Built up over nearly a century, the University of Melbourne Herbarium houses 150,000 specimens of plants, fungi and algae, including historically important collections and artwork. With your help, it can further expand its contribution to science.
With the help of our generous donors we have made significant progress towards our goal of $1 million to support the University of Melbourne Herbarium.
Through your donation to the herbarium you can assist with:
- Making the collection and associated information broadly accessible by digitising specimens and contributing to Australia’s Virtual Herbarium
- Modernising and enhancinging the herbarium capability
- Improving the curation of the collections for users
- Ensuring the taxonomy of the plant collections is up-to-date for users
- Ensuring our volunteers have the training and equipment they need.
The Herbarium’s important role in science
During the period 2010-2018, 81 scientific publications resulted from the herbarium collection used by staff and students.
- DNA analysis of herbarium samples has been used to measure genetic variation in tussock grass (Poa labillardierei), an important food source and habitat for wildlife.
- Herbarium specimens were recently used to identify the species of fossil pollen and hence the vegetation that grew near caves on the Nullarbor in the geological past.
- Databasing the collection is contributing to Australia’s Virtual Herbarium (AVH) and Atlas of Living Australia (ALA). These feed into international biodiversity data portals such as the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF).