Mason Brock

Joined: Dec 31, 2019 Last Active: Jul 14, 2024 iNaturalist

-Herbarium Collections Manager at Austin Peay State University, Tennessee, USA (2016-2023)
-Murray State (Kentucky, USA) adjunct professor (Dendrology 2017, 2019)
-Field Botanist for the Tennessee Natural Heritage Program (temporary position, 2022)
-Independent botanical consultant

Currently teaching English on the Koshiki Islands, Japan.

The APSC herbarium will always be dear to me. In the time I was there, the herbarium nearly tripled in size. I have annotated over 15,000 misidentified herbarium specimens over the past ten years, and collected ~5000 specimens myself. Look for them on SERNEC.

Taxonomic expertise:
Flora of the southeastern United States in general, with special focus on grassland and riparian areas in the "mid-south" area.

I wrote a good portion of the Flora of the Southeast key with Alan Weakley. It's "provisional" which means I need to see more specimens. If you are in Georgia or west of the Mississippi River I apologize for it being weird. There's a lot of loose ends still.

Look for my new paper describing Sabulina diffusa, a widespread cryptic species that's been under our nose this whole time.

Look for my new paper describing Solidago ayuhwasi, a narrow endemic to a single river gorge in east Tennessee.

Look for my upcoming treatment of Thaspium (a small genus) in FNA. Thaspium chapmanii makes me uncomfortable. But I did what I had to do, and sometimes tough choices must be made.

Read my Deutzia paper here:
Once I saw true Deutzia scabra in the wild in Japan, I knew something was amiss back home in the US.

-The Pennyroyal Plain-
This is my favorite region to botanize in the US, because its so enigmatic. We're not really sure how the former prairies there were maintained. We don't even really know their exact species composition with any fine-level degree of accuracy. The interface of the prairie as it grades with deep sinkholes, forested riparian corridors, and islands of mesic/swamp forest must of been spectacularly complex. Today, the landscape has been so ecologically obliterated that there's not many "botanical clues" left for us to work with. The few remnants left have certain floristic trends that we can extrapolate from, sure. But each one is like a weird unique fragment that only makes the missing spaces in between more mysterious.

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