Anthony Brach

Anthony R. Brach

Anthony R. Brach

Curatorial Assistant, Harvard University Herbaria


Research Associate, Arnold Arboretum and Harvard University Herbaria

Harvard University Herbaria
22 Divinity Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138-2094

I am a curatorial assistant for the vascular plant collections within the Harvard University Herbaria.

Research Interests

I am interested in the digitization of specimen data for understanding responses to environmental change, and the development of digital floras and interactive identification keys.

My doctoral research explored the responses of two fern species to experimental changes in nitrogen deposition and irradiance, and my masters research, the effects of watershed liming on understory vegetation. From July 1993 to October 2012, I edited treatments for the Flora of China. I have experience building interactive identification keys for more than ten years, using the DELTA editor for inputting data from descriptions and outputting interactive keys for Intkey, NaviKey, and PathKey applications.

From November 2012 to May 2013, I assisted with the digitization (minimal data capture and imaging) of lichen specimen labels, as part of the North American Lichens and Bryophytes: Sensitive Indicators of Environmental Quality & Change Project. I continue to collaborate by entering data from imaged labels via the project’s crowd-sourcing interface and for the macrofungi digitization project (for an overview of these citizen-science efforts, see

Selected Publications

  • Brach, A. R. 2013. Remembering Alexei K. Skvortsov – A Flora of China author and visiting botanist. Skvortsovia 1(1): 5-7. [pdf]
  • Brach, A. R. 2013. Albinism Found in Clonal Growth of Ailanthus altissima (Simaroubaceae). Rhodora 115: 197-200.
  • Brach, A. R. 2013. Botanical Names Associated With Dr. Shiu Ying Hu. Taiwania 58(1): 67-75. [pdf]
  • Brach, A. R. and D. E. Boufford. 2011. Why Are We Still Producing Paper Floras? Annals of Missouri Botanical Garden 98: 297–300. [pdf]
  • Brach, A. R. 2011. Cotoneaster. (pp. 298–307), in Watson M. et al. (eds.): Flora of Nepal. Vol. 3. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.
  • Brach, A. R. 2008. Exploring botanical history using Harvard Papers in Botany 13: 245–251.
  • Brach, A. R. and H. Song. 2006. eFloras: New directions for online floras exemplified by the Flora of China Project. Taxon 55(1): 188–192. [pdf]
  • Brach, A. R. and H. Song. 2005. ActKey: a web-based interactive identification key program. Taxon 54(4): 1041–1046. [pdf]
  • Brach, A. R. and N. H. Xia. 2005. Saururaceae, Species Plantarum: Flora of the World Part 11: 1–12.
  • Hurd, T. M., A. R. Brach, and D. J. Raynal. 1998. Response of understory vegetation of Adirondack forests to nitrogen additions. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 28: 799–807.
  • Smallidge, P. J., A. R. Brach, and I. R. Mackun. 1993. Effects of watershed liming on terrestrial ecosystem processes. Environmental Reviews 1: 157–171.
  • Wu Z. Y., P. H. Raven, and D. Y. Hong (eds.) 1994-2012. Flora of China. Science Press & Missouri Botanical Garden. (as Editor)