Section Identifier



Anna F. Edlund

Chair, Associate Professor

Kirkpatrick Hall

Dr. Anna Edlund is a developmental biologist who has studied both plant and animal fertilization and morphogenesis. She is currently working on the structure and function of pollen grains during pollination, especially how the delicate pollen tube cell escapes the pollen wall.

Dr. Edlund taught at Spelman College and Lafayette College, before Bethany, and for the past six summers, has taught biology to Tibetan Buddhist monks in India.

In Fall, 2018, Dr. Edlund was Scientist-in-Residence at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she taught a course called “Creating Life” exploring the sources of novelty and innovation in embryology.

In 2012, Dr. Edlund was a Fulbright Scholar in Stockholm, Sweden, where she studied historic pollen illustrations at the Royal Natural History Museum.

Biology, and especially development and reproduction, are life-long loves. Dr. Edlund wrote her college application essay on Xenopus laevis frog embryology and studied human sperm and placentas in her summers as an undergraduate.

Postdoc, University of Chicago (2001-2003)
Ph.D., UC Berkeley (2000)
Nobel Institute, Karolinska, Stockholm, Sweden (1991-1993)
B.A. with Distinction, Swarthmore College (1991)

Areas of Passion & Research/Personal Interests
Cell and Developmental Biology, Pollen Biology
Interplay between Art and Science


Steffan SA, Dharampal PS, Kueneman JG, Keller A, Argueta-Guzmán MP, McFrederick QS, Buchmann SL, Vannette RL, Edlund AF, Mezera CC, Amon N, Danforth BN. (2023) Microbes, the ‘silent third partners’ of bee-angiosperm mutualisms. Trends Ecol Evol. Nov 6:S0169-5347(23)00232.

AF Edlund and MM Balgopal (2021) Drawing to Learn: Active and culturally relevant pedagogy for Biology. Frontiers in Communications 6: 203.

AF Edlund (2018) “Han delade med sig av det han sag: Gunnar Erdtmans liv och illustrationer.” Svensk Botanisk Tidskrift112 (3-4): 144-170.

AF Edlund (2018) Patent Number 20180298351. Degradation of Sporopollenin. United States.

AF Edlund, K Olsen, C Mendoza, J Wang, T Buckley, M Nguyen, B Callahan, HA Owen (2017) “Pollen wall degradation in the Brassicaceae permits cell emergence after pollination.” American Journal of Botany 104 (8), 1266-12735.

AF Edlund, Q Zheng, N Lowe, S Kuseryk, KL Ainsworth, RH Lyles, SJ Sibener, D Preuss (2016) “Pollen from Arabidopsis thaliana and other Brassicaceae are functionally omniaperturate.” American Journal of Botany 103 (6), 1006-1019.

AF Edlund, ZA Winthrop (2014) “Sharing what he saw: an appreciation of Gunnar Erdtman’s life and illustrations” Grana53 (1), 1-21.

AF Edlund, LA Davidson, RE Keller (2013) “Cell segregation, mixing, and tissue pattern in the spinal cord of the Xenopus laevis neurula.” Developmental Dynamics 242 (10), 1134-1146.

AF Edlund, R Swanson, D Preuss (2004) “Pollen and stigma structure and function: the role of diversity in pollination.” The Plant Cell 16 (suppl 1), S84-S97.

R Swanson, AF Edlund, D Preuss (2004) “Species specificity in pollen-pistil interactions.” Annual Review Genetics 38, 793-818.

R Palanivelu, L Brass, AF Edlund, D Preuss (2003) “Pollen tube growth and guidance is regulated by POP2, an Arabidopsis gene that controls GABA levels.” Cell 114 (1), 47-59.

R Keller, L Davidson, A Edlund, T Elul, M Ezin, D Shook, P Skoglund (2000) “Mechanisms of convergence and extension by cell intercalation.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B 355 (1399), 897-922.

AF Edlund, MA Koehl (1998) “Adhesion and reattachment of compound ascidians to various substrata: weak glue can prevent tissue damage.” Journal of Experimental Biology 201 (16), 2397-2402.

SG Kamath, LK Kelley, AF Friedman, CH Smith (1992) “Transport and Binding in Calcium Uptake by Microvillous Membrane of Human Placenta.” American Journal of Physiology-Cell Physiology 262 (3 Pt 1), C789-C794.