Kristel Schoonderwoerd


Kristel Schoonderwoerd

PhD Candidate, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology

Fellow of the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University

1300 Centre Street
Boston, MA 02131
Phone: 617.384.5631
Fax: 617.384.6596


MS Evolutionary Biology (Erasmus Mundus Master Program in Evolutionary Biology; dual degree from the University of Groningen, Netherlands and the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany)

BS Biology with Conservation & Biodiversity (University of Sheffield, UK)

Research Interests

During my undergraduate studies I became interested in the evolution of the diversity of plant form and function. I have since completed a number of lab rotations on a set of diverse topics with evolution of plant development and physiology as an overarching theme. These projects have introduced me to liverwort pore development and the plasticity of fern and angiosperm stomatal development; chloroplast protein import; the diversity of female gametophyte developmental programs in angiosperms; and systemic defense responses to leaf wounding in the nightshade family.

I first visited the Arnold Arboretum in 2013 during one of the lab rotations of the Master program I was enrolled in. In the Friedman Lab, I worked on the female gametophyte and seed development of Franklinia alatamaha (Theaceae). Currently, I am continuing this work by focusing on the unusual phenology of fruit development in the species. In addition, I would like to reassess the diversity of female gametophyte development of the tea family that is reported in older literature.