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Faculty, Staff, and Volunteers

Director & Curator


L. Dwayne Estes, Ph.D.      

(Associate Professor of Plant Systematics)

Dr. Estes (Associate Professor) has a joint appointment with the Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT). For APSU he serves as director and curator of the Herbarium and is actively involved in the description of several new vascular plant species, the Flora of Tennessee Project,  numerous floristic/taxonomic studies, and directing student research in botany. 


Phone: (931) 221-7771

Personal Webpage 


Curator Emeritus

Edward W. Chester Ph.D.   

Dr. Chester retired as curator of APSC but is still very active. He is leading the Flora of Tennessee Project and is still active in botanical research. His research interests include floristics of Tennessee with emphasis on northwestern Middle Tennessee, taxonomy of Halesia (Styracaceae), and floristic ecology of the Pennyroyal Plain Barrens.


Phone: (931) 221-7785

Personal Webpage  

Assistant Curator

Devin Rodgers

Graduate Research Assistant

Devin is a new Graduate Research Assistant in my lab from Baltimore, MD. He oversees herbarium activities and manages fieldwork for APSU's Land Between the Lakes Project. Devin received his B.S. degree from Catawba College, NC and has recently thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail. His research interests include _______.

Personal Webpage

Database Manager

Mason Brock

Graduate Research Assistant

Mason is a new grad student who started in my lab in June 2012. He earned his B.S. from Eastern Kentucky University in May 2012. He has been independently studying botany since age 12. For his thesis he will study the flora and vegetation of rare Cumberland Plateau Cobble Bars of the Caney Fork River system in east-central Tennessee.

Personal Webpage

Collection Manager

Rob Shepard


Rob oversees many of the day-to-day operations of the Herbarium (mounting, filing, databasing, loan requests) and the work of the undergraduates and volunteers. While working at APSC he has also conducted research on the community ecology of Western Highland Rim Barrens. He has just accepted a Graduate Research Assistantship to pursue a M.S. degree in Dendrochronology at the University of Arizona's Laboratory of Tree Ring Research.

Personal Webpage


Native Plant Teaching & Research Garden Manager

Kelly Anderson


Kelly is new grad student at APSU who  officially join my lab in August 2012. She will be conducting a floristic ecology study of rare cobble bar communities associated with rivers on the southern Cumberland Plateau. She also has strong interests in native plant propagation and sustainable native plant landscaping and serves as manager of the APSU Native Plant Teaching & Research Garden.

Personal Webpage


Tianita Duke, M.S.                  

(Graduated May 2010)

Tianita graduated from APSU in August 2010. For her research, she investigated the distribution, ecology, and morphology of a new species of Lysimachia that is endemic to southern middle Tennessee and northern Alabama. She currently works as a lab coordinator in the Biology Department at Jackson State Community College, Jackson, TN.

Courtney Gorman, M.S.    Estes_TnVeg_NatHistory_Courtney_Gorman_R        

(graduated Aug 2012)

Courtney conducted her graduate work on the “Taxonomy, Ecology, and Biogeography of Polymnia canadensis” She is currently a first-year PhD student in the Dept. of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at the University of Tennessee where she is workingin the Genes to Ecosystems Lab. She is particularly interested in narrowly endemic plant species. 

Personal Webpage

Clea Klagstad, M.S.

Matts_Photos_090.jpg(graduated, May 2012)

Clea conducted her graduate research on the floristics and vegetation of the 20,000-acre Cheatham Wildlife Management Area on the Western Highland Rim in Cheatham County, TN. She accepted a position as botanist for the University of Montana's Montana Natural Heritage Program where she started in June 2012. For MNHP she conducts floristic and vegetation research in high-elevation riparian and wetland communities and works on GIS tasks when she is not in the field.

Personal Webpage


Picture11.pngKim Norton, M.S.                     

(Graduated Aug. 2010)

Kim graduated from APSU in August 2010. For her thesis, she conducted a floristic ecology study of wetlands associated wit

h limestone cedar glades of central Tennessee, northern Alabama, and southern Kentucky. She currently works as a botanist for the Botanical Research Institute of Texas in Fort Worth. 


Dawn York

Picture21.png(Graduated, May 2013)

Dawn graduated in May 2013 For her thesis she worked on mapping invasive species 

and developing an invasive species management plant for the Ocoee River Gorge, in Polk County, TN. Dawn is very interested in field botany, wetlands, fire ecology, and environmental education.

Personal Webpage 

Matt S. Bruton


(Master's Candidate, Aug. 2013)

Matt is a master’s student working on a survey of the vascular flora of the 18,000-acre Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge in western Kentucky. 

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Justin works in the herbarium a few days each week. He mounts and files specimens. Justin is majoring in biology and also getting his teaching certificate. After graduation he plans to teach high school science in either a rural or inner-city school system.




Stephen Smith

Picture24.pngStephen is a sophomore at Todd County Central High School in Elkton, Kentucky. He wants to pursue a career in botany. Currently, Stephen is an active breeder of Daylily (Hemerocallis). He also has a very strong interest in endangered and narrowly endemic species. Stephen lists his heroes as Emma Lucy Braun, John Kunkel Small, Augustin Gattinger, and Asa Gray. .