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Morton Arboretum Researchers Recognized With Prominent Appointments, Expanded Leadership Roles

September 10, 2014


LISLE, Illinois (Sept. 10, 2014) —Two members of The Morton Arboretum’s research team have been recently honored with high-profile appointments, bolstering the Arboretum’s leadership in global tree research and conservation.

Nicole Cavender, PhD
Vice President of Science and Conservation Dr. Nicole Cavender has been appointed to the Forest Research Advisory Council (FRAC) by U.S. Secretary Tom Vilsack.  In her role, she serves a three- year term with other members to provide advice to the Secretary of Agriculture related to the USDA Forest Service research program, which cover regional and national forestry research planning and coordination within the Federal and State agencies of forestry schools, forest industries, and non-governmental organizations.

“This is an honor to be able to serve Secretary Vilsack,” Cavender said. “Innovative forestry research is critical to our future, and I am enthusiastic to be engaged with other distinguished leaders throughout the country to provide critical thinking that supports our forests and the communities that depend on them.”

 Cavender currently leads the Arboretum’s strategy for tree-related science and conservation and oversees innovative research that seeks greater understanding and improvement of tree health. She received her doctorate from the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science at The Ohio State University.


Murphy Westwood, PhD
Tree Conservation Specialist Dr. Murphy Westwood has been named a Global Tree Conservation Officer with Botanic Garden Conservation International (BGCI), an organization that works with botanical gardens and arboreta for the world-wide conservation of threatened plants. In her new role, Westwood will serve as the primary U.S.-based representative for the Global Trees Campaign, a joint initiative between BGCI and Fauna & Flora International, working to study and protect threatened trees throughout the world. The Morton Arboretum will take a catalytic role to promote the Global Trees Campaign, adding to previous efforts to conduct threat assessments for the world’s oak species. Westwood earned her doctorate in plant developmental biology from the University of Cambridge ,U.K.

The Morton Arboretum’s research programs all support its basic mission: to encourage the planting and conservation of trees and other plants for a greener, healthier, and more beautiful world. Since the Arboretum’s beginning in 1922, practical, scientific research has been a cornerstone activity. To learn more about The Morton Arboretum’s research and conservation efforts, visit mortonarb.org


About The Morton Arboretum
The Morton Arboretum is an internationally recognized outdoor tree museum on 1,700 acres. Plant collections, scientific research and education programs support the mission to plant and conserve trees and other plants for a greener, healthier and more beautiful world. Designed with natural landscapes, the grounds include the award-winning, four-acre interactive Children’s Garden, the one-acre Maze Garden, plus specialty gardens, 16 miles of trails and nine miles of roads. Visitor experiences include the open-air tram ride, guided walks, Arbor Day celebrations, concerts, art shows, Fall Color Festival and special exhibits. The Arboretum welcomes 885,000 visitors annually and receives support from 38,600 member households.  Located 25 miles west of Chicago in Lisle, Illinois, the Arboretum is open daily 7 a.m. until sunset. Learn more at mortonarb.org.