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Elizabeth Makings

Research Specialist
Classified, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 4501

The Arizona State University Vascular Plant Herbarium is a scientific collection of over 310,000 pressed, dried, and archived specimens utilized by the botanical community for research, outreach, and applied purposes [].  I have been the Collections Manager for the ASU Herbarium since 2004 and my curatorial duties include acquisitioning, cataloging, and archiving specimens as well as managing loan and exchange programs with institutions worldwide.

I am an active member of the ASU community and teach Arizona Flora, Grasses of Arizona, and Sonoran Desert Field Botany. I am typically on the graduate supervisory committee of 3-5 students every year in addition to supervising student workers, interns, and volunteers.  I am the point person for local floristic expertise and respond to inquiries and requests from faculty, students, and the general public on a daily basis. I also engage in research, grant writing, and outreach. I am an administrator for the Southwest Environmental Information Network [] where I contribute to maintaining the digital data, taxonomic thesaurus, and image library.  I regularly conduct field work with students and colleagues.

My graduate research was a botanical inventory of the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area in Cochise Co. Arizona.

From 2003- 2010 I was the Botanist for the Terrestrial Ecological Inventory Unit (TEUI), a team of soil scientists responsible for mapping the vegetation and soils on Forest Service lands in Arizona and New Mexico.


Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, Plant Biology, MS., 2003

University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, Biology, B.A., 1988

Research Interests: 

I am a botanist with expertise in the regional flora and the Collections Mangager of the ASU Vascular Plant Herbarium.  My research interests focus on the diversity, distribution, and evolutionary history of plants with the goal of applying this knowledge toward conservation, and outreach.


Recent publications

Makings, E., E., T. R. Van Devender, A. L. Reina-Guerrero, and S. F. Hale. 2018. A Preliminary Flora of the Sierra Juriquipa, Sonora, Mexico. Arizona Native Plant Society: The Plant Press 41(2): 33-40.

Makings, E. 2018. In Memoriam: Donald J. Pinkava (29 August 1933–25 July 2017). Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas 12(1): 377-385.

McNair, D. M., J. Fox, R. Lindley, S. D. Carnahan, M. E. Taylor, and E. Makings. 2018. Identifying Abutilon parishii (Malvaceae) and similar species in Arizona and Sonora. Phytoneuron 2018-84:1-12.

Brown, D.E., E. Makings, A. Neils, D. Jenness, R. L. Glinski, R. D. Babb, M. B.Traphagen. 2017. Biotic Resources of the Lower Santa Cruz River Flats, Pinal County, Arizona. Desert Plants Vol. 32(2):51 pp.

Darrow, K. and E. Makings 2016. New Records for the Flora of Arizona: Hydrocotyle umbellata (Araliaceae), Bryophyllum daigremontianum (Crassulaceae), Malvastrum coromandelianum (Malvaceae). Canotia 12:86-89.

Stromberg J.S., E. Makings, A. Eyden, R. Madera, J. Samsky III, F. Coburn, and B. Scott. 2016. Provincial and cosmopolitan: floristic composition of a dryland urban river. Urban Ecosystems 19:429-453

Bateman, H. L., J. C. Stromberg, M. J. Banville, E. Makings, B. D. Scott, A. Suchy and D. Wolkis 2015. Novel water sources restore plant and animal communities along an urban river. Ecohydrology 8:792–811.

Brown, D. E., and E. Makings.  2014.  Grasslands of North America.  Desert Plants Vol. 29(2):160 pp.

Spring 2021
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 494Special Topics
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
BIO 498Pro-Seminar
BIO 591Seminar
PLB 591Seminar
PLB 598Special Topics
Fall 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
BIO 498Pro-Seminar
BIO 591Seminar
Summer 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
Spring 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 494Special Topics
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
BIO 498Pro-Seminar
BIO 591Seminar
PLB 591Seminar
PLB 598Special Topics
Fall 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
BIO 498Pro-Seminar
BIO 591Seminar
Summer 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
Spring 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 494Special Topics
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
BIO 498Pro-Seminar
BIO 591Seminar
PLB 591Seminar
PLB 598Special Topics
Fall 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
Summer 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
Spring 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 313The Flora of Arizona
BIO 494Special Topics
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
Summer 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
Spring 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 494Special Topics
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
BIO 498Pro-Seminar
PLB 598Special Topics
Fall 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 498Pro-Seminar
PLB 591Seminar
BIO 591Seminar
Summer 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
PLB 495Undergraduate Research
PLB 499Individualized Instruction


Flora of North America

Canotia []

Graduate Faculties / Mentoring History: 

Graduate student committee member (graduate degree in progress)

Zach Berry, MS

Soon Flynn, Ph.D.

Cole Larson Whittaker, MS


Alison Willis, May 2020. Analysis of Genetic Diversity and Clarification of Species Boundaries in Echinomastus erectocentrus var. acunensis and Close Relatives. MS.

Jean-Philippe Solves, May 2020. A Preliminary Flora for Las Cienegas National Conservation Area and Studies on the Life History of the Endangered Huachuca Water Umbel. MS

Kara Baron, December 2018. Fire and reseeding effects on Arizona Upland plant community composition and a florists inventory of Cave Creek Regional Park. MS.

Albatool Albedewi, December 2017. Developing a Virtual Flora Portal for Vascular Plants of Saudi Arabia. MS.

Danika Setaro December 2016. A seed bank study of Southwestern riparian areas: temperature effects and diversity. MS.

Dustin Wolkis May 2016. Plant ecology of desert marshes. MS.

Frankie Coburn, August 2015. Flora of the Upper Verde River, Arizona. MS.

