Head, Collections Services and Information Management

Shannon Asencio

Contact Information

Email: sasencio@nature.ca
Tel: 613.566.4255
Fax: 613.364.4027

Shannon Asencio is passionate about making the Canadian Museum of Nature's world-class collections digitally accessible to the world.


  • Care of natural history collections.
  • Best practices for specimen digitization, including cataloguing, imaging and georeferencing.
  • Digitization workflows and efficiency.


  • Ethnobotany in China field course, Eastern Illinois University, 2009.
  • M.Sc., Department of Biology (Botany), University of Saskatchewan, 2005.
  • B.Sc. (High Honours), Departments of Biology and Land Use & Environmental Studies, University of Saskatchewan, 2002.


As Head, Collections Services and Information Management, Shannon's tasks are varied, and she supervises a team with a phenomenal range of skills and talents. A major component of her role at the museum is working with curators to maximize digitization efficiency and develop workflows. This includes assessing and improving the museum's collections management system, establishing best practices for digitization, and providing support for the amazing employees who bring our collections into the digital age. As the museum's Registrar, Shannon is also responsible for managing the museum's records relating to the acquisition and loaning of our specimens.

Shannon first came to work at the Canadian Museum of Nature in early 2014 after spending nearly nine years at The New York Botanical Garden as a Herbarium Project Manager. She is a Canadian science expert returning to Canada at an exciting time for initiatives to digitize natural history collections.


Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections




Papers/Abstracts in Conference Proceedings/Books

D.S. Asencio. The Projeto Flora Amazônica Field Books: An Excellent Resource for Improving Data Input Efficiency. iDigBio Specimen Digitization Tools and Practices Workshop, Columbus, Ohio, USA. 2012.

D.S. Asencio and S.D. Gottschalk. Maximizing Data Generation Workflow: Two Case Studies from The New York Botanical Garden. Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections 27th Annual Meeting, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA. 2012.

W.W. Thomas, B.M. Thiers, and D.S. Asencio. Collaborative Digitization of Specimens from Amazonian Brazil. Brazilian National Botanical Congress, Manaus, Brazil. 2010.

D.S. Asencio and K. Watson. The PBI Solanum Project: Bringing The New York Botanical Garden's Solanum Collection into the Digital Age. Botanical Society of America Annual General Meeting, Snowbird, Utah, USA. 2009.

K. Watson, D.S. Asencio, S. Knapp, and L. Walley. How Much is Enough? Challenges Associated with Specimen Digitization. Botanical Society of America Annual General Meeting, Snowbird, Utah, USA. 2009.