2018 Hamilton Award

Bob Lyons

Robert E. Lyons, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus
University of Delaware


Dr. Robert Lyons is the former Director of the Longwood Graduate Program in Public Horticulture and currently Professor Emeritus at the University of Delaware. He received a B.A. in Biology from Rutgers University and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Horticultural Science from the University of Minnesota.  Previous positions include the J.C. Raulston Distinguished Faculty Chair and Directorship of the JC Raulston Arboretum at N.C. State University, and Professor of Horticulture and Co-Founder/Director of the Hahn Horticulture Garden at Virginia Tech, where he received the University W.E. Wine Award for exemplary undergraduate teaching.  He is a Fellow in the American Society for Horticultural Science, from whom he was also recognized for his research elucidating new flowering mechanisms in herbaceous plants; he later received the Chadwick Award from the American Nursery and Landscape Association for his career contributions to the industry. Dr. Lyons taught identification and landscape use of herbaceous plant materials at Virginia Tech, N.C. State University, and the University of Delaware, and has lectured nationally on the topic. He received the Outstanding Alumnus Award from the University of Minnesota and the national Award of Merit from the American Public Gardens Association.  He currently sits on the Boards of Advisors for the University of Delaware Botanic Garden and The Delaware Center for Horticulture, and formerly on Rutgers University Gardens Board.  He has been a photographer for over 35 years, publishing widely in homeowner, commercial, and educational publications, and he is a primary photographer for Horticopia plant selection software (Horticopia.com).  He has exhibited his work nationally, receiving awards from the Garden Writers Association of America, and he has taught photography workshops throughout the United States.  He has since retired to the southeastern-most corner of Pennsylvania, a stone’s throw to the Delaware border, where he gardens on his home property, Phoenix Springs.