Katelin D. Pearson

**We are pleased to announce that Katelin took a project manager position at California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo in Fall 2018. The content on this page will become increasingly out-of-date. To catch up on Katelin's activities, visit her LinkedIn profile here.**

Katelin joined the lab in Fall 2015 from Portland, Oregon.

Katelin "Katie" D. Pearson (nee Stanley) recently defended her Master's thesis in the Mast lab and is the current graduate curator of the FSU Herbarium. She has also served as a TA for Field Botany. Her research is focused on using biocollections data to answer evolutionary and ecological questions, especially those pertaining to plant phenological sensitivity to climate. She is also interested in the assumptions and biases associated with using biocollections data and developing methods to overcome these limitations. An avid botanist, Katelin is also interested in the natural history of local flora. She spends much of her time outdoors photographing and identifying plants, writing about her discoveries (and a weekly weed!) on her nature blog, and curating the Robert K. Godfrey herbarium. She founded and led Plant Club at FSU from Fall 2016 - May 2018 and is now president of the Early Career Section of the Society of Herbarium Curators, which she helped co-found.

From Fall 2015-Spring 2016, Katelin was a research assistant with iDigBio involved in Education and Outreach projects, including the Libraries of Life augmented reality collection cards, the Worldwide Engagement for Digitizing Biocollections (WeDigBio) event, and lesson plan development. She is also co-lead of the ODD Collectors Working Group, which aims to empower specimen collectors to detect and document anomalies at the collection event. She is currently engaged in other iDigBio efforts such as connecting ecologists to the collections community as part of a recently formed working group.

Katie was recently interviewed for the In Defense of Plants podcast.

M.S. Student, research assistant
Education and Employment History: 

Katelin concurrently received a B.S. in biology and B.A. in German studies from the University of Portland in 2015.

Contact info: 

Department of Biological Science
319 Stadium Drive
Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL 32306-4295

Office is King Life Science Building, room 4079


Fall 2015-Spring 2016 Research assistant, iDigBio


Pearson KD. 2018. Rapid enhancement of biodiversity occurrence records using unconventional specimen data. Biodiversity and Conservation. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10531-018-1584-0.

Yost JM, Sweeney PW, Gilbert E, Nelson G, Guralnick R, Gallinat S, Ellwood ER, Rossington N, Willis CG, Blum SD, Walls RL, Haston EM, Denslow MW, Zohner CM, Morris AB, Stucky BJ, Carter JR, Baxter DG, Bolmgren K, Denny EG, Dean E, Pearson KD, Davis CC, Mischler BD, Soltis BS, Mazer SJ. 2018. Digitization protocol for scoring reproductive phenology from herbarium specimens of seed plants. Applications in Plant Sciences. 6(2):e1022.

Ellwood ER, Kimberly P, Guralnick R, Flemons P, Love K, Ellis S, Allen JM, Best JH, Carter R, Chagnoux S, Costello R, Denslow MW, Dunckel BA, Ferriter MM, Gilbert EE, Goforth C, Groom Q, Krimmel ER, LaFrance R, Martinec JL, Miller AN, Minnaert-Grote J, Nash T, Oboyski P, Paul DL, Pearson KD, Petcheff  ND, Roberts MA, Seltzer CE, Soltis PS, Stephens R, Sweeney PW, von Konrat M, Wall A, Wetzer R, Zimmerman C, Mast AR. 2018. Worldwide Engagement for Digitizing Biocollections (WeDigBio)—The Biocollections Community’s Citizen Science Space on the Calendar. BioScience.

Willis CW, Ellwood ER, Primack RB, Davis CC, Pearson KD, Gallinat AS, Yost J, Nelson G, Mazer S, Rossington N, Sparks TH, Soltis P. Old plants, new tricks: phenological research using herbarium specimens. Trends in Ecology and Evolution. 32(7):531-546.

[Pearson] Stanley KD, Taylor DW. 2015. Effect of manual ivy removal on seedling recruitment in Forest Park, Portland, OR. American Journal of Undergraduate Research. 12(4):31-41.


Pearson KD. Leveraging digital data to understand and mitigate collection biases. Symposium: Leveraging digital specimen data and derivatives for herbarium curation and collections' management. Botany 2018. Rochester, MN. July 26, 2018.

Pearson KD. Estimating peak flowering from specimen data calibrated by phenological observations. Symposium: Tools, Standards, Techniques, and Methods for Using Herbarium Specimens in Phenological Research, Botany 2018, Rochester, MN. 2018. July 24, 2018.

Pearson KD. Rapid enhancement of biodiversity occurrence records using unconventional specimen data. Digital Data in Biodiversity Research, Berkeley, CA. 2018. June 5, 2018.

