Arboretum Award Recipients

Arboretum Research Awardees

Research at the Arboretum spans a diverse range of disciplines, from organismic and evolutionary biology, molecular and developmental biology, and plant physiology to studies in ecology, environment, and biodiversity. The Arboretum supports investigations in our world-renowned living collection, herbarium, library and archives, research laboratories, and in Asia by awarding fellowships and awards to students, post-doctoral researchers, and professionals of the biological and horticultural sciences.

2018

 

Erin Pierce

Erin Pierce

Deland Award
PhD Student, Templer Lab, Boston University

Erin will measure ozone levels and tree growth at the Arboretum. Combined with the data from the Arboretum’s National Atmospheric Deposition Program monitoring station, Erin will evaluate the role of air pollution on urban ecosystem health.

Harold Suarez-Baron

Harold Suarez Baron

Deland Award
PhD Candidate, University of Antioquia in Colombia

In Aristolochia (dutchman’s pipe), the trichomes (hairs) found on flowers are important for attracting and retaining flies for pollination. Harold focuses on the genetic mechanisms underlying trichome development in this non-model plant.

Meghan Blumstein

Meghan Blumstein

Deland Award
PhD Candidate, Holbrook Lab, Harvard University

Meghan will quantify genetic variation within a population of Quercus rubrum (red oak) and compare this to the variation found across the entire range using Arboretum trees collected from different locations in the wild. Quantifying genetic variation will improve modeling used to predict the ability of plant species to adapt in the face of climate change.

Avalon Owens

Avalon Owens

Cunin/Sigal Award
PhD Student, Tufts University

Avalon focuses on firefly ecology and mating behavior. Last summer, Avalon surveyed firefly populations in multiple sites and the Arboretum was the most species-diverse firefly habit found in the Boston area. With the Sigal Award, she will examine how artificial light impacts firefly courtship using LEDs of varying colors and intensities. This could lead to the development of firefly friendly lighting.

Dong Wang

Dong Wang

Sargent Award
Assistant Professor, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Dong is interested in the strategies that long-lived woody legumes use to interact with rhizobia, the nitrogen-fixing bacteria the live in nodules on the roots. He will examine the rhizobia present in root nodules at the Arboretum.

Margaret Grose

Margaret Grose

Sargent Award
Senior Lecturer, University of Melbourne, Australia

Margaret will focus on EH Wilson’s collecting trip to Australia in 1920-21. Unlike Wilson’s trips to China, much less is known about this trip. Margaret will dive into the Arboretum library archives to examine Wilson’s field notes, letters, and images documenting Wilson’s time in Australia.

Natalia Pabon Mora

Natalia Pabon Mora

Jewett Prize
Associate Professor, University of Antioquia in Colombia

Natalia is interested in understanding the evolution of flower and fruit development and the morphological changes driving diversification of flowering plants. At the Arboretum, she will focus on fruit diversity in the Rubiaceae by comparing morphological and anatomical features as well as transcriptomic data of members of the Rubiaceae with distinct fruit types.

Peng Jiang

Peng Jiang and Mark Rausher

Arnold Arboretum Genomic Initiative and Sequencing Award
Magnolia zenii and Liriodendron tulipifera genomes

Duke University scientists, Peng Jiang (Postdoctoral Research Associate) and Mark Rausher (Professor) are focusing on the genome evolution of Magnoliids, the largest clade of basal angiosperms. They will sequence two Magnoliids representatives, Liriodendron and Magnolia, and compare flower evolutionary developmental biology in angiosperms. The addition of these two genomes with the Asimina triloba genome (2017 Sequencing Award) will provide valuable genetic resources for studies in the Magnoliids and in basal angiosperms.

Nathan Swensen

Nathan Swenson

Arnold Arboretum Genomic Initiative and Sequencing Award
Acer griseum genome

Nathan Swenson (Associate Professor, University of Maryland) is developing genomic resources for the Sapindales with a focus on Acer species. His laboratory is currently sequencing the leaf transcriptomes of ~90 Acer species and the genome of A. saccharum. With this award, he will sequence the genome of A. griseum, an important species that produces parthenocarpic fruit. Two reference genomes and transcriptions from throughout the genus provides a valuable infrastructure for future studies in Acer.

