November 18, 2022

Where do we stand today?  

By Hector Ortiz

There was a time in North America when people saw plants and land as sacred, a gift from the Gods. The use and cultivation of some of those sacred plants and land was restricted to only tribal priests, medicine men, chiefs, and warriors.

You might think, “We are far from that time, this only exists in the history books, in the archaeological records, in the museum collections at the Smithsonian, or portrayed in the famous 90’s movies “Dance with the Wolves” and “The last of the Mohicans”. Or, you may think, this happened in a faraway land.

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Where do we stand today?  

November 10, 2022

New Graduate Student in the Medeiros Lab: Miranda Shetzer

I recently began a PhD program where I am hosted jointly by Case Western Reserve University and the Holden Arboretum. The BioScience Alliance program promotes collaboration across research facilities in the Cleveland metropolitan area including CWRU, the Holden Arboretum, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, and the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

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New Graduate Student in the Medeiros Lab: Miranda Shetzer

October 13, 2022

An Inside Look at the Global Botanic Gardens Congress

By Connor Ryan, MS, Rhododendron Collections Manager

The last week of September I attended the 7th Global Botanic Gardens Congress in Melbourne, Australia. This is a semi-regular meeting of botanic gardens staff sponsored by Botanic Gardens Conservation International. More than 500 people attended from across the world. The theme of the Congress was “Botanic Gardens as Agents of Change” and talks and tours centered around how gardens can make a difference in plant conservation, in curbing climate change, and in engaging our communities.

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An Inside Look at the Global Botanic Gardens Congress

October 7, 2022

Science on Friday: Why are there bags on the Rhododendrons?

By Jean Burns, PhD, Department of Biology - Case Western Reserve University

 

If you have walked around Holden Arboretum in the last few summers, you may have noticed white pollination bags on some of the Rhododendrons. The Rhododendron gardens are not only beautiful to walk through, they are also a valuable scientific collection of diversity from all around the world! The National Science Foundation has awarded the Burns lab a grant, which takes advantage of this amazing collection (DEB 2217714). We are exploring the mechanisms that allow some plants to thrive under stressors, like disease, drought, or flooding. Understanding these mechanisms is becoming ever more important as climate changes threaten global food security.

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Science on Friday: Why are there bags on the Rhododendrons?

September 30, 2022

Science on Friday: Trivia Answers and Farewell to Mushroom Month

By Claudia Victoroff, MS, Graduate Student

September is ending and fall is in full swing. As the leaves on the trees start to change and the wind turns chilly, we bid farewell to mushroom month. But have no fear, mushrooms will continue to appear in lawns and woods for a few more weeks! The end of mushroom month means that it is time to announce our trivia answers and to congratulate our participants!

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Science on Friday: Trivia Answers and Farewell to Mushroom Month

September 23, 2022

Inside a Scientific Conference: Mycological Society of America

By Claudia Victoroff, MS, Graduate Student

Every year in July the mycologists of America converge for a week of academic talks, scientific posters, riveting discussions about fungal biology, and professional networking. This year, I was lucky to go to Gainesville, Florida to participate in my fourth Mycological Society of America (MSA) meeting. After meeting virtually for the past two years, this year’s meeting brought a lot of excitement… despite the hot and humid weather of Florida in mid-July!

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Inside a Scientific Conference: Mycological Society of America

September 15, 2022

For the Love of Fungi: an ode to the amateur mycologist

By Claudia Victoroff, MS, Graduate Student

Mycology, or the study of fungi, is a small but growing field. For many of us career mycologists this has been a curious but fantastic trend to see. Not long ago I was shyly describing my job to inquisitive relatives and family friends, or trying desperately to convince people to care about the strange and often overlooked fungal kingdom. In the past few years that has all changed.

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For the Love of Fungi: an ode to the amateur mycologist

September 8, 2022

Connecting Above- and Below-Ground Worlds

By Sarah Kyker, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Associate

We are continuing to celebrate National Mushroom Month at HF&G all September long! Today, we want to appreciate fungi even when they are not fruiting. While mushrooms and other sporocarps are great and certainly worth celebrating, they are a short stage in the fungal life cycle. The majority of a fungus’s life is spent belowground and out of sight, as fungal hyphae.

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Connecting Above- and Below-Ground Worlds

September 2, 2022

Science on Friday: Mushroom Month Trivia

By Claudia Victoroff, MS, Graduate Student

September is one of our favorite months in the Holden Forests & Gardens Soil Ecology lab. Why? Because it is National Mushroom Month. Many people celebrate National Mushroom Month by cooking and eating their favorite mushrooms. And we do too! But we also celebrate the month by appreciating all that fungi do for the natural world around us.

 

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Science on Friday: Mushroom Month Trivia

August 29, 2022

Welcome to Holden, Chelsea!

Dr. Chelsea Miller is a new postdoc, hosted by Holden to explore range dynamics of spring ephemeral wildflowers. Interested in possible career pathways in the world of public gardens, Chelsea independently wrote a grant to the National Science Foundation to fund a research project harnessing the power of collections held at public gardens.

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August 26, 2022

Can I save my beech tree? And other beech care questions, answered

By David J. Burke, PhD, Vice President for Science and Conservation

If you live anywhere near northeastern Ohio, you may have noticed your beech trees are looking a bit ragged lately. Unfortunately, there are now not just one but two major pests — beech bark disease and beech leaf disease — that are bothering our region’s beeches.

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July 14, 2022

The Science Lab/ Kitchen Overlap

By Sharon Halkovics, Research Specialist

Years ago, I completed my undergraduate studies earning a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Health Science. I started down my career path assisting in a lab at a university. A couple of years later, I veered off course for a more hands-in-the-dirt experience and fell in love with small-scale farming. Farming led to working in restaurant kitchens then a culinary school, which eventually led to freelancing as a food stylist on large commercial accounts.

