Ned Friedman

William (Ned) Friedman

Arnold Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology
Director of the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University

Phone: 617-384-7744
Office: Arnold Arboretum
125 Arborway
Boston, MA 02130

Lab Website:

My research program focuses on the organismic interfaces between developmental, phylogenetic and evolutionary biology. Within the past fifteen years, remarkable advances in the study of the phylogenetic relationships of plants have provided the raw materials for critical studies of character evolution. Armed with hypotheses of relationships among organisms, I seek to explore how patterns of morphology, anatomy and cell biology have evolved through the modification of developmental processes. My work is primarily focused on the origin and subsequent diversification of flowering plants, Darwin's "abominable mystery."

Recent Publications

Wu, C.C., P.K. Diggle and W.E. Friedman. 2013. Kin recognition within a seed and the effect of genetic relatedness of an endosperm to its compatriot embryo on maize seed development. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, in press.

Friedman, W.E., J.B. Bachelier and J.I. Hormaza. 2012. Embryology in Trithuria submersa (Hydatellaceae) and relationships between embryo, endosperm, and perisperm in early-diverging flowering plants. American Journal of Botany 99: 1083-1095. | pdf

Bachelier, J.B. and W.E. Friedman. 2011. Female gamete competition in an ancient angiosperm lineage. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108: 12360-12365. | pdf

Friedman, W.E. and P.K. Diggle. 2011. Charles Darwin and the origins of plant evolutionary developmental biology. Plant Cell 23: 1194-1207 | pdf

Wu, C.-C., P.K. Diggle and W.E. Friedman. 2011. Female gametophyte development and double fertilization in Balsas teosinte, Zea mays subsp. parviglumis (Poaceae). Sexual Plant Reproduction 24: 219-229. | pdf

Madrid, E.N. and W.E. Friedman. 2009. The developmental basis of an evolutionary diversification of female gametophyte structure in Piper and Piperaceae. Annals of Botany 103: 869-884. | pdf | commentary

Friedman, W.E. 2009. The meaning of Darwin's "abominable mystery." American Journal of Botany 96: 5-21. | pdf

Holloway, S.J. and W.E. Friedman. 2008. Embryological features of Tofieldia glutinosa and their bearing on the early diversification of monocotyledonous plants. Annals of Botany 102: 167-182. | pdf

Friedman, W.E., E.N. Madrid, and J.H. Williams. 2008. Origin of the fittest and survival of the fittest: relating female gametophyte development to endosperm genetics. International Journal of Plant Sciences 169: 79-92. | pdf

Friedman, W.E. 2006. Embryological evidence for developmental lability during early angiosperm evolution. Nature 441: 337-340. | pdf

Friedman W.E., R.C. Moore and M.D. Purugganan. 2004. The evolution of plant development. American Journal of Botany 91: 1726-1741. | pdf