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

April 7, 2022

Behind-the-Scenes Spring Phenology Monitoring

By Emma Dawson-Glass, Research Specialist

Spring is underway here in Northeast Ohio, meaning it’s time for the Stuble lab and our team of wonderful volunteers to get out in Bole Woods and start monitoring spring phenology. For those unfamiliar, phenology is the study of the timing of natural phenomena as it relates to seasonal changes. In our case, we’re monitoring the phenology of spring ephemerals—the wildflowers that come up in forest understories during the spring while the canopy is still open.

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Behind-the-Scenes Spring Phenology Monitoring

April 5, 2022

Holden Researchers Present at Society for Ecological Restoration Midwest-Great Lakes Chapter Meeting

This past weekend, Alexa Wagner, Emma Dawson-Glass, and Sam Harbol each presented at the annual chapter meeting for the Society for Ecological Restoration Midwest-Great Lakes Chapter. The presentations detailed current research on forest restoration in the Stuble Lab.

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March 17, 2022

A short tale about hemlock trees, bacteria and a nasty insect.

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

Many of us love our native hemlock trees (Tsuga canadensis). They are beautiful, but more than that, they serve an important ecological role in many of our forests. Where they are found along streams and waterbodies, they cool the water and maintain cold water habitat necessary for many types of aquatic life. In addition, they are important bird habitat, and many moths and butterflies are found only (or mostly) in hemlock. Quick fact: Did you know that hemlock trees can live to be 550 years old? Amaze your friends!

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A short tale about hemlock trees, bacteria and a nasty insect.

March 3, 2022

Science on Fridays with Holden: Final Lecture in Inclusive STEM Experiences Series

By Juliana S. Medeiros, PhD, Plant Biologist

What can we do to create more equitable and inclusive STEM educational systems? This year, the Scientist Lecture Series has featured speakers that have successfully run boots-on-the-ground institutional diversity initiatives. These leaders have strong records of advocacy and are employing innovative ideas to build anti-racist/anti-sexist programs, truly they are changing the system in support of a more diverse STEM workforce.

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Science on Fridays with Holden: Final Lecture in Inclusive STEM Experiences Series

February 23, 2022

Na Wei, Ph.D., is Lead Author on Publication in Horticulture Research

By Na Wei, PhD, Scientist

Holden Forests & Gardens Scientist Na Wei, Ph.D., and her collaborators from Oakland University and the University of Pittsburgh decoded the scent of flowers and its influence on flower microbes.

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February 17, 2022

A story of becoming a scientist in the United States

By Na Wei, PhD, Scientist

Getting a PhD degree is never easy and perhaps more difficult for international students. One of the challenges that face many international students is visas, which grant our legal status to study in the United States.

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A story of becoming a scientist in the United States

February 10, 2022

Celebrating International Day of Women and Girls in Science

February 11th is the UN’s International Day of Women and Girls in Science. In honor of this special day, we had a Q&A with some of our favorite HF&G staff members to reveal how they got into the science field and what advice they have for the younger generation.

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Celebrating International Day of Women and Girls in Science

February 10, 2022

Get to know a scientist: Connor Ryan

By Emma Dawson-Glass, Research Specialist

Where do plants come from? No, we’re not talking about the birds and the bees or the sun and the soil. Many of our favorite ornamental plants have been specifically engineered to have showier flowers, grow taller, and resist disease, creating plants with little resemblance to their wild relatives. Ever wonder who comes up with these things, and puts them into practice? This week we talk to Connor Ryan – the Rhododendron Collections Manager within Holden’s Research Department – on how he got into collections and plant breeding.

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Get to know a scientist: Connor Ryan

February 3, 2022

Science on Fridays with Holden: Roadmaps to building equitable and inclusive research experiences in STEM

By Juliana S. Medeiros, PhD, Plant Biologist

What can we do to create more equitable and inclusive STEM educational systems? This year, the Scientist Lecture Series is featuring speakers that have successfully run boots-on-the-ground institutional diversity initiatives. These leaders have strong records of advocacy and are employing innovative ideas to build anti-racist/anti-sexist programs, truly they are changing the system in support of a more diverse STEM workforce.

