Botanical Garden Interns

For nearly ten years, Taft students have spent the summer months working with scientists in the Plant Research Laboratory and the William and Lynda Steere Herbarium at the New York Botanical Garden. It is part of a unique and meaningful partnership between the school and the Garden. Over the summer, Luka Bunnell ’23 (right in photo, below) and Alex DiCorpo ’23 were the latest Tafties to engage in high-level research with NYBG scientists.

Alex DiCorpo ’23 (left) and Luka Bunnell ’23 (right)

Alex DiCorpo ’23 (left) and Luka Bunnell ’23 (right)

Working with Dr. Robert Naczi, Curator of North American Botany, Luka studied a grass species proposed for protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Because fundamental data and analysis on its classification had been lacking, the protection process had been stalled. Luka made great headway in providing data that will help move the process forward.

Alex was mentored by Dr. Matthew Pace, Assistant Curator of the William and Lynda Steere Herbarium, who is working to uncover new orchid species. Alex spent the summer extracting DNA from a wide range of plant specimens to aid in the quest. 

“Once again, Taft students have done exceedingly well in their summer science internships at NYBG,” notes Dr. Naczi. “The internships have been tremendously productive and transformational, for both students and mentors.”