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Clarice Guan

Clarice comes to the Specht lab from the University of Texas at Austin, where they earned a B.S. in Plant Biology and a Polymathic Minor in Ethnobotany. While working on an interdisciplinary thesis on Medieval European herbalism, they became a curatorial assistant at the Lundell Herbarium, leading to their genuine love of herbaria and collections-based research. They are fundamentally interested in using integrated techniques to study plant diversification, from perspectives including the morphological, developmental, and ecological.

As an undergraduate, they conducted NSF REU research with Dr. Thomas Croat at the Missouri Botanical Garden, writing a taxonomical revision of Anthurium section Cardiolonchium (Araceae) from Carchi Province, Ecuador. Prior to starting graduate studies at Cornell, Clarice moved briefly to Berkeley, California, to train in herbarium-based extraction and bioinformatic techniques with Dr. Chodon Sass.

Clarice is currently a first-year graduate student and a recipient of the Presidential Life Science Fellowship at Cornell, which funds their continuing work with Drs. Specht, Sass, and Valderrama on Neotropical Costus phylogeny. They are also working on the transcriptomics of North American beech bark disease resistance with Dr. Fay-Wei Li of the Boyce Thompson Institute.

They collect empty glass jars and are an alarmingly terrible gardener.


  • Croat, Thomas B. and Clarice Guan (in press). “A Revision of Anthurium section Cardiolonchium (Araceae) from Carchi Province.” Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden.
  • Guan, Clarice (2017). “Relative Roles of Native Herbs and Foreign Spices in 13th-17th Century European Medicine.” Texas Undergraduate Research Journal 16.1: 15–35.

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