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Science on Fridays with Holden:  Roadmaps to building equitable and inclusive research experiences in STEM

January 28, 2022

Evidence Based Gardening

By Connor Ryan, MS, Rhododendron Collections Manager

Lots of plants have problems in landscapes. Perhaps your Colorado spruce (Picea pungens) is losing all its lower leaves. Or your rhododendron’s stems keep dying. Or the leaves of your blueberry bush (Vaccinium) are completely yellow. How do you figure out what is causing the problem, and what is the solution? A common move for gardeners is to run to the local garden center, purchase fertilizer or a fungicide or an insecticide, and then use those products non-discriminately, praying that this will fix everything. While this can sometimes work, there resources for the average gardener to help address garden problems more effectively and sustainably.

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Evidence Based Gardening

January 27, 2022

Claudia Bashian-Victoroff Awarded a BGCI ArbNet Grant

Claudia Bashian-Victoroff was awarded the BGCI ArbNet Grant for her collaboration with the Yerevan Botanical Garden in Armenia. The project will analyze mycorrhizal fungus community composition on the roots of oak species growing in collections at both the Yerevan Botanical Garden and at Holden Arboretum. More information can be found here.   

January 20, 2022

Get to know a scientist: Samuel Harbol

This week we learn more about Samuel Harbol, this year’s Norweb Fellow working in Dr. Juliana Medeiros’ lab. This one-year research fellowship is named in honor of R. Henry Norweb Jr., the first executive director of Holden Arboretum and grandson of Holden’s founder Albert Fairchild Holden.

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Get to know a scientist: Samuel Harbol

January 14, 2022

Mushroom Identification: Results from the Holden Forests & Gardens Mushroom Month Foray!

By Claudia Victoroff, MS, Graduate Student

Relative to plants and animals, identifying fungi presents unique challenges. First, the kingdom fungi is extremely species rich. While nearly 100,000 species of fungi have been discovered by science, estimates of the total number of existing species range up to 5.1 million!

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Mushroom Identification: Results from the Holden Forests & Gardens Mushroom Month Foray!

December 16, 2021

Get to know a scientist: Alexa Wagner

By Emma Dawson-Glass, Research Specialist

Scientists as a demographic are often viewed as a mythic group—the keepers of knowledge, uniquely capable of understanding complex systems, destined to their career choice from birth. However, this line of reasoning often makes the idea of becoming a scientist seem unattainable. Here in Holden’s Research Department, my fellow scientists and I often marvel at this perception. Usually, rather than talking about new groundbreaking scientific discoveries, most of our conversations revolve around the things we don’t know, all the facts we’ve forgotten, and the things we’ve messed up. These challenges do not make us feel like less capable scientists—rather, we view them as essential parts of the process.

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Get to know a scientist: Alexa Wagner

December 10, 2021

Science on Fridays with Holden: Roadmaps to building equitable and inclusive research experiences in STEM

By Juliana S. Medeiros, PhD, Plant Biologist

What can we do to create more equitable and inclusive STEM educational systems? This year, the Scientist Lecture Series is featuring speakers that have successfully run boots-on-the-ground institutional diversity initiatives. These leaders have strong records of advocacy and are employing innovative ideas to build anti-racist/anti-sexist programs, truly they are changing the system in support of a more diverse STEM workforce.

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Science on Fridays with Holden: Roadmaps to building equitable and inclusive research experiences in STEM

December 2, 2021

Healthy Soils have a Healthy Dose of Decomposition: Celebrating World Soil Day

By Sarah Kyker, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Associate

December 5th marks World Soil Day. World Soil Day began in 2014, initiated by the United Nations, to focus attention on the importance of soil health. But what exactly is healthy soil? The soil ecology lab at Holden Forests & Gardens asks this question each and every day.

