Elizabeth Makings

ASU Herbarium
734 W. Alameda
Research Specialist
TEMPE Campus


The Arizona State University Vascular Plant Herbarium is a scientific collection of over 300,000 pressed, dried, and archived specimens utilized by the botanical community for research, outreach, and applied purposes [https://biokic.asu.edu/].  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 [http://swbiodiversity.org/seinet/index.php] 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 Southwestern floristics.  I am particularly interested in the diversity, distribution, and evolutionary history of plants and applying this knowledge toward conservation and outreach.


Recent publications

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 2018
Course Number Course Title
BIO 313 The Flora of Arizona
BIO 494 Special Topics
BIO 495 Undergraduate Research
Summer 2017
Course Number Course Title
BIO 495 Undergraduate Research
Spring 2017
Course Number Course Title
BIO 494 Special Topics
BIO 495 Undergraduate Research
BIO 498 Pro-Seminar
PLB 598 Special Topics
Fall 2016
Course Number Course Title
BIO 498 Pro-Seminar
PLB 591 Seminar
BIO 591 Seminar
Summer 2016
Course Number Course Title
PLB 495 Undergraduate Research
PLB 499 Individualized Instruction
Spring 2016
Course Number Course Title
PLB 310 The Flora of Arizona
Summer 2015
Course Number Course Title
PLB 495 Undergraduate Research
PLB 499 Individualized Instruction
Spring 2015
Course Number Course Title
PLB 498 Pro-Seminar
PLB 598 Special Topics
Summer 2014
Course Number Course Title
PLB 495 Undergraduate Research
PLB 499 Individualized Instruction
Spring 2014
Course Number Course Title
PLB 310 The Flora of Arizona


  • K-12 outreach at ASU Natural HIstory Collections Building [https://biokic.asu.edu/] (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)

Work History

<p>2004 - 2010:&nbsp; Botanist, Terrestrial Ecological Unit Inventory, Southwestern Region 3, United States Forest Service</p> <p>1993 - 1999: Professional golfer</p> <p>1989 - 1992: High school/middle school science teacher and girls basketball coach, Highlands Ranch, Colorado</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>