Lane Butler, August 2015. Ecological effects of stream flow permanence on butterfly and plant communities of Sonoran Desert streams. MS

Doug Newton, April 2012. The vascular flora of the Eagletail Mountain Region. MS.

Darin Jenke, April 2011. The Phoenix Four Rivers flora, Maricopa County, Arizona. MS.

Bethany Lund, November 2008.  The vascular flora of the Hummingbird Springs Wilderness, Maricopa County, Arizona. MS.

Undergraduate mentoring

Sam Blevin, Herbarium worker, 2019-

Yasmine Parra, Undergraduate research, Digitizing the Cochise County Herbarium donation. 2018 -

Chad Hauck, Barrett Honor’s College thesis "The Diversity and History of the plants in the Alleyways of Tempe" 2018-2019.

Kariah Slagel, Herbarium worker 2019-

Annie Wolf, Herbarium worker 2019-

Gabriel Garcia, Herbarium intern 2019-

Jonathon Maranville, Undergraduate research/Herbarium worker 2018 -

Amariel DeMarchi, Herbarium intern 2018-2019

Cristina Port, Herbarium intern 2018-2019

Victoria Canizales, Herbarium worker, 2016-2017

Dena Bergman 2017

Jean-Philippe Solves, Herbarium intern/Barrett Honor’s College thesis, "Solanaceae Part Six: Nicotiana L. Tobacco"  2013-2018.

Alexandra Brunet-Giambalvo, Herbarium worker, 2016-2017

Linh Ngo, Herbarium worker, 2014-2017

Lidia Peon, Herbarium worker, 2014-2017

Valia Brannan, Herbarium worker, 2014

Cris Brackenridge, Herbarium worker, 2014

Anni Poetzl, Herbarium worker, 2014- 2015

Aaron Boydston, Herbarium worker, 2014- 2015

Alandon Joe, Herbarium intern, 2014- 2015

Kara Barron, Herbarium intern/Barrett Honor’s College thesis 2012

Katie Arrivas, Herbarium worker, 2011- 2013

Elizabeth Ochoa, Herbarium worker, 2011-2013

Robert Madera, Herbarium intern, 2012- 2012

Darin Jenke, Herbarium intern, 2007- 2008

Erin Manton, Honor’s College special project, 2007- 2008

Emily Douglas, Herbarium worker, 2008

Bianca Despotides, Herbarium worker, 2007- 2008

Theresa Price, Herbarium worker, 2004- 2005

Work History: 

2004 - 2010:  Botanist, Terrestrial Ecological Unit Inventory, Southwestern Region 3, United States Forest Service

1993 - 1999: Professional golfer

1989 - 1992: High school/middle school science teacher and girls basketball coach, Highlands Ranch, Colorado


  • Madrean Discovery Expeditions, Sonora, Mexico 2016 -
  • Maker’s Space 23 March 2018 – SOLS
  • East Valley Tribune interview “Tumbleweeds take shape in iconic Chandler Christmas tree.” 27 Nov 2017
  • K-12 outreach at ASU Natural HIstory Collections Building [] (ongoing)
  • Site Steward, Mesquite Wash, Tonto National Forest, AZ State Parks Site Steward Program (2013- present)
  • Central Arizona Butterfly Association, annual butterfly count at Boyce-Thompson Arboretum (2013 - present)
  • McDowell Sonoran Preserve, annual butterfly count (2013 - present)
  • Wildflower walks and volunteer/staff wildflower identification training at Boyce Thompson Arboretum (2013 - present)
  • ASU School of Life Science: “Ask A Biologist,” Learning resource tool for teachers and K-12. (ongoing)
  • Prescott College botany students guest instructor (19 Sept 2017)
  • Donald J. Pinkava memorial (1 July 2017)
  • ASU Night of the Open Door (25 Feb 2017)
  • Boyce-Thompson Arboretum winter/spring annual wildflower training (23 Feb 2017)
  • “The Arizona State University Herbarium” in “The Herbarium, a Priceless Resource for Botanical Documentation, Research, and Understanding.” The Plant Press 37(1): 3-6. Spring 2014
  • “The Nature of Creation, Joseph’s Hayden’s Oratorio and Beyond,” (Plant fossil displays and 3D images for Hayden Library exhibit). (April –October 2015)
  • Grass workshop, Plant Atlas Project of Arizona, seminar and field trip (Sept 19, 20, 2015)
  • Fossil Freeway Open House, ASU Natural History Collections Building (10 September 2015)
  • ASU School of Life Science: “ASU Explores Outdoors”  Field trip leader for interpretive hikes with in local natural areas (2013, 2014, 2015)
  • Patten Herbal Collection photo archive of 18th Century Hanbury volumes (2015)
  • SoLS Walking Club, interpretive hike of campus plants (February 2015)
  • Field work and plant ID for desert plant wall photos in remodel of ASU Enterprise Marketing Hub building (2015)
  • Grass identification workshop, Arizona Native Plant Society, September 9-10, 2014.
  • Guest instructor Canyon Ridge Elementary School 4th grade class (19 May 2014)
  • Tempe Historical Museum “Botany  Day” (26 June 2013)
  • SEINet tutorial for Forest Service Terrestrial Ecosystems Survey Team (4 June 2013)
  • Master Gardener’s plant identification seminar (10 May 2013)
  • Asclepias article for Arizona Riparian Council Newsletter (May 2013)
  • Boy Scouts of America– desert plant identification at South Mountain (23 February 2013)
  • Cooperative project with grounds crew identifying ASU Campus plants for digital database (2013)