2017
Scott Dietrich at Wilson's stump in Japan

Michael and Scott Dietrich

Sargent Award
Professor, Dartmouth College (MD)
Co-Curator, Hong Kong Stair Archive (SD)

Michael and Scott Dietrich are brothers with a common passion for EH Wilson. Pulling from the over 7000 images in the Arboretum library archives, they will search for the perfect images for their upcoming book, The Photography of Ernest Henry Wilson.

Kosmala and Basler

Margaret Kosmala and David Basler

Sinnott  Award and Sargent Award
Postdoctoral Fellows, Harvard University, Richardson Lab

In two closely tied projects utilizing an unmanned aerial vehicle (drone) and temperature loggers, Margaret and David will acquire high-resolution multispectral photographs and localized temperatures of the Arboretum over time. With this data, they will examine the relationship between plant phenology (the timing of life events) and genetic adaptation in response to local topography and temperature.

Jessica Savage

Jessica Savage

Sinnott Award
Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota

Expanding on her research as a Putnam Fellow, Jessica will visit the Arboretum with her students to examine the relationship between the re-activation of water transport in the spring and plant phenology or life events such as flowering or leaf out.

Agusti Randi

Agusti Randi

Ashton Award
Master’s Student, Bagor Agricultural University, Indonesia

Randi focuses on the taxonomy, ecology and conservation of wild palms (Genus Pinanga). The Ashton Award will support his research in Indonesian Borneo.

S-Schmiege

Stephanie Schmiege

Ashton Award
PhD Student, Columbia University

Stephanie focuses on the mechanisms driving the response of conifers to stressful environmental conditions, particularly drought caused by climate change. The Ashton Award will support her research in Vietnam.

Asimina triloba genome

Arnold Arboretum Genomic Initiative and Sequencing Award

The North American paw paw, Asimina triloba (L.) Dun, is one of the few fruit tree crops that is native to North America and the only species in the family adapted to temperate climates. Aureliano Bombarely, Assistant Professor at Virginia Tech, and Jose I. Hormaza, Professor at IHSM La Mayora in Spain, will sequence the genome of accession 12708*A, our oldest representative of this species in the living collection.

Fagus grandifolia genome

Arnold Arboretum Genomic Initiative and Sequencing Award

Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) scientists,  Susan Strickler (Research Associate), Fay-Wei Li (Assistant Professor) and Eric Richards (Professor and VP research) will develop genomic resources for North American beech (Fagus grandifolia), an economically important hardwood species. The genomes of an insect-resistant accession will be compared to a susceptible varieties allowing the characterization of genes involved in resistance.

2016
Kuo-Fang Chung

Kuo-Fang Chung

Sargent Award
Associate Research Fellow, Biodiversity Research Center, Academia Sinica, Taiwan

Kuo-Fang Chung will explore the rich herbarium and living collections of Berberis to clarify the taxonomy of the genus.

Danilo Fernando

Danilo Fernando

Jewett Prize
Associate Professor at the State University of New York

At the Arboretum, Danilo will focus on the reproductive biology of Actinidia arguta (hardy kiwi), a dioecious species whose flowers are functionally unisexual.

korean rhododendron

Meghna Krishnadas

Ashton Award
PhD candidate, Yale University

Meghna focuses on the mechanisms driving tree diversity loss in disturbed tropical forests. The Ashton Award will support her research in the Western Ghats, India.

Meng Li

Meng Li

Hu Student/Postdoctoral Exchange Award
Ph.D student, Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Li is interested in the role of hybridization on species diversification.  As part of his Hu Award, Li will spend one year at the Arboretum to examine hybridization in Sorbus.

Jon Mahoney

Jonathan Mahoney

Deland Award
Master’s student, University of Connecticut

As part of the Aronia breeding program, Jonathan Mahoney is investigating the mating systems and compatibility issues of intergeneric hybridization between Aronia and related taxa.

Meri Bond - Magnolia

Adam Roddy

Jewett Prize
Post-doctoral fellow, Yale University

Examining 25 species of basal angiosperms in the Arboretum’s living collections, Adam will measure physiological traits associated with water balance to examine the trade-offs between water transport, water storage, and the ability to maintain turgid and showy flowers.

