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Research & Internships

Research in the Gary A. Fewless Herbarium encompasses floristics (composition of the plants of a particular plant community), systematics (evolutionary relationships among groups of plants), and cytology (chromosome counting and mapping of geographic and taxonomic patterns). Most of the active research projects focus on the flora of the Western Great Lakes, though some work focuses on the desert-dwelling cheilanthoid ferns of Western North America. Student projects may involve work in the Herbarium (such as photography of pollen or spores; post-collection plant identification with the aid of our microscopes and keys), or at least will serve as a permanent home for plant collections made in the course of a research project. The Herbarium houses a small botanical reference library, several microscopes (some with attached cameras), plant dissection tools, a plant drier, plant presses, and other plant collection materials and resources. See Keir’s research website.

Students may choose to focus on the process of collection management and curation through paid or for-credit internship or assistantship opportunities. Students should feel free to contact Dr. Keir Wefferling ( to inquire about research and internship opportunities in the Fewless Herbarium.

Also see the Richter Natural History Museum  for opportunities working with animal collections.