Living plant collections not only beautify their landscapes, but also hold the nearly unlimited potential to unlock the secrets of evolution, tell stories about the history of science and humankind, and exemplify vital contemporary concerns about biodiversity and climate change. With over 15,000 curated plants representing more than 2,100 species, the living collection of the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University represents one of the most important and dynamic resources for the study of botany and horticulture in the world.
In 2011, I became the eighth director of the Arnold Arboretum in its nearly 150-year history, as well as the Arnold Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University. As a botanist who has devoted his entire career to studying the evolutionary diversification of plants, I am privileged to have the opportunity to steward, promote, and share the extraordinary botanical and horticultural resources of the Arnold Arboretum with students, scholars, and more than one million annual visitors.
To learn more about initiatives I have been involved with for research, public outreach, and teaching, please visit the Harvard Gazette.