Collect. Cultivate. Curate.
Excellence in Plant Collections Management Symposium

October 16-18 I Vancouver, Canada
Hosted by: UBC Botanical Garden and VanDusen Botanical Garden in partnership with Vancouver Botanical Gardens Association


Speakers and Moderators

Chris Cole

Chris is responsible for the leadership, management and operation of Melbourne Gardens including horticultural planning and operations, landscape architecture, provision and development of the living plant collections and nursery operations. He is also responsible for arboriculture and management of site facilities and infrastructure at Melbourne and Cranbourne Gardens.  Chris has over 15 years’ experience in public and botanic gardens management.
Kristina Aguilar
Kristina Aguilar is the Plant Records Manager at Longwood Gardens, maintaining the records for the plant collection of over 10,000 taxa since 2006.  Prior to Longwood, she was at Mt. Cuba Center.  Kristina was chair of the Plant Nomenclature and Taxonomy professional section from 2014-2017.  She is a graduate of Cornell University.
Tony Aiello
Tony Aiello has managed the Morris Arboretum’s historic gardens and living collections since 1999.  He has participated in plant collecting trips to China, Europe, and the U.S.  He has a B.S. from Cornell University and M.S. from Purdue University.  He chairs the North America China Plant Exploration Consortium (NACPEC), and actively participates in the PCN’s Acer and Quercus curatorial groups.  

