The Atlanta Botanical Garden has named Dr. Emily Coffey its new Vice President for Science and Conservation.

Coffey, formerly a faculty member in biology at the University of North Carolina at Asheville, will join the Garden on August 1, leading a staff dedicated to the conservation of rare and endangered plants and amphibians.

“Dr. Coffey brings a wealth of knowledge about carnivorous plants, conservation and training future plant conservationists in the Southeast,” said Mary Pat Matheson, the Garden’s President & CEO. “She is an exceptional scientist and leader, and will take our conservation research to the next level of excellence.”

Coffey received her PhD from the University of Oxford where she studied as a member of the Long-Term Ecology Laboratory and the Biodiversity Institute. Her research included determination of baseline ecological conditions in the humid highlands of Galapagos. She also received her Masters of Science in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management from Oxford and her Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Missouri.

In addition to her academic work, Coffey has worked with local and national nonprofit organizations. She was a volunteer, board member and executive director of the Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic in High Ridge, Missouri, and served on the boards of the Society of Conservation Biology, Missouri chapter, and the St. Louis Rainforest Advocates.


As head of the Garden’s Conservation Department, Coffey will oversee its newly established Center for Southeastern Conservation, developed to formalize and coordinate a regional plant conservation network for the Southeast.

She succeeds Dr. Jenny Cruse-Sanders, who resigned in February to become director of the State Botanical Garden of Georgia.

The mission of the Atlanta Botanical Garden is to develop and maintain plant collections for display, education, research, conservation, and enjoyment. The Garden is located at 1345 Piedmont Ave. NE and open November through March from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and from April through October from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Admission is $21.95 adults, $15.95 children 3-12, free to children under 3 and Garden members. For more information visit or phone 404-876- 5859.