Meet the Authors

Jon Evans – Director

Dr. Evans is the Director of the Sewanee Herbarium and a Professor of Biology. Jon has been teaching courses in ecology, conservation biology and botany at Sewanee since 1994, and his primary interest in the work of the Herbarium is as an ecologist. Over the years he has done much to help organize, structure, and direct the Herbarium towards becoming the facility it is today, and has for a long time been a major proponent of finishing the Flora of the Domain project.





Mary Priestley – Curator

Mary is editor and illustrator of the Friends of the Herbarium’s newsletter,The Sewanee Plant Press. Active in the Tennessee Native Plant Society, she has served as the society’s president and assisted in writing and editing the TNPS field guide,Wildflowers of Tennessee, the Ohio Valley, and the Southern Appalachians. In 2011 she authored William’s Wildflowers, a guide to wildflowers of the Southern Appalachians. In 2014, she published Fiery Gizzard: Voices From the Wilderness. Mary is leader and accordion player for the Bazzania Girls’ Band. She and her husband Mac are the parents of three grown children.



Yolande Gottfried – Associate Curator

Yolande had a link with botany Professor emeritus George Ramseur through Dr. Albert E. Radford of the University of North Carolina, his Ph. D. advisor and her M.A. thesis advisor, which led to her becoming active in the management of the herbarium. She contributes to the herbarium newsletter, The Sewanee Plant Press, and arranges and helps lead wildflower walks and other activities. She enjoys keeping up her plant identification skills with new specimens. She and her husband Dr. Robert R. Gottfried came to Sewanee in 1982 and have two grown children and two grandchildren.


Callie Oldfield – Post-Baccalaureate Fellow 2015-2016

Callie Oldfield open house Sewanee HerbariumCallie majored in Biology major and minored in Environmental Studies. After being a student in Dr. Evans’ Field Study in Belize, Callie  developed an interest in the flora and fauna of Belize, identifying the species and sorting through photos taken on the trip to be used as a class resource in the future. She has studied the population dynamics of chestnut oaks (Quercus prinus), community differences between the cove and plateau, and helped complete the Flora of the Domain. She is now a graduate student in the Department of Plant Biology at UGA. To read more about her work, visit her personal website.




Previous Contributors:

Nathan Bourne – Post-Baccalaureate Fellow 2012-2013

Nathan is a 2011 Sewanee graduate. After spending a year in the Caucasus Mountains in Georgia teaching English and looking at a whole array of new plants, Nathan returned to Sewanee on a post-baccalaureate fellowship to help with the Flora of the Domain project and assist with the writing of the Sustainability Master Plan. When not slaving away in the Herbarium Nathan spent his time gardening, biking, and enjoying real plants in the places where they grow. Nathan is currently at Yale Divinity School, where he also continues activities in the Yale University Herbarium.



Rowan Jones – Class of 2013


Rowan Jones, a graduate class of 2014, was Sewanee’s first Arts and Humanities Environmental Studies major. For his capstone project, he focused on Shakerag Hollow. He read all he could find, conducted interviews, and made regular treks to the Hollow to watch the springtime unfurl. Rowan agreed to share some of his experiences via this blog, so were were able to follow him as he explored what Shakerag means to Sewanee.



Hali Steinmann – Class of 2015

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHali is an Ecology & Biodiversity major and Geology minor with a passion for the Domain’s flora and fauna. She is working in the Herbarium this summer with post-baccalaureate fellow Nathan Bourne, learning the ins and outs of Herbarium life and helping with several ongoing projects related to the biodiversity of the Cumberland Plateau. In the coming year, she and a small group of students will assist Dr. Jon Evans in the establishment of Sewanee’s new Biodiversity Fellowship program. Outside of the Herbarium, Hali enjoys hiking, cycling, baking, and reading.


Maren Jonhson – Class of 2017

1025441_465413976883876_253469296_oMaren Johnson, a member of the herbarium’s nature journaling group, enrolled in the Biology Department’s Rainforest and Coral Reef class and visited Belize May 2014. Maren wrote about her experiences in a series of posts entitled News from Belize.

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