Dan Sullivan

Dan Sullivan

Sargent Award
Visiting Fellow of the Arnold Arboretum

Dan is developing techniques for rapid and inexpensive DNA extraction as well as cultivating collections of extracted DNA libraries and silica-dried leaves for future phylogenetic research.

Alex Susko

Alexander Susko

Deland Award
PhD candidate, University of Minnesota

Alex will collect and sequence deciduous azaleas originally collected across the geographic and environmental range to identify genetic targets of selection associated with differing environmental responses in Rhododendron.

Callin Switzer

Callin Switzer

Sinnott Award
PhD Candidate, Harvard University, Hopkins Lab

Kalmia has a unique method of pollen release in which the pollen is catapulted out of the anthers when a pollinator lands on the flowers. Callin  will examine this unique pollination method using high-speed videography.

2015
Steve Decina

Stephen Decina

Deland Award
PhD Candidate, Boston University, Templer and  Hutyra Labs

Steve aims to understand how urbanization affects biogeochemical cycles. By comparing collection sites in urban areas, including the Arboretum, he will quantify nitrogen deposition in multiple urban sites.

Nalaka Geekiyanage

Nalaka Geekiyanage

Ashton Award
PhD Candidate, Kyoto University, Japan

The Ashton Award will support Nalaka’s research at the Nonggang National Nature Reserve in southwestern China where he will focus on the drought response of tropical trees at different topological levels.

Jianhua Li

Jianhua Li

Sargent Award
Associate Professor of Biology, Hope College

A former Arnold Arboretum senior scientist, Jianhua will return to the Arboretum for his sabbatical focusing on the reconstruction of the early tree of life of Acer. The evolutionary relationships of this important and diverse tree genus has, thus far, remained largely unresolved hindering our understanding of the natural history of maples.

Luke Keogh

Luke Keogh

Sargent Award
Post-doctoral Fellow, Ludwig-Maximilians University, Germany

Luke’s research focuses on the role of Wardian Cases, an early 19th century invention, in the movement of live plants between continents. Using the Arboretum’s archival collections, he will delve into the role of the United States in this global transfer of plants.

2014
janice5sq

Janice Chan

Ashton Award
PhD candidate, Harvard University, Moorcroft Lab

Janice is studying the relationship between plant functional traits and plant biodiversity on the composition of diverse forests. Her research will be conducted at the Center for Tropical Forest Science (CTFS) site of Bukit Timah in Singapore.

Fall Foliage in the Leventritt Garden 10/18/2016

Bryan Connolly

Cunin/Sigal Award
PhD Candidate, University of Connecticut, Brand Lab

Aronia (chokeberry) has low genetic diversity which reduces its ability to adapt to new threats, such as pest outbreaks or changing climates. Bryan is interested in developing new Aronia hybrids to increase genetic diversity by performing crosses with Aronia, Sorbus, and other related genera in the Arboretum collections.

lauragarrison-sq

Laura Garrison

Deland Award
PhD Candidate, Brown University, Edwards Lab

Focusing on the Arboretum’s Viburnum collection, Laura is examining the relationship between diversity in morphological characters and the response to climate change.

Andrew_03-05-14sq

Andrew Groover

Sargent Award
Geneticist, USDA Forest Service

Andrew will perform RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) on cambium and wood forming tissues of diverse trees in the Arboretum. Potentially important regulatory genes expressed in these tissues will be identified and analyzed as a first step to understanding the evolution of woody growth.

Ling Guo

Jewett Prize
Curator, Beijing Botanic Garden

Utilizing the Arboretum’s Malus collection, Ling will conduct research to improve the databases and knowledge of ornamental crabapples as a Registration Authority. Her database will focus on the flowers of Malus to improve the understanding of flowering time.

KristelPicture

Kristel Schoonderwoerd

Deland Award
Master’s Student, Erasmus Mundus Master Program in Evolutionary Biology

At the Arboretum, Kristel will study reproductive traits, including female gametophye development and seed development, of Franklinia alatamaha and Stewartia ovata.

2013
RosanneHealyTrufflingFSP2009

Rosanne Healy

Sargent Award
Post-doctoral Fellow, University of Minnesota

Rosanne focuses on ectomycorrhizal fungi that are present on roots of trees in well-spaced habitats like the Arboretum. She plans to sequence, identify and compare the fungal partners on the roots of Oak trees present at the Arboretum with those at the Harvest Forest. Matching funds for this award was generously provided by the Harvard Forest.

