ASU Natural History Collections

Home / Elizabeth Makings - collections manager, vascular plants

I am the curator of the ASU Herbarium, a repository of over 330,000 pressed, dried and archived plant specimens for long term study. An herbarium is often descrbied as "library" of plants and is a critical resource for biodiversity, ecological, and evolutionary research. We are accessed virtually and physiclly on a daily basis by students, staff, faculty, and the general public. The herbarium, along with vertebrates, insects, fossil plants, shells, and lichens, is located in a recently renovated space off campus, the Natural History, Bioinformatics, and Outreach Center (734 W. Alameda).

I spend most of my time in the collection, but occasionally get out in the field to botanize, collect plants, and take photos. Liz's flickr albums.

In the spring I teach "Sonoran Desert Field Botany" and every other fall a seminar long course on "Grasses of Arizona."


Makings selected publications

Yue M. Li, J. R. Simms, T. Condo, D. Wolkis, R. Wang, A. Hatch, E. Makings, S. Blackwell, M. Mayer. 2023. Population dynamics and life history of the endangered ciénega endemic Eryngium sparganophyllum in Arizona. Journal of Arid Environments. 2014: 1-13.

Wright, E. R., E. Makings, and M. A. Johnston. 2023. Notes on the feeding and behavior if Tegrodera aloga Skinner, 1902 (Coleoptera: Meloidae). The Pan Pacific Entomologist 99(1):81-86.

Carnahan, S.D., E. Makings, and J.D. Morefield. 2022. First report of Lasiopogon glomerulatus for Arizona, USA, and northern and western hemispheres. Phytoneuron 2022-34: 1–7. Published 8 April 2022. ISSN 2153 733X.

Currier, C. M. and E. Makings. 2021. Solanaceae Part Seven: Browallia L. and Salpichroa Miers. Canotia (17): 46-60.

Strombert, J. C., E. Makings, D. E. Brown, D. Wolkis. 2020. CONSERVATION OF THE CIENEGA ENDEMIC, ERYNGIUM SPARGANOPHYLLUM HEMSL. (APIACEAE). Southwestern Naturalist 65(2):173-184.

Brown, D.E., E. Makings, A. Neils, D. Jenness, R. L. Glinski, R. D. Babb, M. B. Traphagen. 2017. Biotic Resources of the Lower Santa Cruz River Flats, Pinal County, Arizona. Desert Plants Vol. 32(2):51 pp. PDF icon biotic_resources_of_the_santa_cruz_flats-desert_plants-vol_32-2.pdf

Darrow, K. and E. Makings. 2016. New records for the flora of Arizona.Canotia Vol. 12 pp. 86-89.

Stromberg J.S., E. Makings, A. Eyden, R. Madera, J. Samsky III, F. Coburn, and B. Scott. 2016. Provincial and cosmopolitan: floristic composition of a dryland urban river. Urban Ecosystems 19:429-453.

Bateman, H. L., J. C. Stromberg, M. J. Banville, E. Makings, B. D. Scott, A. Suchy and D. Wolkis. 2014. Novel water sources restore plant and animal communities along an urban river. Ecohydrology Vol. 8:792-811.

Brown, D. E., and E. Makings.  2014.  A Guide to Grasslands of North America.  Desert Plants Vol. 29(2):160 pp. desert_plants_vol29-2_nagrasslands-_brown_makings.pdf

Makings, E. Vegetation and Flora of the St. David and Lewis Springs Cienegas, Cochise County, Arizona. In L. Collins, L. Eskew, J. Gottfried, et al., technical coordinators, Biodiversity and management of the Madrean Archipelago III: Merging Science and Management in a Rapidly Changing World. Tucson, AZ.  Gen. Tech Rep. RM-GTR Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 

Makings, E., L. Butler, M. Chew, J. Stromberg.  2011. ‘Found then Drowned’ Noteworthy Collections from Tempe Towne Lake Riverbed. Desert Plants Vol. 27(1):3-10.

Makings, E. 2010.  Review of “Field Guide to Forest and Mountain Plants of Northern  Arizona” by J.D. Springer, M.L. Daniels, and M. Nazaire with forward by Bruce Babbitt. Canotia Vol. 6(1): 44-46.

