Nate Hartley

Nate Hartley

Nate Hartley

Major: Biology with a concentration in Botany


Class Year: 2014
Hometown: Millersville, PA

Additional Information

My undergraduate experience at Millersville University was absolutely exemplary. I was engaged in incredibly enriching student research experiences at MU, which awakened my passion for plant systematics and provided me with the knowledge and confidence to pursue a graduate education. My research experiences began in the University Herbarium with Dr. Christopher Hardy, conducting fieldwork ground-truthing NatureAtlas.org, a bioinformatics tool developed at MU by Dr. Hardy and Dr. Nazli Hardy of Computer Science. This project provided me with practical fieldwork experience, exposed me to statistical analyses and plant taxonomy early on, and ultimately led to presentations with Dr. Hardy at the annual meetings of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania University Biologists, Botanical Society of America, and the International Association for Plant Taxonomy. Dr. Hardy then encouraged me to pursue another endeavor conducting a floristic inventory of an intriguingly diverse abandoned quarry in Lancaster County—a project that would blossom into my undergraduate thesis and evolve into a phylogenetic analysis of the entire wetland flora of Pennsylvania, which I presented at the Fifth International Conference on the Comparative Biology of Monocotyledons in New York. I am currently pursuing my PhD at Duke University with a study describing and naming new plant species from Tropical America in partnership with the Missouri Botanical Garden. Once I have my PhD, I hope to become a botany professor and reciprocate the enthusiasm for biology that was instilled in me at MU onto future generations of students.