The Australian Taxonomy

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Kelly Shepherd

I am a Western Australian taxonomist and plant systematist working on several plant groups but mainly focusing on Lasiopetalum and Thomasia (Malvaceae) and the ever-challenging salt-loving samphires in the genera Tecticornia and Salicornia (Chenopodiaceae) (what’s not to love about them!). I have also been working with colleagues around Australia and in the US on a series of molecular and morphological studies on the fabulous 'fan-flower' family Goodeniaceae. Other duties include stints as the Managing Editor and Layout Editor for Western Australia’s Journal of Systematic Botany - Nuytsia. I am also listed as an ‘Authorised Person’ under the WA Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 and an ‘Approved Botanist’ under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1981, which means I undertake forensic work to identify native plants that have been illegally cleared, as well as work on behalf of the WA Police to identify prohibited plants such as Cannabis and botanical material recovered at serious crime scenes.

Kelly's work profile

Kelly works in the following sector(s): University, Other government agency

Kelly's primary institution is: Western Australian Herbarium

Kelly's position is: Senior Research Scientist

Kelly's work in taxonomy 

Kelly has the following roles: Collecting, Identification, Research, Editing publishing and reviewing

Kelly's skills are in Species delimitation, Phylogenetics, Classification

Kelly works on the taxonomy of Plants, Flowering Plants, Lasiopetalum, Thomasia, Malvaceae, samphires, Tecticornia, Chenopodiaceae, Goodenia, Goodeniaceae, fan-flowers

Find out more about Kelly at:


Kelly is happy to be contacted for the following reasons:

Contact from others in the taxonomy community regarding taxonomy-related issues

Contact from members of the public for advice in areas of expertise (but not for identifications)

Contact from members of the public for identifications in areas of expertise

Contact re potential citizen science projects that could contribute to taxonomic research

Contact by prospective students and others who could benefit from mentorship

Use the button below to contact Kelly for one of the reasons above. Please don't make contact for any other reason.