Christopher R. Hardy, Ph.D.

Professor of Biology &
Curator of the Herbarium (visit herbarium site)

Dr. Hardy holds a Ph.D. in Systematic Botany from Cornell University and he conducted graduate and post-doctoral research at the New York Botanical Garden and the University of Zurich, Switzerland before becoming Professor of Biology and Curator of the Herbarium at Millersville University of Pennsylvania. As a university professor, Dr. Hardy teaches courses in botany, forensic botany, introductory biology, ecology and evolution. His professional interests include the discovery and documentation of plant diversity, evolution, forensic botany, and scientific illustration. He is the author of more than 60 scientific names of plants, more than 30 published works, and he is widely traveled throughout the Neotropics, Southern Africa, and Europe in support of his work.


  • Systematic Botany (more)
  • Forensic Botany (more)
  • Evolutionary Phylogenetics (more)
  • Biodiversity Informatics (more)
  • Floral Morphogenesis & Anatomy (more)
  • Scientific Illustration (more)
  • Herbarium Curation
  • DNA Barcoding
  • Floristics


Field Experience

  • Africa (Malawi, South Africa Drakensburg & Western Cape Province)
  • Caribbean (Aruba)
  • Central America (Panama)
  • Eastern North America
  • Europe (Switzerland)
  • South America (Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela)


Speaker Topics

  • Forensic Botany (more)
  • Evolution of the Cape Flora, South Africa
  • Biodiversity Informatics
  • Botany Education
  • Cycads
  • Economic Botany
  • Herbaria, Herbarium Specimens, & Importance of Herbaria

Courses Taught

  • BIOL 100 — General Biology
  • BIOL 101 — Foundations of Biology (Fall 2019)
  • BIOL 108H — Honors Freshman Biology Seminar (Spring 2013)
  • BIOL 221 — Concepts of Botany (Spring 2020)
  • BIOL 222H — Honors Problem Solving in Botany (Spring 2017)
  • BIOL 325 & 625— Plant Systematics (Fall 2019)
  • BIOL 471 — Computational Methods in Systematics (Spring 2009)
  • BIOL 472.02 — Case Studies in Human Ecology Seminar (Spring 2019)
  • BIOL 472.04 — Forensic Botany Case Reports Seminar (Spring 2020)
  • BIOL 472.05 — Ethnobotany-Economic Botany Seminar (Spring 2018)
  • BIOL 472 — Service Learning In Environmental Science Education: The Hand's Woods Project (Fall 2007)

Other Duties & Appointments

12 Selected Publications (*student author)

Notes: 1) Click Here for a complete list of Dr. Hardy's publications; 2) Please contact Dr. Hardy for pdfs of publications.

Veléz-Negrón YI, LL Simbaña-Carrera, CM Soto-Ramos, O Medina, E Dinkel, CR Hardy, LI Rivera-Vargas, L Ramos-Sepúlveda. 2023. First report of bacterial pineapple heart rot caused by Dickeya zeae in Puerto Rico. Plant Disease 107: 210.]

Hardy CR, NW Hardy. 2018. Adapting traditional field activities in natural history education to an emerging paradigm in biodiversity informatics. American Biology Teacher 80: 501-519.

Faden RB, CR Hardy. 2017. Commelinaceae, the dayflower and spiderwort family. In New Manual to the Vascular Plants of the Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. New York Botanical Garden Press, New York. []

Hardy NW, CR Hardy. 2016. exposing undergraduate computer science students to opportunities and applications in biodiversity informatics. 2016 World Congress on Engineering 1: 209-211 (ISBN: 978-988-19253-0-5).

O'Meara BC, SD Smith, WS Armbruster, LD Harder, CR Hardy, LC Hileman, L Hufford, A Litt, S Magallón, SA Smith, PF Stevens, CB Fenster, PK Diggle. 2016. Non-equilibrium dynamics and floral trait interactions shape extant angiosperm diversity. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 283: 20152304 (DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2015.2304).

Hardy CR, CD Steinhart. 2013. Forensic botany in the resolution of an agricultural vandalism case. Journal of Forensic Identification 63: 144-154.

Hardy CR, J Ryndock*[MU '09]. 2012. Floral morphology and organogenesis in Tinantia pringlei, along with a review of floral developmental variation in the spiderwort family, Commelinaceae. Botanical Review 78 (4): 416-427.

Linder HP, CR Hardy. 2010. A generic classification of the Restioneae (Restionaceae), southern Africa. Bothalia 40: 1-35.

Hardy CR, LL Sloat*[MU '06], RB Faden. 2009. Floral organogenesis and the developmental basis for pollinator deception in the Asiatic dayflower Commelina communis (Commelinaceae). American Journal of Botany 96: 1236-1244.

Hardy CR, P Moline, HP Linder. 2008. A Phylogeny for the African Restionaceae, and New Perspectives on Morphology's Role in Generating Complete Species Phylogenies for Large Clades. International Journal of Plant Sciences 169: 377-390.
(click here for supporting electronic appendices, matrices, and cladograms)

Hardy CR. 2006. Reconstructing ancestral ecologies: Challenges and possible solutions. Diversity & Distributions 12: 7-19.

Hardy CR, RB Faden. 2004. Plowmanianthus, a new genus of Commelinaceae with five new species from tropical America. Systematic Botany 29 (2): 316-333.

See complete list of Dr. Hardy's publications? Click Here