Director of Laboratory Research and Associate Curator of Genomics, New York Botanical Garden

Barbara A. Ambrose, Ph.D., Director of Laboratory Research and Associate Curator of Genomics at The New York Botanical Garden, investigates patterns and processes of plant diversity. She is interested in understanding the vast amount of plant diversity, the DNA that encodes plant morphology, and how changes in DNA can explain the diversity that we see. She uses classic botanical techniques, molecular biology, genome sequencing, and bioinformatics to better understand plant evolution and development. Barbara earned a Ph.D. in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology at the University of California at San Diego and a B.Sc. in Biology at the University of the Virgin Islands. She was awarded a National Science Foundation International postdoctoral fellowship to study the evolution and development of Lacandonia schismatica, the only known plant with inverted reproductive whorls. This research combined field research in Chiapas, Mexico with molecular genetics. Her work has appeared in peer reviewed journals and her striking images of plants have appeared in popular science magazines and on the covers of science publications.

At a panel event of biomimicry and biophilia experts, Dr. Ambrose gives her perspective on how designs inspired by the natural world contribute to humanity.