Michael is the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University's Keeper of the Living Collections, only the second “Keeper” in the 147-year history of the Arnold Arboretum. Curator of the Living Collections since 2007, he was promoted to Keeper in summer 2017. Michael oversees and guides the development and curation of one of the world’s most dynamic and singular woody plant collections. After honing the Arboretum’s curatorial ethic to one where “everybody curates,” he and his team have pushed the boundaries of living collections management into a program of excellence. A plant explorer and authority on curation and woody plants, Michael frequently lectures, writes, and advises about these and related botanical and horticultural topics.
Michael received his undergraduate degree in public horticulture from Purdue University, and Masters and Ph.D. degrees from Iowa State University and Cornell University, respectively, also in horticultural fields. He has served as a member of the Association’s Program Selection, Awards, and Nominating Committees; chaired the Nomenclature and Taxonomy Community; and organized the first Collections Management Symposium, held in Boston in 2007. He is also a reviewer for the Plants Collections Network, and in 2015 received the Association’s Professional Citation Award.