MS, Plant and Soil Science, 2013, University of Delaware
BA, Anthropology, 2007, Kenyon College
As the Curator of The Morton Arboretum’s Living Plant Collections, Matt’s interest is in the selection and evaluation of plant species for cultivation across the grounds of the Arboretum. Further, he is interested in building the Arboretum’s Nationally Accredited Collections in Acer (maples), Magnolia, Malus (crabapples), Quercus (oaks), Tilia (lindens), and Ulmus (elms) through germplasm collection and other related activities. He is also interested in utilizing the Arboretum’s collections as a “living gene bank”, cultivating endangered or rare species through ex-situ conservation. For this purpose, he has completed projects targeting both Magnolia fraseri var. pyramidata (pyramid magnolia) and Quercus oglethorpensis (Oglethorpe oak).
- Digitizing and distributing specimen-based plant biodiversity data
- Collection and ex-situ conservation of Quercus oglethorpensis
- Collection and ex-situ conservation of Magnolia fraseri var. pyramidata
- Genome size and ploidy level survey of Styrax (snowbells)
- Collections Master Plan
- Quantifying the conservation value of living collections
- Safeguarding Plant Collections by comparing ex situ and wild populations
- Preservation of seed in living collections of Quercus havardii, a Western sand dune oak
Matt regularly participates in and leads seed collecting expeditions across the United States and the world, most recently returning from a 2016 trip to the Republic of Georgia. Matt is a member of Magnolia Society International’s Board of Directors, and serves as the International Cultivar Registration Authority for the Magnoliaceae (Magnolia Family) and Ulmaceae (Elm Family). Matt helped oversee the transition of The Morton Arboretum collections database to the BRAHMS (Botanical Records and Herbarium Management System) platform, and serves on the BRAHMS Advisory Group where he lends his experience managing Morton’s Living Collections to help improve the platform. Matt serves as the Group Coordinator of the Plant Collections Network Magnolia Multisite Collection, where he helps the group reach goals such as conducting gap analyses and acquiring priority taxa.