Department of Horticulture Welcomes Newest Faculty Member

Grant Thompson earned bachelor’s degrees in horticulture and landscape architecture in 2007 from Iowa State University.  After graduating, Grant worked as an associate and project landscape architect at Genus Landscape Architects in Des Moines, earning his professional license in 2011.  Grant was involved with many sustainable design and ecologically sensitive projects including restoration efforts at Big Lake Park in Council Bluffs, LEED projects at the University of Iowa, and a vision and comprehensive plan for the Loess Hills Alliance in western Iowa.  While at Genus, Grant was on interdisciplinary project teams that were recognized with design, planning, and communications awards from the Iowa Chapter and Central States Conference of the American Society of Landscape Architects and the Iowas Chapter of the American Planning Association.

His passion for integrating sustainability science, design, and landscape horticulture led him to pursue graduate school at Cornell University, where he earned a master’s degree in 2014 and a doctorate in 2018, both in horticulture.  During his master’s research, Grant explored the role of biodiversity and ecosystem function in   urban grasslands.  He expanded during this work during his doctoral research to include the implications of land-use legacy on soil microbiomes and biogeochemistry of urban grasslands within the National Science Foundation’s Baltimore Ecosystem Study, Long-Term Ecological Research Project.  Grant was a teaching assistant for courses in restoration ecology, horticulture, education, ethnobotany, and garden design and has received top awards for his teaching and mentoring contributions at Cornell University.  He is excited for the opportunity to teach and mentor undergraduates and graduate students interested in horticulture and sustainable landscape management.