Past Summer Courses

Summer Short Courses in Organismic Plant Biology

Summer short courses in organismic plant biology bring distinguished faculty,  a world-class living collection, and a state-of-the-art teaching microscopy laboratory together to give students from around the world an immersive learning experience. With the opportunity to bring molecular genetic and genomic tools to almost any clade of plants, a key challenge is linking comparative developmental genetics to existing bodies of knowledge; notably the two hundred year legacy of comparative developmental morphology and anatomy. Summer short courses provide vital analytical tools central to understanding the developmental bases for structural and functional diversity.

Browse past courses below or learn more about the upcoming course.

2018

Plant Morphology 2018: Linking Phenotype to Development

June 11 – 22, 2018

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Plant morphology returned as the topic for the 2018 annual Arnold Arboretum summer short course. Entitled “Plant Morphology 2018: Linking Phenotype to Development,” the course took place in June 2018. This intensive two-week laboratory and lecture course for advanced undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows covered the fundamental principles of plant form, focusing on developmental dynamics, evolutionary diversification, and ecological and physiological function. Students were presented with the conceptual and analytical tools necessary to interpret the vast array of morphologies that exist among plants. Professors Pamela Diggle (University of Connecticut), Peter Endress (University of Zurich), Cynthia Jones (University of Connecticut) and William (Ned) Friedman (Harvard University) served as the instructors. This course was limited to 12 students.

Week 1: Vegetative morphology including embryogenesis and establishment of the basic body plan, modes of germination and establishment, concepts of juvenile and adult phases, phyllotaxy, shoot longitudinal symmetry (including heteroblasty), axis thickening, shoot transectional symmetry, branching, structural and functional specialization of shoot branches, leaf development, leaf lateral and longitudinal symmetry, structural and functional specialization of leaves, root development, structural and functional specialization of roots, plant architecture, evo-devo.

Week 2: Reproductive morphology including inflorescence and flower structure, branching patterns and other features of inflorescences, flower organization and architecture, flower development, phyllotaxy and symmetry, organs of the perianth, androecium and gynoecium, synorganization of floral organs, angiosperm flower diversity, flowers of “basal” angiosperms, monocots, eudicots, the most complex flowers (orchids, asclepiads), structural solutions of functional constraints in reproductive biology, evolutionary trends in flowers.

Evening lecturers: Elena Kramer (Harvard University)

Additional information: Plant Morphology 2018 was co-sponsored by the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology. and New Phytologist Trust.

2017

Plant Anatomy 2017: Development, Function, and Evolution

June 30 – August 12, 2017

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The third annual summer short course focused on plant anatomy (with an emphasis on woody plants) and was taught by experts from around the world as an intense, two-week lecture, laboratory, and living collections learning experience. With the opportunity to bring molecular genetic and genomic tools to almost any clade of plants, it is essential to understand the biology of the organisms in question. A key challenge is to link comparative developmental genetics to existing bodies of knowledge; notably the over two hundred year legacy of plant anatomy. This integration is critical as the phylogenetic, structural, and ecological breadth of plant taxa open to study expands, and potential questions become increasingly sophisticated. This course provided a working knowledge of tools and concepts that are central to understanding the anatomical basis for structural and functional diversity.

Instructors:

Pieter Baas (Naturalis Biodiversity Center), Pam Diggle (University of Connecticut), William (Ned) Friedman (Harvard University), Peter Gasson  (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew), Cynthia Jones (University of Connecticut) and Elisabeth Wheeler (North Carolina State University)

Course Syllabus:

Week 1: Basics of Plant Anatomy, Primary Tissues
Week 2: Anatomy of Woody Plants

Evening lecturers included: Missy Holbrook (Harvard University) and Lorna Gibson (MIT).

Additional information: Plant Anatomy 2017 was co-sponsored by the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University and the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology.

2016

Plant Morphology 2016: Linking Phenotype to Development

June 13 – 24, 2016

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Plant morphology returned as the topic for the 2016 annual Arnold Arboretum summer short course. Entitled “Plant Morphology 2016: Linking Phenotype to Development,” the course took place in June 2016. This intensive two-week laboratory and lecture course for advanced undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows covered the fundamental principles of plant form, focusing on developmental dynamics, evolutionary diversification, and ecological and physiological function. Students were presented with the conceptual and analytical tools necessary to interpret the vast array of morphologies that exist among plants. Professors Pamela Diggle (University of Connecticut), Peter Endress (University of Zurich) and Cynthia Jones (University of Connecticut) served as the instructors. This course was limited to 12 students.

Week 1: Vegetative morphology including embryogenesis and establishment of the basic body plan, modes of germination and establishment, concepts of juvenile and adult phases, phyllotaxy, shoot longitudinal symmetry (including heteroblasty), axis thickening, shoot transectional symmetry, branching, structural and functional specialization of shoot branches, leaf development, leaf lateral and longitudinal symmetry, structural and functional specialization of leaves, root development, structural and functional specialization of roots, plant architecture, evo-devo.

Week 2: Reproductive morphology including inflorescence and flower structure, branching patterns and other features of inflorescences, flower organization and architecture, flower development, phyllotaxy and symmetry, organs of the perianth, androecium and gynoecium, synorganization of floral organs, angiosperm flower diversity, flowers of “basal” angiosperms, monocots, eudicots, the most complex flowers (orchids, asclepiads), structural solutions of functional constraints in reproductive biology, evolutionary trends in flowers.

