Instructors Bios

Instructors Bios

Jack Alexander is the plant propagator of the Arnold Arboretum, a position he has held since 1976. He was named a Fellow of the Eastern Region of the International Plant Propagators’ Society and in 2004 received their Award of Merit.

Andrew Berry has an undergraduate degree in zoology from Oxford and a PhD in evolutionary genetics from Princeton. He originally came to Harvard as a Junior Fellow, and currently serves an undergraduate advisor in the Life Sciences and Lecturer on Organismic & Evolutionary Biology. He is interested in the role of natural history in the development of evolutionary thinking. Alfred Russel Wallace, co-discoverer with Darwin of evolution by natural selection, is of special interest.

John DelRosso, head arborist at the Arnold Arboretum, is a graduate of the Consulting Academy of the American Society of Consulting Arborists. He is certified with the International Society of Arboriculture and the Massachusetts Arborists Association.

Peter Del Tredici is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design where he has taught since 1991. He received a BA in Zoology from UC, Berkeley, an MA in Biology from the University of Oregon and a PhD in Plant Ecology from Boston University. He teaches courses on urban ecology, the structure and function of soils, and sustainable woody plants for designed landscapes. In addition to teaching at the GSD, Del Tredici is a senior research scientist at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, where he has worked since 1979.

William (Ned) Friedman, PhD, is Director of the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University and Arnold Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard. His research program focuses on the organismic interfaces between developmental, phylogenetic, and evolutionary biology. Armed with hypotheses of relationships among organisms, he explores how patterns of morphology, anatomy, and cell biology have evolved through the modification of developmental processes. His work is primarily focused on the origin and subsequent diversification of flowering plants, Darwin’s “abominable mystery.”

Kanchi Gandhi, PhD, earned his doctorate from Texas A&M University. He is the editor of the International Plant Name Index for the Harvard University Herbaria; nomenclature editor of the Flora of North America; and an associate editor for several other journals.

Richard Higgins, of Concord, MA, is a writer and editor who has studied Henry David Thoreau and trees in depth. He was a staff writer at The Boston Globe for 25 years, is the co-author of Portfolio Life and the editor of four books, including Taking Faith Seriously. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Atlantic Monthly, Smithsonian, Esquire, Preservation, Yankee, and with National Public Radio. Higgins is a graduate of Holy Cross College, Columbia Journalism School, and Harvard Divinity School.

Robin Kelsey is Shirley Carter Burden Professor of Photography and Director of Graduate Studies in the History of Art and  Architecture Department at Harvard University. He is also a member  of the Committee on Higher Degrees in the History of American  Civilization and a Faculty Associate of the Center for the  Environment. He holds a PhD from Harvard and a JD from Yale Law  School and has practiced law in California. A specialist in the histories of photography and American art,  Professor Kelsey has published on the role of chance in  photographic production, geographical survey photography, landscape  theory, and the nexus of art and law.

Jen Kettell, horticultural technologist at the Arnold Arboretum, is an International Society of Arboriculture-certified arborist, and serves on the board of the New England Chapter of the ISA. She began work at the Arboretum as an intern in 2003.

Mikyoung Kim, M.L.A., graduated from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design in 1992. Her firm, MYKD has received numerous awards from the American Society of Landscape Architects and was recently a featured firm in Landscape Architecture Magazine. Award winning projects have been highlighted in Architectural Record, the New York Times, Sculpture Magazine, Dwell, Garden Design, and Surface Magazine.  Her current projects include the Chicago Botanic Gardens, Boston Children’s Hospital, One Seaport Plaza in Boston, Zoo Miami, and the John Hancock Tower Roof Garden. Since 1994, she has been Professor of Design and served as department head at the Rhode Island School of Design, where she is Professor Emerita.

Paul Lukacs is the author of American Vintage and The Great Wines of America. A James Beard, Cliquot, and IACP award winner, he has been writing about wine and its cultural contexts for nearly twenty years. He is a professor of English at Loyola University of Maryland, where he directs the University’s Center for the Humanities. He lives in Baltimore.

Marta McDowell lives, gardens, and writes in Chatham, New Jersey. She consults for public gardens and private clients. Marta writes and lectures on gardening topics and teaches landscape history and horticulture at the New York Botanical Garden, where she studied landscape design. Her particular interest is in authors and their gardens, the connection between the pen and the trowel. Her book, Emily Dickinson’s Gardens: A Celebration of a Poet and Gardener, was published in 2005. She is an active member of The Beatrix Potter Society.

Thomas J. Mickey is Professor Emeritus of Communication Studies at Bridgewater State University. He is a graduate of Boston University, the University of Iowa, and the Landscape Institute at the Boston Architectural College, and has been a garden columnist for the Brockton Enterprise, Quincy Patriot Ledger, and Portsmouth, New Hampshire’s Seacoast Media. His other books include Best Garden Plants for New England (with Alison Beck, 2006), Deconstructing Public Relations (2003), and Sociodrama: An Interpretive Theory for the Practice of Public Relations (1995).

John Hanson Mitchell is editor of the award winning magazine, Sanctuary, published by the Massachusetts Audubon Society.  He was editor of The Curious Naturalist, and a co-author, with Chris Leahy and Tom Conuel, of the coffee table edition of The Nature of Massachusetts (1998), illustrated by the internationally-recognized Swedish painter Lars Jonsson. In 2001 he won a Vogelstein grant for Following the Sun. He was awarded an honorary PhD from Fitchburg State University for his work on the book Ceremonial Time  and was given three different grants for his work on Looking for Mr Gilbert. He is also winner of the John Burroughs Essay Award for his Sanctuary piece, “Of Time and the River”. In  2000,  he was given the New England Booksellers’ Award for the body of his work.  Mitchell attended the Sorbonne and is a graduate of Columbia University.  A former journalist, he has had assignments in Kerala in southern India and also the South China Sea and has written extensively about Western Europe.

Gary Paul Nabhan is the W.K. Kellogg Endowed Chair in Sustainable Food Systems at the University of Arizona, as well as the permaculture designer and orchard-keeper of Almuniya de los Zopilotes Experimental Farm in Patagonia, Arizona. Widely acknowledged as a pioneer in the local-food movement and grassroots seed conservation, Nabhan was honored by Utne Reader in 2011 as one of twelve people making the world a better place to live. He is a recipient of a MacArthur Genius Award, and his twenty-four books have been translated into six languages.

Elsa Pooley is a botanist  whose wide ranging experience has led her into fields as diverse as research,  landscape and garden design, rehabilitation, training, art and publishing.  The  author of best selling field guides on wild flowers and trees, she conducts  specialist botanical tours in southern Africa and runs an indigenous  landscaping and rehabilitation company in KwaZulu-Natal.

Kyle Stephens, a Massachusetts and International Society of Arboriculture certified arborist, has worked as an arborist at the Arnold Arboretum since 2005. Previously he worked in New York at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Wave Hill, and with the Central Park Conservancy.

Judith Sumner is a botanist with interests in flowering plant systematics and morphology, and medicinal plants. She is the author of American Household Botany, The Natural History of Medicinal Plants, and numerous scientific publications.