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.
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.
Dan Flynn- sq Dan Flynn is a research associate in the Wolkovich Lab. He is interested in understanding the processes in which plant communities assemble and disassemble and how this will influence the ability of ecosystems to adapt to global climate change.
Elisabeth Forrestel Elisabeth Forrestel is a postdoctoral fellow in the Wolkovich Lab. The focus of her research is to understand how an important economic crop, wine grapes, respond to climate change. She will study their responses both in the field and after manipulating their environment in growth chamber studies.
Ned Friedman Arnold professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University and director of the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, 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 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.
Chase Mason Chase Mason, Arnold Arboretum Putnam Fellow, is studying the evolution of leaf physical and chemical defenses in relation to the leaf economics spectrum (LES) across 16 woody genera. LES relates the initial investment of carbon during leaf development with the net carbon gain of that leaf. Plants employ various LES strategies which impacts their adaptability to environmental conditions and stresses.
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.
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 post-doctoral 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.
Photo Oct 02, 3 12 56 PMsq Jehane Samaha is a lab technician in the Wolkovich Lab. She is examining functional traits and phenology of trees out in the field, in the lab, and in the greenhouse to understand how communities respond to global climate change.
Jessica Savage Jessica Savage is interested in understanding how seasonal changes in vascular activity influence flowering and carbon allocation. As an Arnold Arboretum Putnam Fellow, Jessica is comparing xylem and phloem anatomy, physiology and function in precocious flowering species (those that flower before the leaves emerge) with related species that flower later in the season.
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.
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 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.
Grace Yu Grace Yu, a research assistant in the Friedman Lab, is involved in projects studying angiosperm (flowering plant) reproductive and fertilization biology and embryology.