Bryan J. Peterson

Bryan J. PetersonBryan J. Peterson
Assistant Professor of Environmental Horticulture
School of Food and Agriculture
403 Deering Hall

Degree: Ph.D., Iowa State University, 2013

Research Topic: Ornamental horticulture; woody plant biology, ecology, and evolution

Overview of Research: My research focuses on ornamental plants for use in New England’s horticultural landscapes. I recognize the importance of both native and nonnative taxa for a thriving horticulture industry. My research at UMaine focuses primarily on 1) the collection, propagation, and evaluation of indigenous woody taxa with commercial potential as ornamental or food crops; 2) investigation of local adaptation within widespread species, with the goal of selecting climatically or edaphically adaptable cultivars; 3) evaluation of nonnative taxa for invasive potential; and 4) investigation of the population genetic causes and consequences of plant invasions. I am currently working on horticultural evaluation of indigenous species and microspecies of Amelanchier (Serviceberry) for introduction as alternative fruit crops and as ornamental trees and shrubs for the nursery and landscape industry. Additionally, I am investigating the ornamental quality and fruit production of Lonicera villosa, a honeysuckle native to New England, and Lonicera caerulea, a nonnative relative promoted recently under the names Honeyberry and Haskap. Of particular interest is the degree to which Honeyberry shares the traits typical of nonnative Lonicera introductions that have previously invaded the flora of North America.

Representative Publications:
Peterson, B.J. and W.R. Graves. Chloroplast phylogeography of Dirca palustris L. indicates deep Pleistocene diversification and confirms mid-latitudinal refugia during the Last Glacial Maximum in eastern North America. Journal of Biogeography, under review.

Peterson, B.J. and W.R. Graves. Responses to root-zone water content of shrub congeners from eastern North America and Mediterranean California. HortScience 48:715-719.

Peterson, B.J. and W.R. Graves. 2011. Reproductive ecology of Dirca palustris L. (Thymelaeaceae). Castanea 76:237-244.

Peterson, B.J., W.R. Graves, and J. Sharma. 2011. Phenotypic and genotypic diversity of eastern leatherwood in five populations that span its geographic distribution. American Midland Naturalist 165:1-21.

Peterson, B.J. and W.R. Graves. 2009. Variation in development and response to root-zone pH among seedlings of Dirca palustris (Thymelaeaceae) from three provenances. HortScience 44:1319-1322.

Peterson, B.J., W.R. Graves, and J. Sharma. 2008. Color of pubescence on bud scales conflicts with taxonomic keys for identifying species of Dirca L. (Thymelaeaceae). Rhodora 111:126-130.