Mason Brock

Joined: Dec 31, 2019 Last Active: May 31, 2023 iNaturalist

-Herbarium Collections Manager at Austin Peay State University (2016-2023)
-Murray State 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, there 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 mid-South in general, with special focus on grassland and riparian areas.

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

I wrote a good portion of the Weakley 2020 key. It's "provisional" which means I need to see more specimens. Or, that I am possibly just a ding-dong and it needed to be flagged as a warning to readers. If you are in Georgia or west of the Mississippi River I apologize for it being weird.

I'm the proud annotator of the first specimen of Dichanthelium annulum from Kentucky, a species which is surely in the running for one of the most obscure entities in an already vast and poorly understood genus. The coolest Dichanthelium in Tennessee is D. consanguineum. Still only seen it once.

I'm somehow one of North America's top Thaspium experts (genus size: 4 species). Look for my upcoming treatment in FNA. Thaspium chapmanii makes me uncomfortable. But I did what I had to do, and sometimes tough choices must be made.

Take at look at the type of C. lanceolata. That's not what's growing on your roadside or garden. That's not the same entity that took over temperate east Asia! The "common, weedy lanceolata" is all hybrids my friend. Let's give it a proper name.

-The Pennyroyal Plain-
This is my favorite region to botanist because its so enigmatic. We're not really sure how the former prairies were maintained or even what the species composition of these prairies even was 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" even 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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