Sarah Taylor’s passion for plants has allowed her to traverse the globe looking at various plant species.
Taylor, the University of Connecticut’s scientific manager of plants, said she became interested in plants after she attended Connecticut College in New London.
“I reluctantly registered for plant toxicology, the study of how plants interact with various chemicals, and found that the professor was so passionate and engaging about plants that they became exciting and interesting to me,” Taylor said. “It’s a really gifted professor who can take a student who doesn’t want to be a part of a class and turn them into the most excited person there.”
Taylor spent 15 years studying various North American botanical habitats, from gypsum in the Chihuahuan Desert to the vistas in the Rocky Mountain’s alpine tunnel, according to the UConn biodiversity research and education collections website. Previously, she was the plant collections manager at the University of South Carolina. She has been UConn’s plant manager since November 2018.
Taylor’s plant studies have taken her around the globe, and she has learned many interesting facts throughout her travels.
Taylor said that UConn’s herbarium, or plant collection, is unique.
“Our arrangement allows for a huge amount of collaboration and cooperation that isn’t possible at other places,” Taylor said.
Taylor said it’s important to understand the origins of specimens.
“You have to be able to identify where and when the specimen was collected for study purposes,” Taylor said. “Climate change is just one study done from these identifications.”
Taylor said she enjoys the field and enjoys what comes with it.
“When I’m in the field, seeing and hearing and smelling things that few people get to experience, I feel like the luckiest person I know,” Taylor said.
Anthony Zepperi is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.