Regular Staff

Dr. Andrew Hipp, Plant Systematist

Andrew is the lab's primary investigator. Active projects: systematics and molecular ecology of oaks, sedges, and elms; plant speciation and diversification; chromosome and genome size evolution; phylogenetic comparative methods; North American floristics. Contact

Bethany Brown, Herbarium and Research Assistant, 2010-present

A graduate of Benedictine University and previously a volunteer in our lab, Bethany manages the molecular lab and herbarium and undertakes molecular research on the systematics of Carex and Quercus. Contact

Marlene Hahn, Herbarium and Research Assistant, 2011-present

Previously a high school science teacher, Marlene coordinates and conducts lab and field work for our ongoing research in the biodiversity of Quercus and Carex (position funded in part by NSF) and assists in managing the laboratory and herbarium. Contact


Postdoctoral Researchers

Dr. Marcial Escudero
Fullbright Postdoctoral Fellow, 2010-2012
Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow, 2012-2014

A graduate of Pablo de Olavide University, Marcial is working on the evolution of chromosome rearrangements in sedges (Carex). Contact. Website.

Elisabeth Fitzek, Postdoctoral Researcher, 2012-present

Elisabeth is investigating the evolution of ecologically important functional genes in oaks, using bioinformatic approachs to query our large RAD-seq dataset. Her research is funded by NSF and the Center for Tree Science. Contact


Other Researchers

Kate Lueders, Research Intern, 2012-present

Kate is working on a phylogenetic inquiry into decomposition rates across the angiosperm tree of life, and the phylogeny of sedges and elms. Her position is funded by the National Science Foundation and a collaborative agreement with the US National Arboretum.

Lee Bannon, Elm ICRA Assistant

A Cobol programmer by day, Lee conducts research on the nomenclature and characteristics of cultivated elms (Ulmus) and maintains an online database of elm cultivars.

Nancy Good, Assistant to the Managing Editor, Systematic Botany, 2012-present

Nancy is the copy-editor for the journal Systematic Botany, and she assists in all aspects of the managing editor's work. Her work is supported by The American Society of Plant Taxonomists.


Visiting Researchers

Dr. Roberta Mason-Gamer, Sabbatical Visitor, Fall 2013

Robie is a visiting scholar in our laboratory, working on genomic approaches to understanding reticulate evolution in grasses. Website.


Lab alumni

Mina Rodriguez, NSF-RET researcher, Summer 2011
As a Master of Science student in the Benedictine College's Science Content and Process program, Mina undertook DNA sequencing of sedges and assisted in our development of teacher-research programs in the herbarium and systematics laboratory.

Laia Barres Gonzalez, Visiting student, Fall 2010
As a PhD student at Institut Botanic de Barcelona and a participant in the Euphorbia PBI, Laia conducted AFLP analyses in our lab for her work on phylogeography of mediterranean and macaronesian Euphorbia. Contact

Jill Henry, NSF-RET researcher, Summer 2010
A science teacher at Herrick Middle School, Jill assisted in molecular systematic research in our lab and enhanced her inquiry-based science curriculum using herbarium methods and taxonomic resources developed during her time at the Arboretum (position funded by NSF). Project homepage

Scott Johnson, NSF-RET researcher, Summer 2010
A biology teacher at Oswego High School, Scott assisted in molecular systematic research in our lab and developed a Tree of Life lab for his students based on skills he learned at the Arboretum (position funded by NSF).

Natalie Kirchner, NSF-REU researcher, Summer 2010
An undergraduate at University of Colorado, Natalie vouchered and photographed numerous Carex species for Encyclopedia of Life, updated the EOL nomenclature for the genus, and assisted in molecular systematics research in the lab (position funded by NSF). Project pages: The sedges of Carex subgenus Vignea; Carex of the world

Kara Moutvic, Undergraduate research intern, 2009
As an undergraduate at Benedictine University, Kara assisted in molecular genetic labwork on the systematics of Carex subgenus Vignea (position funded by NSF).

Amanda Rogers, NSF-RET researcher, Summer 2009
As a teacher at Alain Locke Charter Academy, Amanda assisted in molecular systematic research in our lab and developed curriculum materials for her second-grade class to enhance the teaching of classification, evolution, and ecology (position funded by NSF).

Andrew Bass, NSF-REU researcher, Summer 2009
As an undergraduate at North Central College, Andrew conducted microsat analysis of the taxonomy of California Carex (position funded by NSF).

Ian Pearse, Visiting student, Spring 2009
As a PhD candidate in the Department of Entomology at UC-Davis, Ian worked in our lab to develop an AFLP phylogeny of approximately 60 oak species. His research addresses the ecology and evolution of herbivorous insects on oaks. Contact

James Doss, Lab Volunteer, 2009-2010
A recent graduate of Eastern Illinois University, James undertook a morphometric study of genotyped black oak relatives from the Great Lakes region to address the question of whether morphological estimates of genetic introgression correlate with molecular genetic estimates.

Linus Gog, Seasonal RA, 2007-2008, 2011
As a recent graduate of UIUC, and then following his masters at WIU, Linus assisted in the lab, field collecting, and nomenclatural research, and led much of our molecular research in elms. Active projects: systematics and nomenclature of elms. Contact

Alicia Giesler, Lab volunteer, 2007
Alicia worked in our lab collecting plants, isolating DNA, and evaluating variation in chloroplast spacer regions for our study of elm systematics. She is currently pursuing graduate studies at Western Illinois University. Contact

Dr. Karin Kettenring, Visiting researcher, 2006-2007
Karin developed a set of microsatellite markers for Carex during a postdoctoral stay in our lab and The Pritzker Lab (research funded by Midewin Tallgrass Prairie). She is currently an assistant professor at Utah State University, Watershed Sciences Department. Contact

Jason Sturner, Herbarium Assistant, 2005-2010

Jason manages the herbarium and conducts fieldwork and labwork for research projects. Active projects: floristics of the Chicago region; checklist of the native and naturalized flora of the Arboretum; taxonomy of black oaks in the Chicago region. Contact

Dr. Alka Srivastava, Research Assistant, 2010

Alka assisted in several targeted projects in the lab between 2007-8; from 2010 to the present, she has served as the Systematics Research Assistant. Active projects: phylogenetics, population genetics, and cytogenetics of oaks, sedges, and elms. Contact

Dr. Kyong-Sook Chung, Postdoctoral Researcher, 2009-2011

Kyong-Sook conducted research in our lab into the systematics and evolution of genome rearrangements in Carex (position funded by NSF). She currently holds a position at Chungbuk National University, Korea. Contact

Jaime Weber, Research Assistant, 2005-2010

Jaime managed the molecular lab; conducted fieldwork, labwork, and data analysis for research projects; and was an active herbarium staff member. She was particularly instrumental in our work on the systematics of North American black oaks and cytogenetics of sedges and has left a lasting impact on the lab and herbarium.