HaN

Ha Thanh Nguyen

Ashton Award
PhD Candidate, Boston University, Hutyra Lab

Ha is studying the impact of logging in peat swamp forests in Borneo and how this has affected the ecology of Shorea Albida. Ha’s research spatially overlaps with Professor Ashton’s previous work in Borneo.

PhotoforDelandsq

Kathryn Weglarz

Deland Award
PhD Candidate, Utah State University, von Dohlen Lab

While much focus has been placed on understanding plant-insect interactions, Kathryn’s goal is to delve specifically into the interaction between the host plant and the bacterial symbionts present in the saliva of the insects.

ZhangYJ-3

Yong-Jiang Zhang

Hu Student/Postdoctoral Exchange Award
Post-doctoral Fellow, Harvard University, Holbrook Lab

In some species of Acer, stem pressure generation during thawing results in sap production which is used to make maple syrup. This is in contrast to most trees which exude sap during freezing. Working in the Acer collection, Yong-Jiang aims to understand the physiological mechanisms of stem pressure generation and the role of xylem structure in this mechanism.

2012
Laura Lagomarsino

Laura Lagomarsino

Deland Award
PhD Candidate, Harvard University, Davis Lab

Laura is studying the evolution of secondary woodiness in the Lobelioideae, a primarily temperate herbaceous group of plants. The Deland Award will enable Laura to travel to Peru to collect plant specimens for the Herbarium and for her studies of wood anatomy.

Jorge Lora

Jewett Prize
Post-doctoral Fellow, Experimental Research Stations (CSIC), Spain

Using members of the Arboretum’s Rosaceae collection, Jorge will compare ovule morphology from the earliest stages to maturity as well as the expression pattern of a gene thought to be important in ovule development.

HughMcAllister

Hugh McAllister

Sargent Award
Honorary Lecturer, University of Liverpool

Hugh is interested in examining the evolutionary relationships of species within genera. By comparing chromosome numbers, he seeks to clarify the relationships between diploid and polyploid species. Previous visits to the Arnold Arboretum and the Harvard University Herbaria led to the publication of monographs on genera Betula and Sorbus.

Berberis gilgiana

Bharti Sharma

Jewett Prize
Post-doctoral Fellow, Harvard University, Kramer Lab

Bharti is interested in the evolution of petal identity and development. Capitalizing on the tremendous floral diversity found in the barbarry family (Berberidaceae), she will compare petal development using microscopy and comparative gene expression techniques in Epimedium rubum and Berberis gilgiana.

Claire Williams

Claire Williams

Sargent Award
Distinguished Scholar, Forest History Society

Using the Arboretum’s conifer collection, Dr. Williams will determine whether pollen dispersed during the day or at night is more highly represented within the micropyle of female cones.

2011
Emily Scherbatskoy

Emily Scherbatskoy

Deland Award
Undergraduate Student, University of Colorado, Boulder

Working in the Friedman Lab with Julien Bachelier, Emily will focus on the comparative morphology of female gametophytes in diverse conifers in an effort to shed light on the evolution of female gametophyte development

Juan Losada

Juan Losada

Deland Award
PhD Candidate, Aula Dei Experimental Station–CSIC, Spain

Juan focuses on the reproductive biology of apples (Malus spp.). Juan will spend the summer working at the Weld Hill Research Building to expand his studies to include species in the Arboretum’s Magnolia and Stewartia collections.

Mariana Oliveira e Castro

Mariana Oliveira e Castro

Deland Award
Master’s Student, University of Coimbra, Portugal

In collaboration with John and Sally Perkins of the American Rhododendron Society, Mariana will determine the ploidy level (number of chromosome pairs) of 50 specimens of Rhododendron calendulaceum held in the Arboretum’s living collection.

Lucy Hutyra

Preeti Rao

Deland Award
PhD Candidate, Boston University,Hutyra Lab

Preeti aims to understand how urbanization affects ecosystems. By comparing two plots in the Arboretum’s Bussey Brook Meadow with plots at the Harvard Forest and other areas in between, she hopes to quantify the effects of urbanization on nitrogen and carbon dynamics. Her project is a collaboration with Adrien Finzi of Boston University and Arboretum Senior Research Scientist Peter Del Tredici.