Dr Heleen Plaisier

Visiting Scholar


I am one of the people responsible for 4273π, bioinformatics education on the low-cost Raspberry Pi computer.

I am also Curator of the St Andrews University Herbarium, currently housed at the St Andrews Botanic Garden. 

The St Andrews University Herbarium (STA) was set up as a teaching herbarium for the Department of Botany of the University of St Andrews around 1888. The collection is made up of collections by staff and students, gifts and exchanges with other herbaria, with the oldest collections dating back to the 1820s. Specimens in STA are mostly from Britain and Ireland, especially from Scotland, but there are specimens from all over the world.

The total number of specimens currently held in STA is estimated to be ca. 60,000 to 80,000, and includes algae, mosses, liverworts, clubmosses, ferns, gymnosperms and angiosperms.

Apart from assessing and publicising the scope and value of the collections for purposes of science, conservation and education, my work involves general curation of the collection (bringing the nomenclature of specimens up to date, databasing label information, establishing type specimens and digitising selected specimens).

So far, I have paid particular attention to the Margaret Gatty algal herbarium held at STA, for which NatSCA awarded me the Bill Pettit Memorial Award 2013.

Dr Heleen Plaisier Other

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