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The Science Lab/ Kitchen Overlap

July 8, 2022

A Morning in Working Woods

By Emma Dawson- Glass, Research Specialist

Have you ever wondered what the day-to-day of scientists looks like? Certainly, daily activities will vary greatly depending on what kind of scientist you are, what time of year it is, and where you work. For community ecologists in the Stuble Lab at the Holden Arboretum, the summer months means it’s time to get out into the natural area at Holden to collect data.

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A Morning in Working Woods

June 24, 2022

A virtual tour of the natural areas used by the research department

By Emma Dawson-Glass, Research Specialist

Beyond its curated collections, the Holden Arboretum also retains many natural areas. In fact, most of the Holden Arboretum property is made up of natural areas, with 3,000 acres out of a total of 3,600 acres of the Arboretum property being made up of natural areas. These natural areas are a vital resource to researchers and allows us to study a wide breadth of Northeast Ohio habitats. In these natural areas we study everything from community assembly, to responses to restoration and management, to the impacts of global change disturbances such as climate change, invasive species, acid rain, and novel diseases. Below, we highlight a few of the many natural area field sites that scientists in the Research Department use for study.

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A virtual tour of the natural areas used by the research department

June 16, 2022

New Eastern Hemlock Conservation Work Kicks Off at Holden

By Rachel Kappler, Great Lakes Basin Forest Health Collaborative (GLB FHC) Coordinator

Researchers across the country are interested in learning more about forest pests that threaten our native tree species. Populations of eastern hemlock, found across Appalachia, New England, and the Great Lakes, are faced with two different insect pests, hemlock woolly adelgid and elongate hemlock scale, that have killed nearly 80 percent of hemlocks in some areas.

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New Eastern Hemlock Conservation Work Kicks Off at Holden

June 9, 2022

A Virtual Tour of the Collections used by the Research Department

By Emma Dawson-Glass, Research Specialist

One of the greatest benefits of being a researcher at an arboretum is being able to access curated plant collections. Often, these collections have a well recorded history and can be sourced from all over the world. As such, researchers can ask many questions about plants, ranging from their evolutionary adaptions to their future responses to novel global change threats (like disease and climate change). Here, we highlight some of the collections at the Holden Arboretum that scientists in the Research Department use for study.

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A Virtual Tour of the Collections used by the Research Department

June 3, 2022

2022 Holden Summer Intern Program

By Emma Dawson-Glass, Research Specialist

The HF&G’s Research, Community Forestry and Conservation teams are excited about the arrival of the 2022 cohort of interns. This year, HF&G leverages resources and opportunities across departments and campuses to allow our interns gain the finest in knowledge, experience, and skills for future career success.

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2022 Holden Summer Intern Program

May 20, 2022

The Spring Ephemerals in Stebbins Gulch

By Sarah R. Carrino-Kyker, Postdoctoral Research Associate

Spring ephemeral flowers in the forest only bloom for a short period of time after the weather warms up from the winter, but before the trees in the canopy fully leaf-out and the light levels get lower on the forest floor. As such, our days of flower surveys are often long days in the field crammed together all in one or two weeks. This way, we can catch the plants before they go dormant again. But, these days of flower surveys are also ones when I have experienced some of the best natural beauty of the forests at Holden!

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The Spring Ephemerals in Stebbins Gulch

May 6, 2022

How to Clone a Tree

By Rachel Kappler, Great Lakes Basin Forest Health Collaborative (GLB FHC) Coordinator

How do you study a fully grown tree in a regular-sized laboratory? You collect a branch, take it back to the lab, graft it onto a much smaller tree, and study the clone. And that’s exactly what Holden researchers are doing with beech trees from all over the Great Lakes Basin. They’re making these clones because some trees from the region appear to be resistant to pests that cause beech leaf disease, and they want to understand why.

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How to Clone a Tree

April 21, 2022

New Research Collaboration Aims to Save Eastern Hemlocks

By Rachel Kappler, Great Lakes Basin Forest Health Collaborative (GLB FHC) Coordinator

Holden research launched a new initiative this year to help conserve eastern hemlocks. The Great Lakes Basin Forest Health Collaborative (GLB FHC) brings together the US Forest Service Northern Research Station in Ohio and the New Jersey Forest Service with Holden to focus on breeding eastern hemlock trees for resistance to pests.

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New Research Collaboration Aims to Save Eastern Hemlocks

April 21, 2022

Alexa Wagner Awarded a Phipps Botany in Action Fellowship

Holden Ph.D. Candidate, Alexa Wagner, has been awarded a Botany in Action Fellowship from Phipps Conservatory for her research in Working Woods. The title of her proposal is “Understanding the impacts of forest restoration on demographic shifts in the understory plant community.” This is the third year of funding and her third year as a fellow. As a part of the fellowship position, Alexa will spend a week at Phipps to partake in science engagement activities including Phipps staff, local K-12 grade youth, and the general public. “I look forward to this opportunity to increase science awareness and practice my formal and informal science outreach skills,” Alexa said.

April 15, 2022

When an Ecologist is a Lab Rat

By Sarah Kyker, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Associate

What does the soil ecology lab at Holden have in common with a crime lab? More than you might think! In the soil ecology lab, we rely heavily on DNA sequences, just like crime labs. Crime labs use DNA sequences to match a suspect to a crime scene. We use DNA sequences to match species of fungi and bacteria to our forest soils. (Sidenote: We focus on bacteria and fungi in the soil because they are the most active decomposers!)

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When an Ecologist is a Lab Rat

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