Scientific Staff

Andrea Brennan, PhD

ArbNet Leader

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Andrea leads ArbNet, the award-winning, international network of arboreta, in order to foster collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and resources for the establishment and professionalism of arboreta.

Throughout her career, Andrea has worked in four different public gardens and arboreta, ranging from small to large, making her particularly well-suited to work with the diverse ArbNet community. Through these roles, as well as her BS and MS in Public Horticulture and PhD in Forest Biology, she has rich experience in virtually all key aspects of running an arboretum. These include establishing an ArbNet-accredited arboretum, curating a collection, conducting research, communicating science, supporting education and engagement, and leading diversity and inclusion initiatives.

As ArbNet Leader, Andrea’s role is to manage, grow, and promote ArbNet, and lead strategic planning, programming, and arboretum network support. 

As a public horticulture undergraduate at Purdue University, Andrea was on the original team that created the university’s campus-wide Purdue Arboretum. After graduating with the highest distinction, she became The Purdue Arboretum’s first staff member. As its Collections Manager, she led all mapping, database, outreach, and teaching efforts for the organization.

Andrea went on to obtain an MS fellowship with the Longwood Graduate Program in Public Horticulture—a partnership between the University of Delaware and Longwood Gardens—where she researched bud-forcing and tissue culture for the conservation of threatened oak species. 

Following the completion of her MS, Andrea started work on a PhD in forest biology as a Fred M. van Eck Scholar. As part of this work, Andrea employed a multidisciplinary approach to evaluating the use of hybrids for restoring threatened tree species, with a particular focus on the butternut (Juglans cinerea).

At The Morton Arboretum, Andrea has been instrumental in research in the Center for Tree Science, mentorship through the NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates program, and growing and supporting an international network of arboreta through ArbNet.


PhD, Forest Biology

Purdue University
West Lafayette, IN

MS, Longwood Graduate Program in Public Horticulture

The University of Delaware and Longwood Gardens
Newark, DE and Kennett Square, PA

BS, Public Horticulture

Purdue University
West Lafayette, IN