Scientific Staff

Emily Beckman Bruns

Tree Conservation Research Assistant II, Global Tree Conservation

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As a researcher at the Arboretum, Emily contributes to projects that prioritize tree species for conservation and identifies specific measures needed to achieve these goals.

Emily’s work reflects her professional interest in informing strategic, cross-sector collaboration toward the conservation of at-risk plant species and ecosystems, including the important role of botanical collections in the long-term preservation of plant diversity globally.

Successful conservation requires asking fundamental questions about which species thrive where and why certain conditions are better than others. Emily is interested in addressing these questions by developing and applying methods for gathering and analyzing biodiversity data. She is especially passionate about the effective and targeted communication of these key data through innovative visual means.

Emily has a background in examining the relationship between agriculture and the health of native environments, with a focus on increasing sustainability. She is also trained in floral design and enjoys creating arrangements and facilitating events that highlight the intersection between human creativity and the natural beauty of living landscapes.

Emily is a certified Global IUCN Red List Assessor and helped accomplish the assessment of all 91 native US oaks under the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria. She has also participated in assessments of oaks native to Mexico.

In 2019, Emily completed a Conservation Gap Analysis of Native US Oaks. The results from this multi-year collaboration with the USDA Forest Service and Botanic Gardens Conservation International US inform conservation strategies within a variety of sectors, including federal agencies, state and local land managers, non-governmental organizations, botanical gardens and arboreta, and policymakers. Funding for this work was extended and Emily led a similar analysis focused on a different suite of priority native US trees; target genera include Carya, Fagus, Gymnocladus, Juglans, Lindera, Magnolia, Persea, Pinus, Sassafras, and Taxus.

Emily is also participating in the creation of a definitive list of native US trees, in addition to leading the compilation of species occurrence data for an IMLS-funded initiative to systematically determine the conservation value of nationally accredited tree collections at The Morton Arboretum.


BS, Environmental Science

Wheaton College
Wheaton, IL

Projects (7)