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Introducing Dr. Tanisha Williams, new Director of the University of Georgia Herbarium

A photo of Dr. Williams

Dr. Tanisha Williams joined the Plant Biology Department as an Assistant Professor and Director of the University of Georgia Herbarium in August 2023. Before coming to UGA, Dr. Williams received her Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Connecticut in 2019 and was a Burpee Postdoctoral Fellow in Botany at Bucknell University.

Her research has focused on how plant species respond to climate change. Dr. Williams is particularly interested in how plants change their timing of life history events in response to various aspects of climate change. She primarily works with a group of plants in the genus Pelargonium within the Cape Floristic Region of South Africa. Dr. Williams utilizes a variety of methods to understand how this group of plants responds to climate change, including herbarium records, common garden experiments, and spatial modeling.

For her research here at the University of Georgia, Dr. Williams will continue her fieldwork in the Cape Floristic Region of South Africa to understand the way these plants respond to climate change and expand her work to other regions with similar climates. More locally, she will also work with the Georgia Natural Heritage Program and the Department of Natural Resources to better understand and conserve rare and endangered plants within the state.

As the new Director of the University of Georgia Herbarium, Dr. Williams has plans to put the Herbarium “on the map” with more students, faculty, and staff at the University of Georgia, and the Athens community, and to communicate what the Herbarium has to offer. The University of Georgia Herbarium is one of the largest herbaria within the Southeast, with over half of the collection from outside of Georgia, and according to Dr. Williams, presently a "sleeping giant." You can follow the new activities in the Herbarium on Instagram @ugaherbarium .

To learn more about the Herbarium and the research of Dr. Tanisha Williams


Assistant Professor, Plant Biology , Curator of the University of Georgia Herbarium

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