Shelby Meckstroth C'17

Sewanee Herbarium Post-Baccalaureate Fellow 2017-2018

As a Post-Bac Fellow founded by the Oak Spring Garden Foundation, I was involved with a collaborative research project that addressed questions regarding the spatial genetic structure of hill cane on the Cumberland Plateau.  Also, as part of my Fellowship, I assisted with plant conservation initiatives across the state in association with the TN Plant Conservation Alliance.  As an undergraduate at Sewanee, I was a senior Ecology and Biodiversity major and my Honors research examined how physiological integration and phenotypic plasticity allow the dune plant, Hydrocotyle bonariensis, to ameliorate the effects of grazing and sand burial.   I am currently pursuing a Masters in Public Health at Yale University.

Callie Oldfield C'15

Ph.D. Student, Plant Biology, University of Georgia

As a Sewanee Biology major then as a Herbarium Post-Baccalaureate Fellow (2015-2016), I studied several long-term plots monitoring forest change and disturbance on the Cumberland Plateau and coastal Georgia. I continue to work with this lab to study tree and herbaceous species distribution and abundance across environmental gradients in southern Appalachian forests. As a graduate student in the Botany Department at UGA, I am interested in the drivers of long-term change in natural communities, particularly the effects of forest disturbances including windthrow, canopy gaps, and soil disturbance. Website.

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Undergraduate Research Students

Lillian Fulgham C'21

Sewanee Herbarium Undergraduate Fellow

Growing up homeschooled on a farm in the Mississippi woods, I developed an awareness and love of the outdoors (especially plants) rooted in being exposed to the natural world from an early age. Over the years, I cultivated this passion through observing nature while hiking, camping, and canoeing, as well as participating in events and summer camps through the Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge and Mississippi State University.  I plan to double major in Music and Ecology & Biodiversity and enjoy participating in activities with the Sewanee Outing Program, working at the University Farm, and playing violin and trombone in the Sewanee Symphony Orchestra and University Jazz Ensemble.   As an Undergraduate Herbarium Fellow, I will be working to raise awareness of local flora within the campus community through outreach and events. I currently assist with research on the spatial genetic structure of clonal hillcane stands on the Domain, as well as the regeneration failure of overcup oak trees in Sinking Pond-- an ecologically significant wetland within the Arnold Air Force Base near Manchester, TN. 

Sidnee Everhart C'21

Sewanee Herbarium Undergraduate Fellow

I took my first hike on the McDowell, VA game lands amidst Mourning warblers and pink lady slippers at the ripe old age of two weeks in my dad’s backpack and grew up caked in the red clay of the Yadkin Valley, NC some sixty yards from a cow pasture. An only child, my parents met mending a horse fence and raised me with a spirit of rugged independence that respected plants as the primary life support for heterotrophs like us. My life before Sewanee was filled with an especially outdoorsy Girl Scout troop, volunteerism, every science camp or club I could find, and internships at Wake Forest’s plant physiology lab and Reynolda Gardens. To no surprise, I declared my biology major to my family in the seventh grade and will graduate with it Easter 2021 along with an English degree and education minor to assist me as an environmental educator. My ecological involvement at Sewanee includes a Survey of Unwanted Invasive Plants in Abbo’s Alley, environmental education at Camp Capers (Episcopal Diocese of West Texas), work in the Landscape Analysis Lab, and with the Environmental Residents. I am excited to dedicate my education, English, and GIS technician backgrounds to the betterment of Herbarium communications and original research, especially GIS work on the Sassafras and Sinking Pond projects.

Angus Pritchard C'22

Sewanee Herbarium Undergraduate Fellow

Born in Atlanta and raised in the great outdoors, I’ve been interested in ecology for as long as I can remember. My work as a Herbarium Fellow focuses on increasing student engagement with the Herbarium's resources and thus Botany and Natural History in general. Through restarting the Sewanee Natural History Society with several friends, I hope to develop a lasting enthusiasm among the student body for the appreciation of the southeast’s biodiversity. I am planning to pursue a biology major with a focus on ecology and biodiversity with the hope of attending graduate school for a PhD in ecology.  I am currently helping with the Sinking Pond research project at the Arnold Air Force Base where we are examining the long-term impact of climate change on an annually flooded forest.  I keep a flickr site with a portfolio of my bird photos.

George Burruss C'22

Sewanee Herbarium Undergraduate Fellow

While my interest in ecology has only sprouted over recent years, nature and the outdoors have always been an integral part of my identity. Growing up in the foothill of the Appalachians in Lynchburg Virginia and spending my summers on the rocky shores of Caribou lake in northern Maine I spent my time hiking and exploring the outdoors.  As a Herbarium Fellow I plan on helping to educate and involve Sewanee students in Herbarium activities and contributing to several possible research projects including one that studies how the invasive Tallow tree on Sapelo island affects dune chronosequences and how we understand dune plant succession. I currently plan on pursuing a biology major with a focus on ecology. 

Cade Sterling C'22

Sewanee Herbarium Undergraduate Fellow

I am a biochemistry major and working with Dr. Evans and Dr. Palagi investigating the spatial population genetics of sassafras on the Domain.

