William (Ned) Friedman

William (Ned) Friedman

Arnold Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology
Director of the Arnold Arboretum
William (Ned) Friedman

Faculty Support: Esther Jules

My research focuses on the organismic interfaces between developmental, phylogenetic and evolutionary biology. Armed with hypotheses of relationships among clades, I seek to explore how patterns of morphology, anatomy and reproductive biology have evolved through the modification of developmental processes. My work is primarily focused on the origin and subsequent diversification of flowering plants, and in particular, the establishment of double fertilization and endosperm as defining biological features of angiosperms.  In addition to my interest in evolutionary history, I continue to be fascinated by the history of evolutionary thought in the 18th and 19th centuries, leading up to the time of publication of On the Origin of Species.

Recent Publications

Schoonderwoerd, K. and W.E. Friedman.  2016.  Zygotic dormancy underlies prolonged seed development in Franklinia alatamaha (Theaceae): a most unusual case of reproductive phenology in angiosperms.  Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, in press.

Pirone-Davies, C., N. Prior, P. von Aderkas, D. Smith, D. Hardie, W.E. Friedman, and S.  Mathews2016.  Insights from the pollination drop proteome and the ovule transcriptome of Cephalotaxus at the time of pollination drop production.  Annals of Botany, in press.


Friedman, W.E.  2015.  Development and evolution of the female gametophyte and fertilization process in Welwitschia mirabilisAmerican Journal of Botany 102: 312-324 

Povilus, R.A., J. M. Losada and W.E. Friedman.  2015.  Floral biology and ovule and seed ontogeny of Nymphaea thermarum, an autogamous water lily at the brink of extinction with potential as a model system for basal angiosperms.  Annals of Botany 115: 211-226.

Losada, J.M., M. Herrero, J.I. Hormaza and W.E. Friedman. 2014. Arabinogalactan proteins mark stigmatic receptivity in the protogynous flowers of Magnolia virginiana (Magnoliaceae). American Journal of Botany 101: 1963-1975.


Courses Taught

OEB 168R Sociobotany (co-taught with David Haig)
OEB 386 Organismic and Evolutionary Plant Biology


Contact Information

Weld Hill Research Building
1300 Centre Street
Boston, MA 02131

Harvard University Herbaria, 423
22 Divinity Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
p: 617-384-7744


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