I am happy to announce that we have a new recruit to the Emory University Herbarium! Dr. Jane Bradbury will begin her work as the Emory University Herbarium (GEO) Collections Manager this June. She will be working with Dr. Quave (Curator) on the Herbarium Revitalization Project, made possible by a generous philanthropic donation to the Herbarium this year.
Dr. Bradbury comes to us from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she has recently earned her PhD in Biology. The topic of her dissertation research was on how chemical ecology drives the process of plant domestication and the development of agricultural systems. Informally, she inquired “what do people want from their crops and how do they get it?” This curiosity spanned a wide variety of research questions including ethnobotanical, biochemical, genetic, and agroecological approaches to understanding the complex ecology that exists between plants, predators, and humans in the agricultural system.
Her recent research projects have focused on domestication and crop toxicity, specializing in two traditional crops native to South America that have retained toxicity in the domesticated form: “oca” (Oxalis tuberosa Molina) and “manioc” (Manihot esculenta Crantz). Both crops display an interesting syndrome of domestication whereby both toxic and non-toxic varieties are maintained, each with unique cultural customs of food preparation. These crops provide a new research model to address the conflicting anthropogenic and ecosystemic selective pressures present in agricultural systems.
Dr. Bradbury’s herbarium revitalization efforts will focus on digitizing the existing collection of 19,000 specimens, building and maintaining the growing Economic Botany Collection of Medicinal Plants as well as research service and support to the Emory and international research communities. Please feel free to contact her with any inquiries regarding the GEO collection and/or how we may help you with your research needs, including collection permits, sites, and techniques; sample vouchering and transfer (international or domestic); and data management.