Andrea Brennan was raised in West Lafayette, Indiana, home of Purdue University. Growing up around Purdue, Andrea thrived under the many diverse learning opportunities the university provided. The strong connection to agriculture that she gained from these experiences ultimately influenced her decision to attend Purdue and pursue a B.S. in Public Horticulture. As an undergraduate, Andrea was deeply involved in a wide variety of research projects, ranging from the influence of Louis XIV (17th century King of France) on horticulture and flower production, to brassinosteroid biosynthesis in Sorghum bicolor. Andrea’s first experience working in public horticulture came from a rewarding internship at Applewood, the estate of the late Charles and Ruth Mott in Flint, Michigan.
However, Andrea’s favored endeavor was the newly developed Purdue Arboretum, which was founded in 2008, while she was a freshman. Andrea graduated with Highest Distinction from Purdue in 2012 and soon after became the Purdue Arboretum’s first and only full time staff member, the Collections Manager. During her time in the position, Andrea led the effort to develop and launch the arboretum’s new mobile-learning platform, the Purdue Arboretum Explorer. This interactive map and woody plant database strongly supports Andrea’s goal to draw people to horticulture and public gardens and continue learning beyond their visit.
In her free time, Andrea loves to hike and train her dog, Orion, in pet therapy and rally obedience, as well as care for her many orchids, African violets, amaryllises, and numerous other plants.