Sargent Award Recipients

Our Sargent Award Recipients

Made possible by the generosity of Dr. Jack Wittenberg through the Charles Sprague Sargent Fund, the Sargent Award provides support for visiting scholars in the botanical sciences to conduct basic research that utilizes the living, library, and/or herbarium collections of the Arnold Arboretum.


Dong Wang Dong Wang is an assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He 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 A senior lecturer at the University of Melbourne, Margaret Grose 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.


David Basler David Basler is a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University. In a close collaboration with Margaret Kosmala (Sinnott Award), high-resolution multispectral photographs and localized temperatures of the Arboretum over time will be gathered using an unmanned aerial vehicle (drone) and temperature loggers. 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.
Scott Dietrich at Wilson's stump in Japan Michael Dietrich (Professor, Dartmouth College) and Scott Dietrich (Co-Curator, Hong Kong Stair Archive) 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.


Kuo-Fang Chung Kuo-Fang Chung, an associate research fellow at the Biodiversity Research Center, Academia Sinica in Taiwan will be exploring the rich herbarium and living collections of Berberis to clarify the taxonomy of the genus.
Dan Sullivan Dan Sullivan, a visiting fellow of the Arnold Arboretum, 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.


Jianhua Li Jianhua Li is an associate professor of biology at Hope College and former Arnold Arboretum senior scientist. Returning to the Arboretum for his sabbatical, Jianhua will focus 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 is a post-doctoral fellow at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society at the Ludwig-Maximilians University in 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.


Andrew_03-05-14sq A geneticist at the USDA Forest Service, Andrew Groover 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.


RosanneHealyTrufflingFSP2009 Rosanne Healy, a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Minnesota, is focusing 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.


HughMcAllister Hugh McAllister, honorary lecturer at the University of Liverpool, 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.
Claire Williams Claire Williams is a distinguished scholar at the Forest History Society and a visiting scholar at the National Center for Evolutionary Synthesis. Her research focuses on the reproductive biology of conifers. 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.