Barbara J. Hellenthal Associate Professor of the Practice

Biodiversity Museum & Herbarium Curator
Barbara J. Hellenthal

Research Interests:

Leader (2016-Present) 175th anniversary survey of the Notre Dame campus woody flora. Sponsored by Notre Dame Campus Services. The flora was first documented by Fr. Peter Hebert, C.S.C., in 1966 and again in 1992 by me for the book "Trees, Shrubs and Vines on the University of Notre Dame Campus" published by the University of Notre Dame Press for the University's 150th anniversary celebration. The current project so far has documented 14,610 trees and plantings including 8,966 new to the campus since 1993. The present Notre Dame flora includes 1,173 kinds of woody plants, 199 of which are new to the campus since the 1993 survey. The current survey is providing a foundation for development and management of the campus flora and landscape. The University's departments of Maintenance and Landscape Services are active participants in this project.

Collaborator (2014 - Present) in NSF-funded ongoing efforts that use natural history museum specimens to document the introduction and spread of exotic species through the Great Lakes Region. Notre Dame’s Museum of Biodiversity and Greene-Nieuwland Herbarium is part of a network of herbaria and natural history museums from among the Great Lakes states and provinces of Canada that are documenting the occurrence of these species and tracking their introduction and spread by providing online access ( and to individual specimen collection data and images for these organisms from their museums.

Collaborator (2011 - Present) in the Global Plants Initiative (formerly JSTOR Plant Science), a community of over 300 museums from 80 countries that are building a world-wide online database that features more than two million high resolution plant type specimen images and other foundational materials from the collections of hundreds of herbaria around the world. It is an essential resource for institutions supporting research and teaching in botany, ecology, and conservation studies. Through Global Plants, herbaria can share specimens, experts can determine and update naming structures, students can discover and learn about plants in context, and a record of plant life can be preserved for future generations. To date, the Notre Dame herbarium has submitted 9,000 high-resolution images of historically important type, taken from herbarium specimens in our Greene-Nieuwland Herbarium.



  • Curator, Museum of Biodiversity and Greene-Nieuwland Herbarium 2009-Present
  • Curator, Greene-Nieuwland Herbarium 1984-2009
  • Assistant Curator, Greene-Nieuwland Herbarium 1980-1984
  • B.Sc., Horticulture, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities


Recent Papers:

  • Elvin, Mark A., Andrew C. Sanders, Richard A. Burgess, and Barbara J. Hellenthal. 2014. Three new subspecies of Monardella (Lamiaceae) from southern California, U.S.A. Novon 23(4): 416-431.
  • "Greene Herbarium GPI Data Conversion Project: Making Old Data Fit New Standards." Poster presented at: Global Plants Initiative 6th Annual Meeting, 7-11 January 2013, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panamá, Republic of Panamá.
  • Hellenthal, Barbara J. 2013. Review of Shrubs and Woody Vines of Indiana and the Midwest: Identification, Wildlife Values, and Landscaping Use. The American Midland Naturalist 170(1):196-197.
  • Reznicek, Anton A., Richard K. Rabeler, and Barbara J. Hellenthal. 2008. Sister M. Vincent De Paul and the typification of the name Polygonatum commutatum forma ramosum McGivney (Convallariaceae). Great Lakes Botanist 47:63-66.
  • Hellenthal, Barbara J., Thomas J. Schlereth, and Robert P. McIntosh. 1993. Trees, Shrubs and Vines on the University of Notre Dame Campus. University of Notre Dame Press. x+286+16 plates.