Lisa Aston Philander will join the college in July as curator of the CBS Conservatory. She will oversee administrative functions and curate the plant collection, which includes more than 1,200 plant species from rare and endangered plants to invasive species representing a range of biomes from tropical to desert.
“I am thrilled for the opportunity to return to the University of Minnesota and the CBS Conservatory,” says Philander. “As curator I hope to be instrumental in introducing students and faculty to the value, wonder, and importance of plants as a learning resource.”
Philander has a background and research interests in agroecology, ethnobotany and ethnomedicine. She comes to CBS from the University of Wyoming’s Department of Plant Sciences Department, where was a lecturer and part-time researcher for the departments of plant sciences, botany, honors, nursing, and women and gender studies.
"We are excited to have Lisa come on board as curator of the CBS Conservatory,” says Gary Muehlbauer, head of the Department of Plant Biology. “Her expertise in greenhouse and garden management, and her outstanding scientific and interpersonal skills are well suited for the multidimensional tasks the conservatory demands.”
Philander received her Ph.D. in arid lands resource sciences from the University of Arizona. She holds M.S. degrees from the University of Kent, Canterbury & Kew Gardens and California Polytechnic University, along with a B.S. in environmental horticulture from the University of Minnesota.