Our Scientists

With state-of-the-art research and growth facilities nestled alongside over 15,000 living specimens (~ 4000 taxa), the Arnold Arboretum is uniquely positioned to ask broad and important questions in plant biology. Our scientists’ research is as diverse as our living collection, ranging from organismic and evolutionary biology, molecular and developmental biology, plant physiology, and ecological, environmental and biodiversity studies.

Heather Briggs Heather Briggs is a postdoctoral researcher in the Hopkins Lab. She is focused on understanding pollination behavior of Battus philenor on Texas Phlox.
Dan Buonaiuto Daniel Buonaiuto is a graduate student in the Wolkovich Lab. He is interested in how plant communities are responding to global change, and how these responses are affecting the composition and function of North American ecosystems.
Catherine Chamberlain Catherine Chamberlain is a graduate student in the Wolkovich Lab. She is interested in understanding how anthropogenic climate change affects plant communities and plant phenology.
Peter Del Tredici Senior Research Scientist Emeritus Peter Del Tredici is also an associate professor in landscape architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. His research interests are wide ranging and mainly involve the interaction between woody plants and their environment. Recently, his investigations have expanded to include studies of spontaneous urban vegetation.
david_des_marais.jpg The research of David Des Marais, Research Associate, focuses on how plants interact with the environment and the variation in these interactions between species. Understanding how plants adapt to the local environment can increase our ability to conserve plant populations.
Michael Dosmann, Curator of Living Collections, guides the Arboretum’s stewardship and development of its collection of temperate woody species. His work explores new strategies and tactics aimed at improving collections management and enhancing the use of Arboretum collections for research. Additionally, he conducts research on the physiological ecology of woody plants and participates in floristic efforts through domestic and foreign plant exploration.
Ned Friedman Arnold Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University and Faculty Fellow and Director of the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, William (Ned) Friedman is interested in the organismic interfaces between developmental, phylogenetic, and evolutionary biology. The Friedman Lab explores how patterns of morphology, anatomy, and reproductive biology have evolved through the modification of developmental processes.
Ben Goulet Ben Goulet is a graduate student in the Hopkins Lab. Ben is interested in adaptation and speciation in Phlox.
Hopkins Assistant Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University and Faculty Fellow of the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, Robin Hopkins is interested in natural selection and the process of speciation. The Hopkins Lab studies color variation in Phlox with a growing focus on reproductive incompatibility between emerging species and understanding the key evolutionary forces at work.
Juan Losada Juan M. Losada is a postdoctoral fellow in the Holbrook and Leslie Labs. He is interested in the biochemical communication events between the male and female during pollination and fertilization. Currently, he is focusing on the evolution of the nourishing behavior of the perisperm and endosperm.
magnolias_spring Franchesco Molina is a graduate student working in the the Hopkins Lab. He is investigating how the genes involved in meiosis are locally adapted to different temperatures in Arabidopsis arenosa.
Ignacio Morales-Castilla Ignacio Morales-Castilla is a research associate working in the the Wolkovich Lab. His research focuses on the role of historical and evolutionary processes on current diversity patterns. He is interested in better understanding and predicting species and ecosystem vulnerability in a context of Global Change.
Becky Povilus A PhD candidate working in the Friedman Lab, Rebecca Povilus is interested in the idea that molecular resources are important tools for connecting how changes at the gene and genome level affect developmental processes. She is currently focusing on how evolutionary changes during the development of the egg-producing structure could give rise to the wide array of egg-sac morphologies in angiosperms.
Photo_Federico_Roda-4 Federico Roda is interested in understanding the functional mechanisms of environmental adaptation in plants. As postdoctoral fellow in the Hopkins Lab, Federico is investigating the molecular basis of the evolution of reproductive isolation in the genus Phlox.
Faye Rosin The research interests of Director of Research Facilitation Faye Rosin bear on investigating how gene expression is regulated and the consequences of that regulation at the molecular, cellular, and developmental levels. Faye’s investigations at Harvard involve tracking thousands of genes to see how the transcriptional program of an entire organ has been modified to direct three key innovations in columbine flower development.
Shayla-sq Shayla Salzman is a graduate student in the Hopkins Lab and the Pierce Lab. She is focusing on Cycads and their weevil pollinators and how scent variation leads to the species-specific mutualisms.
Tim Savas A lab technician in the Wolkovich Lab, Tim Savas is involved in research focusing on community ecology in light of global climate change.
Danny Schissler As a research assistant in the Friedman Lab, Danny Schissler is involved in projects studying angiosperm (flowering plant) reproductive and fertilization biology. Since June of 2015, he has co-directed the Tree Spotters citizen science group at the Arboretum.
KristelPicture Kristel Schoonderwoerd is a graduate student in the Friedman Lab and former Deland Award recipient. Interested in many facets of evolutionary botany, Kristel is studying reproductive traits in angiosperms on a macroevolutionary scale and examining reproductive development of Franklinia alatamaha.
SevanPhoto The research interests of Sevan Suni include how environmental change and ecology influence the evolutionary trajectories and conservation status of populations; and the microevolutionary processes that underlie adaptation and speciation.  As a research associate in the Hopkins Lab, she is investigating both the ecological factors and underlying genetic mechanisms that contribute to adaptation and speciation in Phlox populations.
Callin Switzer Callin Switzer is a graduate student in the Hopkins Lab. He is investigating bumblebee buzz pollination to understand how bees buzz and why there is variation in buzzing.
Wolkovich Assistant Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University and Faculty Fellow of the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, Elizabeth Wolkovich is interested in how communities assemble and disassemble in light of global changes. The Wolkovich Lab focuses on testing and understanding underlying mechanisms using both theoretical techniques and field experiments to study how current and future plant communities are shaped.
Kasia Zieminska Kasia Zieminska is interested in the role of anatomy on physiological function. As a Arnold Arboretum Putnam Fellow, Kasia will focus on the role of two wood tissues, fibers and parenchyma, in tree water storage.