Evening lecturers: William (Ned) Friedman (Harvard University), Robin Hopkins (Harvard University)

Additional information: Plant Morphology 2016 was co-sponsored by the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology. and microMORPH, a National Science Foundation Research Coordination Network.

2015

Plant Anatomy 2015: Development, Function, and Evolution

June 22 – July 3, 2015

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The third annual summer short course focused on plant anatomy (with an emphasis on woody plants) and was taught by experts from around the world as an intense, two-week lecture, laboratory, and living collections learning experience. With the opportunity to bring molecular genetic and genomic tools to almost any clade of plants, it is essential to understand the biology of the organisms in question. A key challenge is to link comparative developmental genetics to existing bodies of knowledge; notably the over two hundred year legacy of plant anatomy. This integration is critical as the phylogenetic, structural, and ecological breadth of plant taxa open to study expands, and potential questions become increasingly sophisticated. This course provided a working knowledge of tools and concepts that are central to understanding the anatomical basis for structural and functional diversity. Pieter Baas (Naturalis Biodiversity Center), William (Ned) Friedman (Harvard University), Peter Gasson,  (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew), and Elisabeth Wheeler (North Carolina State University) served as instructors.

Course Syllabus:

Week 1: Basics of Plant Anatomy, Primary Tissues
Week 2: Anatomy of Woody Plants

Evening lecturers included: Jessica Savage (Arnold Arboretum), Missy Holbrook (Harvard University), Erika Edwards (Brown University) and Lorna Gibson (MIT).

Additional information: Plant Anatomy 2015 was co-sponsored by the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, and microMORPH, a National Science Foundation Research Coordination Network.

2014

Plant Morphology 2014: Linking Phenotype to Development

June 9 – 20, 2014

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Due to overwhelming interest, plant morphology returned as the topic for the second annual Arnold Arboretum summer short course. Entitled “Plant Morphology 2014: Linking Phenotype to Development,” the course took place in June 2014. This intensive two-week laboratory and lecture course for advanced undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows covered the fundamental principles of plant form, focusing on developmental dynamics, evolutionary diversification, and ecological and physiological function. Students were presented with the conceptual and analytical tools necessary to interpret the vast array of morphologies that exist among plants. Professors Pamela Diggle (University of Colorado) and Peter Endress (University of Zurich) served as the instructors. This course was limited to 12 students.

Week 1: Vegetative morphology including embryogenesis and establishment of the basic body plan, modes of germination and establishment, concepts of juvenile and adult phases, phyllotaxy, shoot longitudinal symmetry (including heteroblasty), axis thickening, shoot transectional symmetry, branching, structural and functional specialization of shoot branches, leaf development, leaf lateral and longitudinal symmetry, structural and functional specialization of leaves, root development, structural and functional specialization of roots, plant architecture, evo-devo.

Week 2: Reproductive morphology including inflorescence and flower structure, branching patterns and other features of inflorescences, flower organization and architecture, flower development, phyllotaxy and symmetry, organs of the perianth, androecium and gynoecium, synorganization of floral organs, angiosperm flower diversity, flowers of “basal” angiosperms, monocots, eudicots, the most complex flowers (orchids, asclepiads), structural solutions of functional constraints in reproductive biology, evolutionary trends in flowers.

Evening lecturers: Elena Kramer (Harvard University),  William (Ned) Friedman (Harvard University), Robin Hopkins (Harvard University), Andrew Groover (USDA Forest Service)

Additional information: Plant Morphology 2014 was co-sponsored by the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, and microMORPH, a National Science Foundation Research Coordination Network.

2013

Plant Morphology 2013: Linking Phenotype to Development

June 10 – 21, 2013

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The first annual Arnold Arboretum short course, “Plant Morphology 2013: Linking Phenotype to Development,” took place in June of 2013. This intensive two-week laboratory and lecture course for advanced undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows covered the fundamental principles of plant form, focusing on developmental dynamics, evolutionary diversification, and ecological and physiological function. Students were presented with the conceptual and analytical tools necessary to interpret the vast array of morphologies that exist among plants. Professors Pamela Diggle (University of Colorado) and Peter Endress (University of Zurich) served as the instructors. This course was limited to 12 students.

Week 1: Vegetative morphology including embryogenesis and establishment of the basic body plan, modes of germination and establishment, concepts of juvenile and adult phases, phyllotaxy, shoot longitudinal symmetry (including heteroblasty), axis thickening, shoot transectional symmetry, branching, structural and functional specialization of shoot branches, leaf development, leaf lateral and longitudinal symmetry, structural and functional specialization of leaves, root development, structural and functional specialization of roots, plant architecture, evo-devo.

Week 2:  Reproductive morphology including inflorescence and flower structure, branching patterns and other features of inflorescences, flower organization and architecture, flower development, phyllotaxy and symmetry, organs of the perianth, androecium and gynoecium, synorganization of floral organs, angiosperm flower diversity, flowers of “basal” angiosperms, monocots, eudicots, the most complex flowers (orchids, asclepiads), structural solutions of functional constraints in reproductive biology, evolutionary trends in flowers.

Evening lecturers:  Peter Del Tredici (Harvard University), Noel (Missy) Holbrook (Harvard University), Elena Kramer (Harvard University), Rachel Spicer (Harvard University), William (Ned) Friedman (Harvard University), Lorna Gibson (MIT), Cynthia Jones (University of Connecticut).

Additional information: Plant Morphology 2013 was co-sponsored by the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, and microMORPH, a National Science Foundation Research Coordination Network.