Life Science: Session 4
Scientist at Work
Dr. Judith Sumner is a botanist who specializes in flowering plants, specifically their evolution, morphology, anatomy, and adaptations. She has taught extensively both at the college level and at botanical gardens. She served as education director at Garden in the Woods (New England Wild Flower Society) until she accepted her present position at Assumption College in Worcester, where she is a member of the natural sciences faculty. Sumner has published monographic studies in the American Journal of Botany, Pollen et Spores, and Allertonia. She monographed two families for recently published volumes of Flora Vitiensis Nova. Her first book, The Natural History of Medicinal Plants, was published in October 2000; her second, Domestic Botany: The Natural History of Household Plants, is due out in 2004.
Dr. Dan Scheirer is an associate professor of biology and also directs the Electron Microscopy and Imaging Center at Northeastern. A plant biologist, Professor Scheirer’s research has focused on studying patterns of plant cell development with diverse plants ranging from algae and mosses to flowering plants, including the plant model organism, Arabidopsis thaliana. Scheirer is also a forensic botanist, and applies plant cell and molecular biology to the resolution of legal questions. A passionate teacher and classroom innovator, Scheirer teaches an introductory biology course as well as higher-level courses in plant biology, plant development, and electron microscopy. He has authored more than 50 scientific publications as well as essays for college texts and student study guides.
Dan Cousins is the head grower at Wilson Farms in Lexington, Massachusetts, where he oversees the operation of a one-acre, fully computerized and automated greenhouse. Cousins earned his B.S. in Botany at the University of Texas. After graduating, Cousins worked for five years in Texas as a commercial grower before being hired to serve as a grower at Cornell University. While at Cornell, he also taught a course on interior plantscaping.
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