Curator of Botany at the Carnegie Museum of Cynthia Morton Natural History


What is a day like at your job? Every day is different but typically it is answering emails, phone calls, addressing employees needs, exhibits, teaching and then research.

What are your favorite aspects of your job? Research- new discoveries, the people and traveling.


What are some of your recent personal goals? Discover a new gene for flowering plants, clone urban trees, build a poisonous plant database, find a new cancer medicine in Rutaceae.

Read more about her career!  BotanistResearcher

Bio: Cynthia is an Associate Curator of Botany for the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. She received her undergraduate degree in Biology and Computer Science from Trinity College in Vermont, her Masters of Arts from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and PhD from the CUNY/New York Botanical Garden. After graduate school, Cynthia spent several years studying in the U.K. as a NATO postdoctoral fellow at Kew Gardens and NERC Fellow in association with the British Museum of Natural History.

In her research, Cynthia has been collecting plants to sequence a new nuclear gene for all flowering plants. Connecting the family tree for all flowering plants is one of botany’s greatest mysteries.  Decoding the family tree of all flowering plants can be very informative in fields such as medicine, ecology, and agriculture.

If you’d like to have a career like Cynthia’s you need to have perseverance, think independently, and be open to exploring new ideas.  Her career takes her outdoors, into the lab, and into the office to work with students of all ages, the general public, museum board members, and professors.  Outside of work, Cynthia likes to spend time with her daughter, do Taekwondo, play the violin, lead girl scouts, garden, and go skiing and skating.