Sally Aitken

Sally Aitken is a Professor and Associate Dean in the Faculty of Forestry at UBC. She studies the adaptation of trees to climate and implications for reforestation. She received the Canadian Forestry Scientific Achievement Award (2009), IUFRO’s Scientific Achievement Award (2014), and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. 
Pam Allenstein
Pam Allenstein has managed the Plant Collections Network at the Association since 2000. She leads the application review process for accrediting collections, and promotes the Network’s Standards of Excellence in Plant Collections Management. She collaborates with the USDA Agricultural Research Service and the USDA Forest Service in collecting and conservation activities. Pam holds a MS in Public Gardens Administration and a BS in Ornamental Horticulture.
Rowan Blaik
Rowan Blaik is Director of Living Collections at Brooklyn Botanic Garden. He holds a Master of Research in spatial analysis from UCL, London, and a Diploma in Horticulture from RBG, Kew. He specializes in historic and botanic horticulture and was previously the head gardener at Down House, the home of Charles Darwin.
Andrew Bunting
Andrew Bunting manages the curation and collections development at the Chicago Botanic Garden, which includes a 10-year plant expedition plan.  In the last two years, the Garden has conducted trips to The Republic of Georgia and Azerbaijan.  Bunting also has collection experience in China, Taiwan, and Vietnam.
Joe Charap
Joe is the Director of Horticulture and Curator at Green-Wood Cemetery. He has been working with the Alliance for Public Gardens GIS and Blue Raster to help extend the use of GIS at public gardens for landscape management and interpretation.
Theresa Culley
Theresa Culley is a Professor at the University of Cincinnati where she specializes in the biology and genetics of invasive plants, with a particular interest in species of ornamental origin.  She serves on the Board of the Midwest Invasive Plant Network, is a past president of the Ohio Invasive Plants Council (OIPC), and currently leads the invasive plant assessment team for the OIPC and serves on the regulatory Invasive Plant Advisory Committee for the state of Ohio.  An avid gardener, she enjoys working with others to develop creative and practical solutions to reduce the impacts of invasive plants in our natural areas.  She earned her B.S. from the University of California, Irvine and her Ph.D. from The Ohio State University.  
Michael DeMotta
Michael DeMotta has served as head curator for living collections for the National Tropical Botanical Garden since the latter part of 2006. He previously served as Horticulturist and then Manager of Living Collections at NTBG’s Limahuli Garden and Preserve.
Michael Dosmann
Michael Dosmann curates some 15,000 temperate woody plants, is a plant explorer, and writes and lectures about these and other topics. He holds a BS in public horticulture (Purdue University), as well as an MS (Iowa State University) and a PhD (Cornell University) in horticultural fields.
Kurt Dreisilker
Kurt Dreisilker is the Head of Natural Resources at The Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois, where he plans and implements ecological restoration throughout 900 acres of the Arboretum’s natural areas.  Kurt’s work within a public garden has provided him with a unique perspective on plant invasions since plants from around the world are utilized in many capacities throughout Arboretum programs.  He is also Treasurer for Midwest Invasive Plant Network. Kurt has a B.S. in plant biology and a M.S.  in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Holly Forbes
Holly Forbes is curator of the University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley, where she has been on staff since 1988.  She earned her BA from UC Santa Barbara and received the 2011 Star Award from the Center for Plant Conservation. She has collected extensively in California and Mexico. 
Jaime Frye
Jaime Frye is the Plant Records Specialist for The Garden at Newfields and Vice Chair of the Plant Nomenclature and Taxonomy professional community. She researched and helped create a reference guide for gardens looking to begin using labels or make a change in their labeling practices.
Sara Helm-Wallace
Sara Helm-Wallace is Director of Public Gardens at The Trustees, a conservation organization with 11 public gardens throughout Massachusetts. She is also the Chair of the Plant Nomenclature and Taxonomy professional community.
Andy Hill
Andy Hill became Curator of the David C. Lam Asian Garden at the UBC Botanical Garden in 2008. His interest in horticulture originally grew from a love of the wilderness, and then a growing fascination with how gardens can function as public space to connect people with the natural world. He holds an MA in Environment and Management, and his research focus concerns botanical explorations in northern Vietnam.
Douglas Justice
Douglas Justice is UBC Botanical Garden Associate Director and Curator of Collections, and author of the Vancouver Trees app. He is also involved with public and industry outreach, and teaches horticulture and plant identification courses. He trained at Massot Nurseries and has worked as a gardener in Vancouver and at Windsor Great Park, England. Douglas is a founding member and past-president of the Native Plant Society of BC, a founding member of the North American Branch of the Maple Society. Douglas holds a BS in Horticulture and MS in Botany from UBC.
Ray Larson
Ray Larson has been the Curator of Living Collections at the University of Washington Botanic Gardens since 2013.  Previously, he oversaw the renovation of the 100-year-old, 1.5-acre garden at the university’s Hill-Crest residence.  He interned at the Elisabeth Miller Botanical Garden in 2003-04 and earned his MS in Urban Horticulture from the UW in 2005.
Rhonda Mauer
Rhoda Maurer became Director of Horticulture at Cornell Botanic Gardens of Cornell University in 2015.  Maurer holds degrees in Anthropology from the University of Washington, Horticulture from Edmonds Community College, and a Masters of Arts in Science in a Changing World from the University of Massachusetts at Boston.
