top of page

Expert Profile


Melissa Islam



Position Type:



United States of America

Years in the field:

6 – 10 Years

Areas of Expertise

Curatorial/Collections, Outreach and Public Engagement, Project Management, Strategic Planning, Volunteer Programs

My background is in plant evolution, taxonomy, and floristics. In my previous position as Associate Director of Biodiversity Research and Head Curator of Natural History Collections at Denver Botanic Gardens, I led and transformed the biodiversity research program, strengthened the natural history collections, secured operational funding for growth of the program and collections, conducted research, and created and participated in outreach programs.


My current work leverages my botanical and collection management knowledge with my project management skills. I am assisting the University of Washington Herbarium in improving plant species distributions via the herbarium's in-situ image collection by engaging volunteers in georeferencing, phenology scoring, and reducing knowledge gaps in species distributions. I am also a technical editor with the Flora of North America Project, and a research associate at Colorado State University working with USDA on a reimagined digital identification tool for plant fruits and seeds.

bottom of page