Samuel Hammer

Associate Professor of Natural Sciences, College of General Studies

Professor Hammer’s passion is communicating about science, especially biodiversity and evolution, to non-scientists. He taught a guided research project in which students produced short videos about scientific problems. Professor Hammer recently appeared on WGBH Television to talk about environmental issues on the Greater Boston show. Professor Hammer has also completed a five-year project with the National Science Foundation that featured all-expense paid botanical field trips during the summer for students. Student participants in the project did independent research and presented their results at the Boston University UROP symposium each year.

Professor Hammer’s research specialty is lichen taxonomy. There are two major foci to his research. Part of my work is the discovery, naming, and classification of new species. He recently finished several field seasons in Australia, New Zealand, and New Caledonia, in which he named about 20 new species and a few new genera as well. He is also a specialist in a field that I more or less invented—lichen morphogenesis, which means how lichens get their particular shapes.