Nelson G, Pearson KD, Riccardi G. Raising the profile of natural history collections through research, education, and outreach use of digital data. [workshop] International Committee for Museums and Collections of Natural History (ICOM NATHIST) Conference. Pittsburgh, PA. October 26, 2017.

Pearson KD. WeDigFlowering: Engaging citizen scientists to explore plant phenology in a biodiversity hotspot. [poster] Cullowhee Native Plant Conference. Cullowhee, NC. July 20, 2017.

Pearson KD. Rapid enhancement of biodiversity occurrence records using unconventional herbarium specimen data. Botany 2017. Fort Worth, TX. June 27, 2017. [Abstract]

Pearson KD, Mast AR. On the front lines of discovering change: Biodiversity specimen collectors as the Anthropocene’s unrecognized outlier detectors. [poster] Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections. Denver, CO. June 22, 2017.

Pearson KD. Hole-y plant databases! Understanding and preventing biases in botanical big data. Digital Data in Biodiversity Research Conference. Ann Arbor, MI. June 6, 2017. [Abstract] [Recording, start at 1:30]

Pearson KD, Ellis S, Ellwood ER, Nelson G, Riccardi G, Mast, AR. On the front lines of discovering change: Biodiversity specimen collectors as the Anthropocene’s outlier detectors. Botany 2016. Savannah, GA. August 2, 2016.

Pearson KD, Ellis S, Ellwood ER, Nelson G, Paul D, Riccardi G, Mast AR. On the front lines of discovering change: Biodiversity specimen collectors as the Anthropocene’s outlier detectors. Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting 2016. Ft. Lauderdale, FL. August 10, 2016. [Recording]

[Pearson] Stanley, KD. Big Data for Big Problems: Using digitized biological collections to examine the effects of climate change on plant phenology. FSU Fellows Society Research Sharing Luncheon. November 12, 2015.

[Pearson] Stanley KD. Effect of Manual Ivy Removal on Seedling Recruitment in Forest Park, Portland, OR. [poster] National Conferences for Undergraduate Research, Cheney, WA, April 16-18, 2015.

Bauer H, [Pearson] Stanley KD. Monitoring the Ecological Recovery of the University of Portland River Campus Riparian Zone: Baseline Surveys Conducted Summer 2014 and Direction for the Future. [poster] University of Portland Founder’s Day, Portland, OR, April 2015.

Christiansen K, DeGrood H, [Pearson] Stanley KD, Ahern-Rindell A. Elucidating the Role of Protective Protein in an Ovine Lysosomal Storage Disorder: Sequence Comparison of PPBG Exons 13 and 14 in Normal and Affected Sheep. [poster] Special poster session for University President and Guests, University of Portland, Portland, OR, November 2014.


Developed lessons for Plants and Society lab at FSU

Field botany TA. Fall 2017.

Lesson plan development with the FSU Learning Systems Institute, published on the Florida state resource (CPALMS) here and here.


Co-editor. Phenology special edition of Applications in Plant Sciences. February 2018 – present.

Outreach Committee member. FSU Ecology and Evolution Reading Discussion Group. 2018.

Membership Committee member. Society of Herbarium Curators. 2017 – present

Science festival organizer and exhibitor - Tallahassee Science Festival - October 28, 2017

Event and volunteer coordinator - Seek and Destroy Invasive Plant Removal Events – 2017-present

Mentor - Botanical Society of America Planting Science – 2016-2018

Founder and president - Botanical Society of America Student Chapter (Plant Club at FSU) – December 2016–present

Science Fair Judge – Trinity Catholic School – December 7, 2016

Presenter - Outreach table for FSU's Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium, St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge Monarch Butterfly Festival – October 22, 2016.

Organizer - Citizen Science in the Classroom: Discovering Biodiversity by Transcribing Specimen Labels – Tallahassee Community College – October 18, 2016

Leader - Cornerstone Learning Community BioBlitz – September 23, 2016

Co-organizer - Worldwide Engagement for the Digitization of Biocollections Event (WeDigBio) – October 2015; October 2016

Mentor - Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) – August 2016-May 2017

Lesson lead, curriculum volunteer, and assistant - Student-led Afterschool Science Program – Shanks Middle School. September 2015–September 2016

Co-leader - Florida State University School STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) Day – February 19, 2016.

Co-leader - Augmented Reality for Biological Collections Demonstration – November 14, 2015.

Volunteer - Hoyt Arboretum Visitor Center and Trails – Hoyt Arboretum, Portland, OR. May 2014–May 2015