The Arboretum’s research efforts have brought its scientists two prestigious awards in recent months. Soil Scientist Bryant Scharenbroch has earned the Early Career Scientist Award from the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) at its meeting in Toronto in August. The award is given to professionals who show exceptional promise and potential for becoming internationally known for their contributions to arboriculture.
ISA president Terence Flanagan said that Scharenbroch “gladly shares his research findings with the industry and is highly regarded by colleagues as an exceptional scientist and scholar.” He also earned special recognition this year from the Illinois Arborist Association.
Meanwhile, Senior Scientist Andrew Hipp has been awarded a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to spend five months next year at the Bordeaux center of the French Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique.
He will be bringing together genetic data on how North American oak species are related and how their traits evolved with French research that pinpoints which genes in chromosomes are responsible for oaks’ traits.
The study of North American oaks has been carried on by the Arboretum and its partners at the University of Minnesota, Duke University, and the Universidad National Autonóma de Mexico.
Ultimately, the goal is to understand not just how oaks are related, but how past climate changes have affected oak evolution and what that might mean in the near future. “Can the genes that allow oaks to survive in different climates move between species?” Hipp wonders. “Can those genes help oaks adapt to climate change?”