Sr. Museum Scientist (Paleobotany Collections)
Research interests: Diane's current research focuses on western North American Tertiary plants and their evolution and changing distributions. She notes, "Plant communities are always changing. The fossil record gives us that unique window into how plants that lived millions of years ago have changed in form, distribution and associations, and then ask why the change."
Collections: Diane also manages the paleobotany collections, and so by combining research with curation hopes to improve their scientific value. "Scientists worldwide use our paleobotany collection data. However, they are not always able to verify the identifications so their results may be flawed. I'm hoping through published revisions to provide a more accurate fossil plant record, while updating the UCMP paleobotany collection."
Why paleobotany? "I took a plant morphology course in college that was taught from a paleobotanical perspective and was hooked immediately. I always had strong interests in botany, field biology, geology and geologic time, so I was thrilled to find that paleobotany combined them all."
- O'Dell, R.E., D.M. Erwin, P. Holroyd, B.D. Rankin and M. Ibraheem El - Faramawi. 2017. Flora and Fauna of the Holocene Oil Canyon oil-sands from the poorly understood San Joaquin Desert Biozone. In: Reynolds, R.E. (ed.) ECSZ Does It: Revisiting the Eastern California Shear Zone, 2017 Desert Symposium Volume, pp. 308 - 314. Read it
- Holden, A.R., D.M. Erwin, K.N. Schick and J. Gross. 2015. Late Pleistocene galls from the La Brea Tar Pits and their implications for cynipine wasp and native plant distribution in southern California. Quaternary Research, 84: 358-367. Read it
- Holden, A.R., J.B. Koch, T. Griswold, D.M. Erwin, and J. Hall. 2014. Leafcutter Bee Nests and Pupae from the Rancho La Brea Tar Pits of Southern California: Implications for Understanding the Paleoenvironment of the Late Pleistocene. PLoS ONE 9(4): e94724. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0094724. Read it
- Erwin, D.M., R.H. Bartley, S.E. Bartley, and D.J. Springer. 2009. A new paleoflora from the Miocene Middle Fork Eel River coal-bearing beds, Mendocino County, California, U.S.A. Botany and Mycology Meeting, Snowbird, UT. Read it