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Research and Consulting

A group of people in the woods passing around a plant.

Plant Science Research

Staff Members

Dr. Timothy Block, John J. Willaman Chair of Botany and Director of Plant Science
My research interests are generally centered on the flora of Pennsylvania, with particular interest in plant species that are rare, threatened, or endangered, or are becoming so due to factors that are not clearly understood.

Dr. Cynthia Skema, Botanical Scientist
My research is focused on the systematics and evolution of plants. I enjoy studying plants at many levels, from ecosystems to species to organs to genes. I am particularly interested in the floras of Pennsylvania and Madagascar, the digitization and dissemination of herbarium/floristics data, and the evolution of separate sexes in flowering plants.

Dr. Lulu Korsak, Plant Science Technician
I will be bringing my experience in biomedical molecular biology to manage the upcoming molecular botanical laboratory. In the meantime, I am managing the Herbarium and contributing to the Mid-Atlantic Herbaria Consortium.

General Information

Since its inception as a public garden, the Morris Arboretum & Gardens has served as a center for botanical research. Research staff at the Morris study the evolution, phylogenetics, systematics/taxonomy, anatomy and morphology of plants. The Morris also has a longstanding research program in floristics, or the study of what plants grow in a certain place in a particular timeframe, with a major focus on the flora of Pennsylvania. We will soon be moving into a new lab designed to facilitate molecular research as well as histological and morphometric data acquisition. Please contact us at with any questions about our research program.

Mid-Atlantic Herbaria Consortium

The Morris Arboretum & Gardens coordinates the Mid-Atlantic Herbaria Consortium (MAHC), a network of 22 (and counting) herbaria (or natural history collections of dried, archival plant specimens) throughout New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia. The aim of MAHC is to get as many of our collective plant specimens as possible digitized and freely accessible, with high resolution images and transcribed field data available online to researchers and the public alike. MAHC grew out of the Mid-Atlantic Megalopolis Project (2016–2020), a highly successful herbarium specimen digitization project lead by Morris Arboretum & Gardens and funded by the National Science Foundation. We welcome any Mid-Atlantic herbaria to get in touch ( or if they are interested in joining the consortium. The MAHC portal holds over 2.6 million specimens and could be used by researchers around the globe to better understand how changes in the environment, such as climate change or urbanization, are affecting a local flora. 



Urban Forestry Consultants

Staff Members

Jason LubarAssociate Director of Urban Forestry
Matthew Walker, The Martha S. Miller & Rusty Miller Urban Forestry Intern
Scott ToddUrban Forestry Technical Consultant

General Information

A man and woman wearing coats look at a small tree growing on a university campus.

Morris Arboretum & Garden’s Urban Forestry Consultants are recognized tree care experts who provide tree-related consulting services to a diversity of clients such as landscape architecture firms, educational institutions, businesses, professional organizations, cemeteries, HOA’s and federal, state, and local governments. The consulting team is thoroughly educated in tree biology and stays on the forefront of tree care theory and
technology. By combining state of the art diagnostic equipment with electronic information technologies such as CAD and GIS, the Urban Forestry Consultants record, assess, and enumerate conditions to serve your natural resource needs. We advise best management practices to care for, enhance, and budget for the health and longevity of your trees and other natural resources.

Learn About Our Services

The Morris Arboretum & Garden’s Urban Forestry consultants provide services to municipalities and institutions mainly in the Philadelphia tri-state area. The team consists of an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Board Certified Master Arborist, an Urban Forestry Technician, and an Urban Forestry Fellow. The fees generated by the urban forestry consulting team directly support Morris Arboretum & Garden’s mission of education, research, and outreach. Please note that we do not work for individual residential clients unless an arborist requests our tree diagnostic services to provide recommendations on specific trees. Residential clients with arboricultural needs can find a local
arborist through the ISA website