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The Billie L. Turner Plant Resources Center

Introduction

The Billie L. Turner Plant Resources Center (TEX-LL) with over 1,000,000 specimens is the largest herbarium in the southwestern United States and ranks fifth among U.S. university herbaria and twelfth across the nation. TEX-LL, with about a quarter of its specimens from Texas, has the largest holdings of Texas plants in the world. Nearly one half of the specimens at TEX-LL are from Latin America, with an especially strong representation of Mexico and northern Central America. Presently the number of vascular plant collections inserted in the herbarium is growing at an approximate rate of 16,400 specimens per year.

The Plant Resources Center now houses a total of over one million specimens of vascular plants. The vascular plant collection at UT contains many unique collections that are represented only in TEX-LL, or in very few other herbaria. Complete or nearly complete sets include the collections of C. L. and Amelia Lundell, M. C. Johnston, J. Henrickson, R. Runyon, E. Contreras, D. Gentle, E. Matuda, and B. L. Turner. The PRC also has significant holdings of D. S. Correll, S. F. Blake, G. B. Hinton et al., H. N. Moldenke, C. H. Muller, W. A. Silvius, and I. M. Johnston as well as incomplete sets of C. G. Pringle and R. McVaugh.

The Plant Resources Center is rich in types with over 6100 taxa represented in its type collection. The Blake collection of Asteraceae is intercalated with the very large TEX collection of mostly American and Mexican Asteraceae assembled by the 60 or more monographers (most as students and faculty at UT, especially B. L. Turner and his students) who have worked in the U.S. Southwest and Mexico over the last 40 years. Comparatively few of these collections have been widely distributed among other U.S. institutions.

History

The first botanical specimens at The University of Texas were deposited in the 1890's, although it was not until the end of that decade that the first botanist joined the University. The first curator was Dr. Mary S. Young increased the herbarium holdings from 2,500 specimens to 16,000 at the time of her death in 1919. The herbarium was directed by Dr. Benjamin Carroll Tharp until 1958, who shaped the herbarium's growth from 16,000 to 200,000 specimens and collected extensively in Texas. During that time (from 1945 until 1948), Dr. Fred A. Barkley as curator pursued an active collecting program in both Texas and Mexico and initiated exchange programs with other institutions, thereby greatly increasing the herbarium's Latin American holdings.

In 1958 Dr. Billie L. Turner took the helm of the TEX herbarium, subsequently the Plant Resources Center. Dr. Billie L. Turner and botany faculty Marshall C. Johnston combined efforts and the holdings of the herbarium increased by 100,000 sheets between 1964 and 1970, bringing the total to 300,000 by 1970. In the mid 1970's the Plant Resources Center, an independent research institute in the College of Natural Sciences, was formed to encompass The University of Texas Herbarium, the Lundell Herbarium, a program on the rare and endangered species of Texas, and associated laboratory facilities.  Dr. Cyrus Lundell, formerly Director of the Texas Research Foundation and then Professor at The University of Texas at Dallas, transferred his herbarium of 315,000 sheets to The University of Texas. Dr. Lundell's collection is one of the richest in the world of material from Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and Honduras, as well as Texas. In 1991, the Moldenke collection acquired by Dr. Lundell of over 3,500 collections of Verbenaceae and Eriocaulaceae was also transferred to the Plant Resources Center making The University of Texas one of the strongest collections in the world in these families.

Behr, Whitney
Whitney L Behr
Summer TA Anchor Job
PhD student in Norma Fowler's lab interested in plant community dynamics and fire
BIERNER, MARK W
Mark W Bierner
Research Affiliate - Sr Research Fellow
My research is in the area of plant systematics focusing of the evolution and classification of species in the sunflower family, Asteraceae.
512-820-9723
MAI 127
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GILBERT, LAWRENCE E
512-471-2825
PAT 440
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HANSEN, DEBRA R
Debra R Hansen
Assistant Professor of Instruction
I am an evolutionary botanist; I study how plants are related to one another, and how various traits have evolved in certain lineages.
512-232-8491
NMS 2.104
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JANSEN, ROBERT
Robert K Jansen
Professor, Director (Academic)
Sidney F. and Doris Blake Centennial Professorship in Systematic Botany and the Blake Collection

Plant molecular evolution, comparative genomics, plant systematics
512-471-8827
BIO 212
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PANERO, JOSE L
Jose L Panero
Associate Professor, Associate Director (Academic)
512-232-1990
BIO
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Razzaque, Samsad
Samsad Razzaque
Graduate Research Assistant
SIMPSON, BERYL B No
Beryl B Simpson
Professor Emeritus
C. L. Lundell Chair of Systematic Botany