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Healthy Soils have a Healthy Dose of Decomposition: Celebrating World Soil Day

November 12, 2021

Science on Fridays: Roadmaps to building equitable & inclusive research experiences in STEM

What can we do to create more equitable and inclusive STEM educational systems? This year, the Scientist Lecture Series will feature speakers that have successfully run boots-on-the-ground institutional diversity initiatives. These leaders have strong records of advocacy and are employing innovative ideas to build anti-racist/anti-sexist programs, truly they are changing the system in support of a more diverse STEM workforce.

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Science on Fridays: Roadmaps to building equitable & inclusive research experiences in STEM

October 29, 2021

At Holden, Our Resilient Forests Are Also Laboratories

By Katie Stuble, PhD, Scientist

At Holden Forests & Gardens, we’re pretty excited about trees. And, we’ve got a lot of them! In addition to the thousands of trees in our gardens and collections, the arboretum campus is also home to several thousand acres of forest. These forests range from remnant old growth stands, to young forests recovering following decades of agriculture. They provide both critical habitat as well as outdoor living laboratories in which we conduct research to better understand the natural world.

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At Holden, Our Resilient Forests Are Also Laboratories

October 22, 2021

Great scientists are made, not born

By Juliana S. Medeiros, PhD, Plant Biologist

We’ve all heard the story; a famous scientist is asked how they got interested in their subject area and they say something like “I’ve always loved sea otters and wanted to be a marine biologist ever since I was a little boy”. This common storyline is part of why scientific skills are viewed as inherent, people either ARE scientists, or they ARE NOT.

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Great scientists are made, not born

October 1, 2021

Beech Leaf Disease and Forest Fungi: Healthy trees support healthy fungal communities

By Claudia Victoroff, MS, Graduate Student

Arboreta play an active role in studying a wide range of tree diseases and the pathogens and parasites that cause them. Holden is no exception. Work from our arboretum and in collaboration with a number of partners, especially the USDA Forest Service, has expanded knowledge on several tree diseases caused by parasites, including the hemlock woolly adelgid and the emerald ash borer.

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Beech Leaf Disease and Forest Fungi: Healthy trees support healthy fungal communities

September 24, 2021

Celebrating National Mushroom Month with a Book Review and a Recipe too!

By Claudia Bashian-Victoroff, Jessica Miller, Sarah Kyker, and David Burke

As September winds down, we are taking one more week to celebrate fungi during National Mushroom Month! Read more about the importance of mushrooms as well as a book review from Claudia Bashian-Victoroff. Celebrate the beginning of fall with one more delicious recipe to satisfy your mushroom cravings.

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Celebrating National Mushroom Month with a Book Review and a Recipe too!

September 17, 2021

National Mushroom Month: Sharing Some Science & a Recipe, Too!

By Claudia Bashian-Victoroff, MS, Graduate Student, Sarah Kyker, Postdoctoral Research Associate, and David Burke, VP, Science & Conservation

We continue to celebrate September as National Mushroom Month at HF&G! Today we want to tell you about our favorite fungal group: mycorrhizal fungi! While we certainly love all fungi, a large portion of the research in HF&G’s Soil Ecology lab focuses on the plant mutualists known as mycorrhizal fungi.

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National Mushroom Month: Sharing Some Science & a Recipe, Too!

September 10, 2021

Science on Friday: Soil, Mushrooms & a Recipe, Too!

By Claudia Victoroff, MS, Graduate Student

We continue to celebrate September: National Mushroom Month. Mushrooms are amazing (and delicious) and definitely deserve a month of focus and celebration. Today we’ll take a look at how soil and mushrooms interact and support each other.

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Science on Friday: Soil, Mushrooms & a Recipe, Too!

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