Botanical Society of Western Pennsylvania


BSWP Meetings

Monday, June 12, 2017, 7:15 p.m.

"Evolution and Tree Thinking" will be presented by  Dr. Abigail Mazie Matela, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Pittsburgh, where she uses computational methods to understand the evolution of viral genomes.

Dr. Matela will discuss how biologists use tree diagrams to study evolutionary relationships among species. Tree diagrams are useful tools for depicting plant ancestry and diversification. Thus, the ability to correctly interpret evolutionary trees is an invaluable skill for botanists interested in biodiversity and conservation.

She earned her PhD in Botany in 2016 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her graduate research used molecular evolutionary and microscopic techniques to investigate the evolution of trichome shape in the Mustard Family.

BSWP Monthly Meeting Directions
The Society meets monthly from September through June.

To Ford Mateer Classroom of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History:

The entrance to the parking lot, which is gated, is just past the Museum at the intersection of Forbes and Craig Street. The Ford-Mateer Classroom is reached through the Portal Entry in the rear parking lot area. Once inside the building, the room is located just beyond the Security desk on the left. In addition to the Museum parking lot, which costs $6, there are metered spaces on Forbes Avenue opposite the Museum and along Craig Street that are free after 6 p.m. From there you will cross the street and walk through the right side of the gates to the parking lot. Continue on the sidewalk to the rear of the building where you will see the sign for “Portal Entry” ahead. 

If you do not park in the Museum’s lot, from Forbes Avenue, walk along the right side of the parking toll gates to the parking lot. Continue on the sidewalk to the rear of the building where you will see the sign for "Portal Entry" ahead. 

Directions to the Carnegie Museum

BSWP Field Trips

Come back soon for more trip details!

July 8, 2017 10 a.m. Sandy Lake Gamelands
Mercer County
Butterflies and Wildflowers

with Dianne and Bob Machesney 

August 9, 2017, 9 a.m.
Pleasant Valley Park in Murrysville
Westmoreland County

with Kyle Selcer of Duquesne University

October 14, 2017, 10 a.m.
Duff Park Tree walk

Westmoreland County
A trek to learn trees and see the Botanical Society's tree sign on the Eastern Hemlock. 

In planning:
Canoe trip, Ernst Seeds tour and more!

Registration for Botanical Society field trips is not required. Everyone is welcome, including non-members. Trips last 3 to 4 hours but one can leave at any time. For questions, call the field trip leader or Loree Speedy at 724-872-5232/home; 724-518-6022/cell or

All members are invited to provide their e-mail addresses to receive information and periodic updates of additional field trips scheduled throughout the year. Please send an e-mail to if you are not on the list.

Other Pennsylvania Events

Two PA Botany Workshops

Introduction to Trees and Shrubs
July 8, 2017 • 9:00 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
Canoe Creek State Park Visitors Center and Lower Trail, Williamsburg, PA

Instructor: Dr. Norris Muth, Juniata College

Interested in gaining knowledge about trees and shrubs? A good way to start is to figure out their names and how to tell one from another. This day-long hands-on workshop will provide an introduction to tree and shrub identification — focusing on the process of identifying useful field characteristics and navigating taxonomic keys. For more information and to register online, go to

Aquatic Plants of Pennsylvania
August 24, 2017 8 9:00 a.m.–4:45 p.m.
Ives Run Visitor Information Center
Tioga, PA 16946-9733

Instructor: Timothy A. Block, Ph.D., The John J. Willaman Chair of Botany, Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania

The two-fold purpose of this workshop is to foster a greater appreciation for the ecological roles and diversity of vascular plants inhabiting the waters of Pennsylvania, and introduce participants to the observational and technical skills necessary to identify aquatic plants to species. For more information and to register online, go to

Invasion Biology: Paths to Conservation and Restoration Success
August 1–2, 2017

Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA

This year, the Mid-Atlantic Invasive Plant Council is partnering with the Society for Ecological Restoration, Mid-Atlantic Chapter to host its 2017 conference.

Registration opens soon. Go to: