Surviving ash trees may hold key to saving tree

May 18, 2024

Penn State researchers probing genetic variation for ash species threatened by emerald ash borer in project with The Nature Conservancy and U.S. Forest Service

Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra) Genome Published

October 10, 2023

The Schatz Center for Tree Molecular Genetics, in collaboration with the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, released the genome for Quercus rubra on June 8, 2021 ( A manuscript was published on the Northern Red Oak genome in the November 2023 issue of the journal G3 Genes|Genomes|Genetics, which can be accessed at

Research Spotlight: Arbor Day, Penn State Research in Tree Molecular Genetics

May 1, 2023

Trees play an integral part in ecosystem health and the sequestration of carbon. Even as sources of food, life, and homes for many people and organisms, deforestation continues to threaten tree populations. Arbor Day is a time when communities can come together to preserve and celebrate this resource. At Penn State, there are multiple research groups dedicated to researching trees for the purpose of conservation and learning about how trees interact with their ecosystems. One such group within the Schatz Center for Tree Molecular Genetics, is focused on the preservation of the Black Ash Tree from the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). The Emerald Ash Borer (or EAB) is an invasive species of beetle in the United States that is dangerous to Ash trees all over North America. Postdoctoral researcher, Dr. Melissa Lehrer and Ph.D student, Kyra LoPiccolo are both working on projects surrounding the conservation of Ash trees and the effects of the EAB here at Penn State.

Torrey pine genetic research benefits efforts to save trees

July 21, 2022

A new genomic study of one of the rarest pine tree in the world, the Torrey pine, aimed at bolstering the case for a genetic rescue of the species barely surviving in the western U.S., revealed the complexity and risk associated with the endeavor.

Geneticists studying how plants adapt to climate change

February 16, 2022

Combining results from huge “common garden” experiments with genomic sequencing Penn State molecular geneticist Jill Hamilton aims to tease apart the genetic basis for climate adaptation

New Schatz Center Director Arrives

August 18, 2021

The Schatz Center and Department of Ecosystem Science and Management welcome the new Director of the Schatz Center Dr. Jill Hamilton. Dr. Hamilton's areas of expertise include Population Genomics, Conservation Genetics, Molecular Ecology, Evolution, Quantitative Genetics, Climate Change and Ex Situ Conservation.

Schatz Center Director retires. New Director to start August 1!

July 1, 2021

John Carlson, Professor of Molecular Genetics in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management and the Department of Plant Science at Pennsylvania State University, retired on June 30, 2021, after serving as the inaugural Director of The L.W. Schatz Center for Tree Molecular Genetics since 2003. The Schatz Center and Department of Ecosystem Science and Management look forward to welcoming the new director, Dr. Jill Hamilton, on August 1.

Joshua Gershey awarded first place at Undergrad Research Expo

May 8, 2021

Joshua Gershey received a first place award at Penn State Undergrad Research Exposition for his poster presentation on combined effects of climate change and competition in black walnut. Josh's research was supported in the Spring 2021 semester by a Schatz Center Undergraduate Research award.

Emerging Principles of Tree Biology Webinar

December 12, 2020

MDPI hosted a webinar on 3 Dec 2020 to introduce our Special Issue in the Forests journal on "Emerging Principles of Tree Biology in the Omics Era". A recording of the Forests webinar can be viewed at

Chestnut Genome Published

August 25, 2020

Dr. Carlson and colleagues have published the first reference genome sequence for chestnut. The genome for Chinese chestnut (Castanea mollissima) provides a platform for research into the genetic basis of adaptive traits in chestnut species, including chestnut blight-resistance.

Faidherbia albida genetic diversity paper published

July 31, 2020

Just published - Paper in African Journal of Biotechnology by Schatz Center Visiting Scientist and Fulbright Scholar Dr. Dorothy Tchatchoua, of the University of Maroua, on her project with us on genetic diversity in white acacia.

Schatz Center Director selected for prestigious Mercator Fellowship

November 12, 2019

John Carlson, Director of the Schatz Center and Professor of Molecular Genetics in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, was named a Mercator Fellow and Visiting Professor at Georg-August University of Göttingen in Germany.

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  • Associate Professor & Director, Schatz Center for Tree Molecular Genetics