As the Arboretum’s Tree Conservation Biologist, Sean Hoban, PhD, works to understand, document, and address threats to species, including rare and common species, of Quercus, Juglans, Populus, and Pinus.
Sean’s research spans a diverse range of topics in evolutionary biology, conservation science, biogeography, genomics, and forestry. His four primary areas of focus are:
- Interpreting genetic and ecological data from trees in their natural habitats, using modern statistical methods, to reveal basic aspects of plant ecology and ‘look back in time’ at population demographic changes.
- Determining how best to conserve species in safehouses like seed banks and living collections (including The Morton Arboretum’s own collection). Sean’s lab uses sophisticated mathematical and computational modeling approaches to make sure that genetic, phenotypic, evolutionary, ecological, horticultural, and other aspects of diversity are conserved, documented, and shared.
- Connecting conservation research to local and global policy. Sean has worked for over a decade to ensure that policy initiatives will conserve biodiversity, create and test metrics for tracking and reporting on biodiversity change, and build capacity for non-scientists to understand biodiversity research, data, and applications.
- Developing and improving statistical methods and software in conservation and summarizing complex data in accessible ways.