Bates, S. T., F. Farruggia, E. Gilbert, R. Gutierrez, D. Jenke, E. Makings, E. Manton, D. Newton, and L.R. Landrum. 2009. Solanaceae, Potato Family, Part Two: key to the genera and Solanum L. Canotia Vol. 5 (1):1-16.

Makings, E. 2009. Elinor Lehto, Arizona Botanist, 1915–2009. Canotia Vol. 5 No. 1 pp. 53-55.

Stromberg, J., K. Bagstad, E. Makings. 2009. Floristic Diversity (of the San Pedro River), pp. 89-104. In Stromberg, J. and B. Tellmann: Ecology and Conservation of the San Pedro River. The University of Arizona Press. 529 pp.

Makings, E. 2006. Flora of the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area. Desert Plants Vol. 22(2):104 pp.

Daniel, T. F., E. Makings, M. Chamberlain.  2005.  Additions to the Acanthaceae of Arizona.  Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences Vol. 56:88-90.

Stromberg J. C., K. J. Bagstad, J. Leenhouts, S. J. Lite, E. Makings. 2005. Effects of stream flow intermittency on riparian vegetation of a semiarid region river (San Pedro River, Arizona). River Research and Applications Vol. 21:925-938.

Makings, E. and J. Stromberg. 2003. Review of D. S. Correll and H. B. Correll, “Aquatic and Wetland Plants of Southwestern United States.” Native Plants Journal.

Makings, E. 2002. Noteworthy collections, Arizona: Mancoa pubens (Brassicaceae) Madrono, Vol. 49(2):132-133.


Ichthyology Collection
The Ichthyology Collection (ASUFIC) contains approximately 22,000 lots representing more than 580 species, with a geographic concentration in the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. ASUFIC represents the largest collection of freshwater fishes in Arizona, with historic specimens of threatened, endangered, and extinct species. Please direct inquiries regarding collection access and specimen use to the Collection Manager, Dr. Dakota Rowsey, at
Mammalogy Collection
The Mammalogy Collection (ASUMAC) contains approximately 9,300 specimens representing more than 160 species, with a geographic concentration in the southwestern United States. The research collection represents the second-largest mammal collection in Arizona and contains regionally important collections from the Sonoran Desert, Mogollon Rim, and Kaibab Plateau. Please direct inquiries regarding collection access and specimen use to the Collection Manager, Dr. Dakota Rowsey, at
The Arizona State University Mollusk Collection (ASUMOC) is curated by volunteer and avid shell enthusiast, Dale Snyder. It consists of approximately 140,000 shell specimens, and includes members from five of the seven classes of the phylum Mollusca.
Ornithology Collection
The Ornithology Collection (ASUORC) at the ASU Natural History Collections contains approximately 2,000 specimens representing more than 300 species, with global coverage and a geographic concentration in the southwestern United States, northwestern Mexico, and the Neotropics. Please direct inquiries regarding collection access and specimen use to the Collections Manager, Dr. Dakota Rowsey, at drowsey@asu, or the Curator, Dr. Jay Taylor, at
Herpetology Collection
The Herpetology Collection (ASUHEC) contains approximately 40,000 specimens representing more than 900 species, with global coverage and a geographic concentration in the western United States and northwestern Mexico. Our collections contain a particularly dense geographic coverage of Arizona tiger salamanders. Please direct inquiries for specimen use and collection access to the Collection Manager, Dr. Dakota Rowsey, at
Coal Balls
The Fossil Plant Collection (ASUPC) is a unique resource for the ASU Natural History community, supporting plant evolutionary research, teaching, and public outreach.
The Hasbrouck Insect Collection (ASUHIC) is a vibrant part of the ASU Natural History Collections community, with a diverse array of insect research, learning, and outreach activities.
The ASU Lichen Herbarium (ASU) is among the ten largest collections of lichenized fungi in the US; it contains some 115,000 specimens. The collection has a particularly strong focus on the Greater Sonoran Desert Region [northwestern Mexico: Baja California, Baja California Sur, Sonora, western Chihuahua and northern Sinaloa; and southwestern USA, Arizona, southern California].
The Arizona State University Vascular Plant Herbarium (ASU) is among the most important in the greater Sonoran Desert region with over 315,000 specimens. We are particularly proud of our holdings of Cactaceae which include over 1,100 chromosome counts.