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Herbarium Staff

Mary Priestley

Herbarium Curator

Mary is editor and illustrator of the Friends of the Herbarium’s newsletter,The Sewanee Plant Press. Active in the Tennessee Native Plant Society, she has served as the society’s president and assisted in writing and editing the TNPS field guide,Wildflowers of Tennessee, the Ohio Valley, and the Southern Appalachians. In 2011 she authored William’s Wildflowers, a guide to wildflowers of the Southern Appalachians. In 2014, she published Fiery Gizzard: Voices From the Wilderness

Yolande Gottfried

Associate Curator

Yolande had a link with botany Professor emeritus George Ramseur through Dr. Albert E. Radford of the University of North Carolina, his Ph. D. advisor and her M.A. thesis advisor, which led to her becoming active in the management of the herbarium. She contributes to the herbarium newsletter, The Sewanee Plant Press, and arranges and helps lead wildflower walks and other activities. 

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Lab Alumni

Shelby Meckstroth C'17

Honors thesis:   The amelioration of grazing and sand burial through physiological integration by a clonal dune plant.  Poster.   

Awarded the McCrady prize for the best poster in the biological sciences at Scholarship Sewanee (April 2017).

Current Position:  Masters in Public Health graduate student at Yale University

Callie Oldfield C'15

Honors thesis:   Twelve years of repeated wild hog activity promotes population maintenance of an invasive clonal plant in a coastal dune ecosystem.  Poster.   News. News.   

Awarded the Yeatman Prize (Sewanee Biology Department).




Evans, J.P., *C.A. Oldfield, and *J.L. Reid.  2019. Differential resistance to tree species loss between two dominant communities in a resilient southeastern landscape.  Natural Areas Journal  39:182-188.   Blog Feature


Evans, J.P., K. K. Cecala, B. R. Scheffers, C.A. Oldfield, N. Hollingshead, D. Haskell, and B. McKenzie.  2017.  Widespread degradation of vernal pools in the southeastern United States: Challenges to current and future management.   Wetlands 37:1093-1103.  Press Release

​Evans, J.P., C.A. Oldfield, M.P. Priestley, Y.M. Gottfried, L.D. Estes, A. Sidik, and G.S. Ramseur.  2016.  The vascular flora of the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee.  Castanea 81: 206-236.


Evans, J.P., C.A. Oldfield, K.K. Cecala, J.K. Hiers, C. Van De Ven, and M.A. Armistead. 2016. Pattern and Drivers of White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) Herbivory on Tree Saplings across a Plateau Landscape. Forests 7:101.  Press release   News

Oldfield, C.A. and J.P. Evans. 2016.  Twelve years of repeated wild hog activity promotes population maintenance of an invasive clonal plant in a coastal dune ecosystem.  Ecology and Evolution 6: 2569–2578.  Press release   News

Evans, E.J. and C.A. Oldfield. 2014. Coral preference of the polychaete Spirobranchus giganteus in the Belizean Barrier Reef. Papers and Publications: Interdisciplinary Journal of Undergraduate Research. 3:1-7.  News

Recent Position:  Doctoral student at the University of Georgia (Department of Plant Biology)

Thomas Walters C'15

Senior Research Paper: Disturbance ecology of hill cane (Arundinaria appalachiana) on the Cumberland Plateau. Poster.


Recent Position:  Wildland Firefighter with the US Forest Service

Meg Armistead C'14

Honors thesis: Spatial assessment of deer browse impacts on the Domain. Poster. News   

Awarded the Yeatman Prize (Sewanee Biology Department).


Publication: Evans, J.P., C.A. Oldfield, K.K. Cecala, J.K. Hiers, C. Van De Ven, and M.A. Armistead. 2016. Pattern and Drivers of White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) Herbivory on Tree Saplings across a Plateau Landscape. Forests 7:101. Press release    News


Recent Position:  Program Technician at USDA Farm Service Agency

Ashley Block C'13

Honors thesis:  The King Farm: a case study in the effect of agricultural legacies on forest change dynamics. Seminar.    Awarded the Yeatman Prize (Sewanee Biology Department).

Sarah Delong C'13

Honors thesis: The effect of Kalmia latifolia as a persistent understory on oak regeneration.

Nathan Bourne C'11

Planning document: Contributing editor of the Sustainability Master Plan for the University of the South. 2013.


Recent Position:  Curate at  St. John's Episcopal Church in New Hampshire

Sean McKenize C'11

Honors thesis: Spatiotemporal correlations of land-use and non-equilibrium successional trajectories in Sewanee forests.  News.    

Awarded the Yeatman Prize (Sewanee Biology Department).


Recent Position:  Graduate Fellow at the Rockefeller University

Alfire Sidik C'09

Publication:   Evans, J.P., C.A. Oldfield, M.P. Priestley, Y.M. Gottfried, L.D. Estes, A. Sidik, and G.S. Ramseur.  2016.  The vascular flora of the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee.  Castanea 81: 206-236.


Recent Position:  Graduate Student at the University of Texas at Austin

Eric Keen C'08

Honors thesis: Pignut hickory (Carya glabra) recruitment failure on a Georgia barrier island.


Publication: Evans, J.P. and E.M. Keen. 2013. Regeneration Failure in a Remnant Stand of Pignut Hickory (Carya glabra) on a Protected Barrier Island in Georgia, USA. Natural Areas Journal 33(2):171-176.


Recent Position: Visiting Professor in Biology at the University of the South!