Cat Meholic
Cat Meholic is a curatorial graduate student at the University of Delaware. Formerly, she was the Plant Recorder and Assistant Curator at Mt. Cuba Center. Her passion for native plants and early plant collectors inspires her to pursue plant collecting as part of her curatorial work.  
Verna (Pepeyla) Miller
Pepeyla has worked in her Nlakapamux Homeland as Director of Tmixw Research – an Indigenous Research Group consulting on ethnobiological interests, water rights, title and rights, cultural/sacred landscapes and archaeology.  She has been a member of various organizations and boards for local Indigenous organizations and is the current chair of the Nlakapamux Child and Family Services Society.  She was selected to be a member of the world-renown Ethics Development Committee for the International Society of Ethnobiology (ISE). She currently serves as the President of the ISE.
Brian Morgan
Brian is the Parks and Gardens Solution Lead at Esri, and the Executive Director of the Alliance for Public Gardens GIS, a consortium of biological collection managers and GIS professionals who are dedicated to making geographic information systems more accessible to arboreta, botanical gardens, zoos, and other managed landscapes for use in asset management, biodiversity conservation, education, and scientific research. He has over 18 years of experience with GIS, and has spent the last 15 years developing tools and resources for the public garden community through his work at the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden, Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, and many other parks and gardens.
Daniel Mosquin
Since starting at UBC Botanical Garden in 2000, Daniel Mosquin has at times managed research, education, IT, and collections data. He is responsible for UBC's online extension through Botany Photo of the Day and the garden's web forums. He also frequently shares his photographs through presentations.
Cindy Newlander
Cindy Newlander is the Associate Director of Horticulture for Denver Botanic Gardens where she has worked in documenting the plant collections since 2002. Prior to her employment at the Gardens, Cindy received her MS in Public Horticulture through the Longwood Graduate Program at the University of Delaware. Cindy recently coauthored a book entitled Wildflowers of the Rocky Mountain Region (Timber Press, anticipated publication August 2018). 
Martin Nicholson
Martin Nicholson is currently the Curator at the Hoyt Arboretum in Portland Oregon. He worked as a researcher at Oregon State University and Washington State University before becoming Plant Health Manager with the J. Frank Schmidt Nursery in Oregon. He has been at the Hoyt Arboretum for 10 years and serves on the Great Plant Picks Tree Committee and the Portland Heritage Tree Committee.
Havard Ostgaard
Havard is the Manager and co-founder of Botanical Software Ltd. And has worked on the IrisBG team since 2001. He has a degree in computer science, with the focus on software architecture, user interface design and business process engineering, from the University of Oslo and the University of York and has more than 25 years of experience working on software development projects. Havard has a keen interest in gardening and botany, fuelled by his work on the IrisBG team. Over the years, he has worked on more than 100 IrisBG projects helping gardens improve how they document their botanical collections. Havard lives near Bath, UK with his wife and two dachshunds. 
Greg Payton
Greg started his career in horticulture working in the commercial nursery industry. He later secured a position in horticulture at Holden Arboretum and then moved the The Dawes Arboretum where he has now worked for more than 20 years. The 85-year old arboretum contains more than 20,000 plants, including four Nationally Accredited Plant Collections, spread over 1800 acres. During his career, Greg has accumulated a deep insight and experience in managing botanical collections. He is currently working as the plant records specialist and GIS manager and acting director of horticulture at the arboretum and lives nearby, together with his wife. 
Ben Stormes
Ben Stormes is the curator & horticulturist for The North American Gardens at UBC Botanical Garden where he oversees the development and management of four biogeographic collection spaces. He holds a master’s in public garden leadership, a bachelors of landscape architecture, and a diploma in ornamental horticulture.
Boyce Tankersley
Boyce Tankersley directs the Living Plant Documentation department at Chicago Botanic Garden. The traditional role of plant records has expanded to incorporate ancillary collections of images, herbarium and DNA vouchers, soil samples, carbon sequestration measurement, and weather readings to meet the needs of one or more of their ‘customers’.
Nancy Turner
Nancy Turner is an ethnobotanist and ethnoecologist whose research focuses on traditional knowledge systems and traditional land and resource management systems of Indigenous Peoples of Western Canada. She is a 2015 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Fellow and Professor Emerita with the School of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria, BC. She has worked with First Nations elders and cultural specialists in Northwestern North America for over 45 years, helping to document, retain, and promote traditional knowledge of plants and environments.
Sadafumi Uchiyama
Sadafumi (Sada) Uchiyama is the Garden Curator at the Portland Japanese Garden. Sada is a fourth generation Japanese gardener from southern Japan where his family has been involved in gardening for over a century. He is a registered landscape architect with a BLA and MLA, practicing landscape architecture throughout the US.
Peter Zale
Peter Zale earned his doctoral degree from Ohio State University where he studied plant breeding and genetics at the USDA Ornamental Plant Germplasm Center.  As Associate Director, Conservation, Plant Breeding and Collections, at Longwood Gardens he leads the curatorial, plant breeding, plant exploration, and plant conservation programs.