Natasza Fontaine

After working for two and a half years at the New York Botanical Garden as a herbarium digitizer, I joined the Mast lab in the fall of 2018. Prior to this, after obtaining a master’s degree in television production and I worked as a freelance media producer for 7 years.  With the intention to pursue my passion for the natural world, I began volunteering as a citizen scientist contributing to a variety of conservation projects in New York City as well as the Catskills.

I am interested in (1) understanding plant diversity and distribution (2) how form and function in plants influence symbiotic relationships (3) understanding as well as conserving habitats for migratory birds (4) using digital specimens to facilitate conservation strategies and (5) engaging citizen scientists in stewardship. I intend to utilize
research results to facilitate effective and creative conservation strategies. Moreover, I aim to incorporate my media
and art skills to inform as well as engage the public about conservation issues and emphasize the importance
of citizen science efforts.


M.S. Student, Curator at R.K. Godfrey Herbarium
Education and Employment History: 

Collections Manager, R. K. Godfrey Herbarium, Florida State University, Tallahassee FL, 8/2019 – Present
Barcode specimens and create new records in database system • Capture digital images of herbarium specimens •Manage loans •Mount and file specimens •Assist researchers and students with special projects •Perform pest control •Supervise and instruct interns as well as volunteers on how to mount and digitize specimens and perform pest inspections

Herbarium Digitizer/Project Assistant, New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY 4/2016 – 7/2018
World Flora Online: Capture digital images of herbarium specimens •Carefully handle specimens to and from herbarium stacks •Barcode specimens and create new records in EMu database system •Research and confirm collector names to ensure correct credit is given to data •Research updated classification of plants using Tropico’s •Transcribe and format details from specimen labels into EMu database system •Transfer monographs into EMu database •Georeference plant specimens •Assist Curators with special projects such as filing, numbering, and labeling reclassified plant families in the herbarium •Digitize images obtained from field collectors such as the Intermountain Flora collection as well as the Osa research project •Keyword, label, and touch-up field images

Florida State University, FL., 8/2019-Present, M.S., Biological Sciences
Lehman College, Bronx, NY 2014 –2017, P/T Prerequisite courses in Biological Science
New York Institute of Technology, NY 2000 –2002 M.A., Communications

Contact info:


Art+Bio Cultivo Artist Residency, New Mexico 2019
  Botanical collecting, pressing and mounting for art and science


Volunteer Shorebird Steward, Audubon Florida, Tallahassee FL,  7/2019 – Present
Observe, document and report banded shorebirds.  Inform the public about the importance of conserving habitat for nesting and migratory birds. Ensure the public is aware and respectful of nesting areas.

Researcher, Lahti Lab-Queens College, CUNY, NY 5/2015 – 6/2017
Collect audio recordings and field notes of Northern Mockingbirds throughout New York and Westchester County. Currently creating a lexicon as well as investigating syntax from the data obtained.

Trail Guide, Delaware Highlands Conservancy, Bethel, NY 5/2015 – 8/2018 (Select Summer Weekends) Lead community nature walks and provide information about local flora and fauna. Identify and contribute to plant species list.  Published photo contributor for Saving Land Magazine.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology - Macaulay Library – Field Sound Recording
Master various sound recording field techniques. Edit audio and submit data to eBird database.