Michael is Arnold Arboretum's Keeper of the Living Collections, only the second “Keeper” in the 145-year history of the Arnold Arboretum. Curator of the Living Collections since 2007, he was promoted to Keeper in summer 2017. Michael oversees and guides the development and curation of one of the world’s most dynamic woody plant collections. After honing the Arboretum’s curatorial ethic to one where “everybody curates,” he and his team have pushed the boundaries of living collections management into a program of excellence. A plant explorer and collections advocate, Michael frequently lectures and writes about these and other botanical and horticultural topics.
Michael received his undergraduate degree in Public Horticulture from Purdue University, and Masters and Ph.D. degrees from Iowa State University and Cornell University, respectively. He has served on Association’s Program Selection, Awards, and Nominating Committees; chaired the Nomenclature and Taxonomy Professional Section; and organized the first Collections Management Symposium, held in Boston in 2007. He is also a reviewer for the Association's Plants Collections Network, and in 2015 received the Association’s Professional Citation Award.