Please pardon our mess!

The path you used to take to class in Birge Hall may now be blocked by metal fences, big pits, and the machines digging them. What’s going on? The Newsletter sat down with Kurt Stephenson, Associate …

Study shows how aspen forests maintain the diversity needed to adapt to changing environments

A new decade-long study by University of Wisconsin­–Madison researchers, including Botany’s Ken Keefover-Ring, reveals how aspen stands change their genetic structure over the years as trees balance defending themselves from pests with growth to compete for sunlight. The findings are valuable for conservation biologists who want to preserve diverse forest ecosystems in the face of global warming, invasive species and other environmental changes.

Chair’s message Spring 2021

Dear alumni, It has been an honor for me to serve as the Chair of Botany and Director of Conservation Biology for the past four years.  As my term comes to an end I find …

In appreciation of Donna Fernandez

Professor Donna Fernandez writes, “I’ve always felt privileged to be in a department where you can be a plant geek unapologetically, in whatever form that takes.” And the unapologetic plant geeks of the Department of …

Mystified on a mountain

The tires on our Jeep barely grip the twin strips of overgrown asphalt. I catch myself asking the battered skid plates underneath to forgive my fondness for potholes. But there is hardly any room for evasion. On our left is an impenetrable green wall of trees, ferns, tree-ferns, and moss. To the right, a truncated grass verge reminds us of the shear 2,000 ft. plunge to the valley below. Rising fog obscures the ledge—and my anxiety.

Murder Mystery: When the Witness is a Tree

If a tree is witness to a murder, a translator is needed to get its testimony. Enter Alex Wiedenhoeft, Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) Research Botanist and Team Leader in the Center for Wood Anatomy Research (CWAR).

Chair’s message to alumni

Dear alumni, This has been a challenging year for our department and across all of higher education, but the “safer at home” directive that forced us to complete the Spring 2020 semester via remote teaching …