M. Whitson

Joined: Mar 18, 2022 Last Active: Nov 28, 2023 iNaturalist

I'm a botanist and herbarium curator at Northern Kentucky University, and am interested in the Solanaceae (tomato family) and particularly Physalis (groundcherries). When the Flora of North America Solanaceae volume is finally published, my treatments of Calliphysalis and Nicandra will appear there. (Yes, this is only two species, but they're really charming ones.)

I enjoy photographing (and pressing) the flora of the southeastern US. I plant for pollinators and garden for wildlife, and am an amateur enthusiast when it comes to snails, slugs, insects, and herps.

I've participated in two of NKU's study abroad courses through our Biology program: Costa Rican Natural History (2005) and Tropical Ecology (2010). Thus: My Costa Rica Observations

I enjoy joining and creating iNaturalist projects. I belong to several and am building a few. Some works in progress are:
Sumacs for Wildlife
Fantastic Flowers
Water Plants
Blue (and just for fun, see a slideshow of nifty project stats). [and thanks go to upupa-epops on the iNat Forum for the stats link.]

I also find that identifying observations is great way to do some virtual botanizing. It's always fun to see what neat things others have found.
My identifications grouped by taxon
My maverick IDs

Useful widgets (usually from the iNat Forum):
How to find comments in observations made to you or by you (posted by jwidness): https://www.inaturalist.org/comments?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=%40m_whitson&commit=Search
iNaturalist's Year in Review for 2022 -- what fun! https://www.inaturalist.org/stats/2022/m_whitson
ID Stats with fun pie-chart and other useful info (thanks to Marina_Gorbunova): https://www.inaturalist.org/identifications?user_id=m_whitson
Map view of observation hotspots from earthknight: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/map?user_id=m_whitson#5/31.516/273.554
Map of identification hotspots from dianastuder: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/map?ident_user_id=m_whitson#2/21.534/34.452

Good online floristic resources (species lists, keys, common names, etc.):
Smithsonian, Flora of the West Indies ( https://naturalhistory2.si.edu/botany/WestIndies/checklist.htm ): Can generate species lists for specific places or search for individual taxa. Includes common names for taxa. Nice.
Flora of North America at eFloras.org ( http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=1 ): Sadly not all volumes are published, but many are. Keys, species descriptions, range maps from the USA up through Canada.
Key to the Neotropical Plant Families ( https://keyserver.lucidcentral.org/key-server/player.jsp?keyId=43&thumbnails=true&gallery=true ): At Lucid Central, and by Kew. Not dichotomous, so you can click any traits you have and at least knock out some things.
Flora de Veracruz: http://www1.inecol.edu.mx/publicaciones/LISTADO_FLOVER.htm
Species lists for Brazil: Flora e Funga do Brasil.
To check nomenclature, species ranges, and see a few photos: Kew's Plants of the World Online.

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