Robert Nicholson

Lecturer in Biological Sciences

Contact & Office Hours

Lyman Plant House



M.A., Harvard University

B.S., University of Connecticut, Storrs

B.A., University of New Hampshire


Robert Nicholson’s recent research has involved field collection of primitive conifers for screening for anti­cancer compounds, genetic analysis of large area clonal stands of the rare Gaylussacia brachycera (Box Huckleberry), pigment analysis and pollination biology of the black flowered Lisianthius nigrescens (Gentianaceae) of Mexico, and high­speed video capture and analysis of the rapid pollen release mechanism of the New World orchid Catasetum.

Selected Publications

Nicholson R. 2013. "Am I blue?" Natural History 121 (5): 18-­27.

Nicholson R. 2013. "Thoreau's mattress." Natural History 121 (2): 12-­17.

Nicholson R. 2012. "Curse of the monkey hand tree." Natural History 120(5): 10­-15.

Nicholson R. 2011. "Little big plant." Arnoldia 68(3): 11-­18.

Pooler, M., R. Nicholson, and A. Vandegrift. 2008. "Clonal fidelity in large colonies of Gaylussacia brachycera Gray (Box Huckleberry) assessed by DNA fingerprinting." Northeastern Naturalist 15 (1): 67–74.

Nicholson, C., J. Bales, J. Palmer­Fortune, and R. Nicholson. 2008. "Darwin's bee­trap, the kinetics of Catasetum, a new world orchid." Plant Signaling and Behavior, Volume: 3 (1): 19–23.

Sakamaki, T., M. C. Casimiro, X. Ju, et. al. 2006. "Cyclin D1 determines mitochondrial function in vivo." Molecular and Cellular Biology 26 (14): 5449–69.

Markham, K., S. Bloor, R. Nicholson, R. Rivera, et al. 2004. "Black flower coloration in wild Lisianthius nigrescens, its chemistry and ecological consequences." Zeitschrift fur Naturforschung C 59C: 619–25.

Shemluck, M., R. Nicholson, E. Estrada, and S. Brobst. 2003. "A preliminary study of taxane chemistry and natural history of the Mexican yew, Taxus globosa. Bulletin of the Botanical Society of Mexico 72: 119­-27.

Nicholson, R., and D. X. Munn. 2003. "Observations on the propagation of Taxus globosa." Bulletin of the Botanical Society of Mexico. 72: 129–30.

Li, J., R. Nicholson, and J. Alexander. 2002. "Phylogenetic relationships of Empetraceae inferred from sequences of chloroplast gene matK and nuclear ribosomal DNA ITS region." Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 25: 306–15.

Nicholson, R. 2002. "A beautiful hand: The landscape art of Frederick Church." Natural History 111 (5): 50–57.

Nicholson, R. 2002. "Brugmansia: The flowers of evil." Natural History 111 (1): 20–24.

Nicholson, R. 2002. "The splendid haul of Cyrus Guernsey Pringle." Arnoldia 61 (2): 2–13.