Database Officer (Foreign Collection Project)
Rita is responsible for databasing the foreign (ex-Australian) Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria's (MEL) specimen collection held at the National Herbarium of Victoria. The majority of MEL's foreign collection is of historical and scientific importance and derives from the herbarium of Otto Wilhelm Sonder (1812–1881), which was acquired by MEL in 1883. Specimens are currently being mounted by Herbarium Volunteers, making them more readily accessible for use by visiting researchers. Once databased, the collecting information associated with the specimens is made available via Australia’s Virtual Herbarium. Much detective work is involved in databasing specimens, with many resources used to verify collecting information, such as collectors’ names and collecting localities.