Bonnie Isaac Biography
Bonnie Isaac is the Collection Manager for Botany at Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Carnegie Museum of Natural History's herbarium is the major botanical facility in the Upper Ohio Valley region and ranks among the top 25 herbaria in North America. The museum's herbarium has significant worldwide holdings as well as the best representation in any herbarium of specimens from western Pennsylvania and the Upper Ohio Basin.
Isaac received her Master of Science in Biological Sciences from Youngstown State University in 2000. She was awarded the International Diploma in Herbarium Techniques from The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, England in 1988. Isaac completed her Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences with an emphasis in Plant Sciences from Youngstown State University in 1987.
Isaac is currently serving as the President of the Western Pennsylvania Botanical Society, and is an Adjunct Research Scientist for the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation at Carnegie Mellon University. She is also chair of the Pennsylvania Vascular Plant Technical Committee, recording secretary for the Pennsylvania Rare Plant Forum, and serves on the steering committee of the Pennsylvania Biological Survey.
Isaac focuses on the ecology and phytogeography of rare plants, floristics, and herbarium techniques. Isaac’s research established that a plant once thought to be in danger of extinction in Pennsylvania was actually thriving, allowing the plant to be removed from the state’s endangered species list. Other states with populations of Prenanthes crepidinea, a member of the dandelion family commonly called rattlesnake-root, have since worked with Isaac to determine the status of the plant in their regions.
Carnegie Museum of Natural History, one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, is ranked as one of the top five natural history museums in the country. The museum maintains, preserves, and interprets an extraordinary collection of 22 million objects and scientific specimens used to broaden understanding of evolution, conservation, and biodiversity.