria L.”!

October 2017. Erin is going to be teaching a new course in Maymester next year…. entitled The Lichen Biome!! The class is open (4 credits) to all CU undergrads and grads, offered thru EBIO and cross listed in the museum but also offered to the external community. Details to follow. Email Erin at with any questions.

Co-instructors: James Lendemer, Christy McCain, Nolan Kane

Sept 2017. Erin Tripp & Herbarium colleagues Dina Clark and Ryan Allen initiate work on a 4-year NSF-ADBC TCN grant, to digitize herbarium specimens from the Southern Rocky Mountains. The COLO Herbarium is leading the grant, which has about 35 collaborators

Mat’s floristic inventory of the South San Juan Mountains was recently published – check it out here! Sharples Floristic Inventory.

August 2017: We said goodbye to the powerhouse of the Tripp Lab for the last three years, Yongbin Zhuang. We wish you the best of luck with your ventures through the US and also best wishes on your research back in China! You were great to have as a resource, a colleague, and a friend.

June 2018: Carly and co-authors publish “The Lichens and Allied Fungi of Mount Mitchell State Park, North Carolina: A First Checklist with Comprehensive Keys and Comparison to Historical Data”

Check in out here in Castanea

June 2017: Erin Tripp and co-authors publish a new perspective on phylogenetic systematics in Trends in Ecology and Evolution.

Annual Botany Conference! Carly, Mat, Reese, and Erin attend the annual botany conference and give presentations about their research.

May 2017. Cloe Pogoda and coauthors (Kyle Keepers, James Lendemer, Nolan Kane, Erin Tripp) submitted exciting results from their comparative study of lichen mitochondrial genome evolution for review. Fingers crossed!

Erin Tripp, James Lendemer, Christy Mccain, Carly Anderson-Stewart, and Jordan Hoffman conduct NSF Dimensions Fieldwork throughout Northern Alabama. Their efforts to document and identify lichen species and their ecologies in the Appalachian mountains continue!

Carly was recently awarded a $2300  grant to work on phylogenetics of the charismatic and diverse lichen genus Cladonia using RADseq technology. She hopes to answer some of the unanswered questions about the group’s phenotypic plasticity, species relationships, and biogeographical patterns.

Undergrad Kelsey Beckrich received an Undergraduate Research Opportunity (UROP) grant PLUS a grant from the American Penstemon Society to continue research on reproductive isolation among western North American species of Penstemon. Kelsey is especially interested in floral, temporal, and pollinator behavioral traits that contribute to reproductive isolation or reproductive compatibility among various co-occuring species of Penstemon. 

April 2017. Erin Tripp and Kyle Dexter (University of Edinburgh) conducted fieldwork in Angola to build further knowledge of the natural history of Petalidium – a genus of Acanthaceae they have been studying for several years now, but primarily from the Namibian side of diversity.  Kyle and Erin managed to collect all known species of Petalidium in the Angola plus a couple of species new to science. They additionally documented several exciting, hybrid swarms. Check out the full scoop here!

Mat Sharples (aka T1) received a research grant that will fund his continuing efforts to understand biogeographical disjunctions in Stellaria, which is one of the primary focuses of his graduate studies.

March 2017. Erin Tripp and James Lendemer, several professional and amateur lichenologists, and students from across the USA attended the annual lichen “Tuckerman Workshop” to build new knowledge of lichen diversity and distributions in eastern North America. The Tuckerman workshop was originally founded in 1994 by Richard Harris and William Buck in the Catskill Mountains of  New York. During the workshop, researchers spend the mornings conducting field surveys in selected localities and then spend afternoons in the lab identifying their collections using a variety of methods including microscopy and chromatography. The 2017 Tuckerman included a very special trip to the Little Cahaba dolomite glades – said by many to be ‘the most biodiverse site in Alabama’.  Tuckerman participants intend to put together a lichen checklist for this region (soon!).

Feb 2017. Mat Sharples (T1) submitted his floristic study of the South San Juan Wilderness of southern Colorado for review in BRIT.

Feb 8, 2017. Dr. Tripp (PI) and Matt Schreiber (lab manager and tech) just returned from a field trip to Ecuador and Peru (Jan 12-Jan 31). Check out recent and new blog posts to see the latest news on Ruellia research through the Ruellia Pages.  Pictures and blog updates will be happening over the course of the next few weeks so keep coming back!

Jan 13, 2017. Welcome back from Australia and New Zealand T1!!! 10 out of 12 of the endemic starworts of Oceania were collected, and he is excited to be the first person to subject them to molecular phylogenetic inference.

Jan 2017. James, Carly, and co-authors recently submitted a manuscript that reported results on the Mt. Mitchell work. (Their manuscript was, shortly thereafter, accepted for publication in Castanea). Congratulations, Carly et al.!

Cloe P. prepared a manuscript reporting the comparative mitochondrial genomics of 22 lichen species.

The first acanth genome was published, work was completed by Yongbin. Link here.

Dec 22, 2016. Check out Yongbin and Erin’s publication on Hybrid Effects in Ruellia!

Dec 2016. Dr. Tripp’s book: The Field Guide to the Lichens of White Rocks was published.

Fall 2016. Kyle K. is nearing perfection of 2 new pipelines. One is an assembly of rDNA contigs from 100s of species of southern Appalachia lichens. The second pipeline is to process “potential of diversity” environmental sampling of lichen propagules of the southern Appalachia.

Oct 2016. Erin and James L. work in Great Smokey Mountain NP. Their photos are now part of the Field Guide to the Lichens of GSMNP.

Sept 2016. Erin Tripp, Manuel Lujan, and Dina Clark conduct fieldwork in Bolivia with ca. 20 species collected!

August 2016. Erin Tripp, Lucinda McDade, Nico Medina, Cintina Kameyama, and students conduct field work in Brazil. 44 species of Ruellia collected!

Jul 19, 2016. The First Annual Botany Blitz jointly held between Herbarium staff, Tripp and Smith Labs. Took place

Jul 2016. Vanessa Diaz defends her master’s thesis making her the first graduate student to make it out of the Tripp lab!!

Jun 2016. Dimensions collaborator James L. taught a 1-week lichen field course at Highlands Biological Station. Carly S. was in attendance! The group also conducted a lichen inventory of Mt. Mitchell State Park.

Jan 2016. Erin Tripp, Manuel Lujan and Amanda Fisher conduct field work in Mexico.

Oct 31, 2015. Great news for lichenologists and ecologists everywhere–Dr. Tripp, along with CU Boulder collaborators Christy McCain and Nolan Kane, were recently awarded an NSF grant exploring biodiversity in the Great Smoky Mountains.

Oct 30, 2015. Check out former undergraduate lab member Joseph Kleinkopf’s cool research on Amorpha species here (he’s also featured on the CU EBIO website!)

Oct 28, 2015. Oren Rabinowitz, a recent graduate of CU Boulder, did an independent project on the white powder that gives aspen trees their famous shade. Check out the writeup here.

Oct 16, 2015. Erin recently took her Plant Systematics class to Black Canyon for some good old fashioned autumn botanizing.

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