Dr. Sasha Eisenman joined the Temple University Department of Landscape Architecture and Horticulture as an Assistant Professor of Horticulture in August 2010.
Prior to starting at Temple he conducted his graduate work at Rutgers University where he studied the genetic and chemical variation in the anti-diabetic plant Artemisia dracunculus L. (wild tarragon). Standardization of botanical therapeutics is an important consideration when utilizing medicinal plants because, even within a single species, plants can exhibit significant variation in the production of phytochemicals. This variation can be the result of genetic differences, varying environmental conditions or phenological stage.
In order to tease these complexities apart, his work has focused on screening various populations of wild tarragon for the presence of bioactive phytochemicals in the wild and in common garden settings, as well as investigating the population genetics of the species using traditional cytology (to assess ploidy) and molecular markers known as Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphisms (AFLPs). Because wild tarragon is the wild relative of the cultivated culinary herb French tarragon, additional studies have been conducted to assess essential oil variation in populations from across the western United States.
In addition to conducting research on wild tarragon, he has conducted research on the introduction of non-native species via 19th century ballast dumps, genetic variation in Metasequoia glyptostroboides and have conducted floristic inventories around the Tri-State area. He have also co-authored a number of articles describing and documenting crops originating from Central Asia, which is an extremely important center of diversity for many important domesticated species and where extensive germplasm collections exist.
Dr. Eisenman has a strong interest in both botany and horticulture. He most recently worked with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Natural Heritage Program, surveying and monitoring threatened and endangered plant specie. For six years, he served as the Collections Manager of the Rutgers University Chrysler Herbarium (CHRB). Prior to his graduate studies, he worked at the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania and the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia.
Dr. Eisenman currently teaches Applied Plant Physiology, Fundamentals of Horticulture, and Greenhouse Management. While conducting his graduate work, Dr. Eisenman was the teaching assistant for Advanced Plant Systematics/Plant Diversity and Evolution, Plant Genetics, and Plant Gene Transfer.
In association with International Cooperative Biodiversity Groups – Central Asia and with The Global Institute for BioExploration (GIBEX), he has traveled to Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tanzania, and Ecuador, teaching subjects such as global biodiversity, biodiversity documentation, and collections management.