Mel Simpson

Database Officer (Foreign Collection Project)

Mel Simpson is responsible for databasing the foreign (ex-Australian) specimen collection held at the National Herbarium of Victoria. The majority of Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria's foreign collection is of historical and scientific importance and derives from the herbarium of Otto Wilhelm Sonder (1812–1881), which was acquired in 1883. Working alongside the database team, Mel employs their research skills and accumulated knowledge to investigate the information provided on specimen labels. This involves reading, translating, verifying, recording the collecting information and updating nomenclature, which unveils valuable insights into the specimens as both scientific and cultural records. Once the data has been entered into the database, the information associated with the specimens becomes accessible via The Australasian Virtual Herbarium.