Lilly Anderson-Messec is the manager of Native Nurseries, a retail nursery in Tallahassee,
Fl that specializes in native plants. She is inspired by the complex relationships
between native plants and native wildlife, and has been working with the St. Marks
National Wildlife Refuge’s Monarch-Milkweed Initiative to map and conserve Florida’s
native milkweeds. In her free time she’ll be found exploring the ecologically rich
and diverse regions of the Florida Panhandle, observing and photographing plants and
wildlife, as well as swimming and kayaking the beautiful springs and rivers.
Gail taught Plant Propagation for over two decades. She currently maintains a small
nursery in Meridian, Mississippi. Recently she propagated Black Belt Prairie wildflowers
and grasses used to establish a Prairie Garden at The University of West Alabama and
another on the Natchez Trace. Gail writes descriptive plant articles for New Moon
Nursery, works as a Landscape Consultant, teaches Propagation Workshops, and blogs
at www.yardflower.com. She is past president of the Mississippi Native Plant Society
and is a certifiable plant fool. She enjoys exploring her 6 acres of nature trails
with her husband and pack of happy dogs.
Mike Berkley, co-owner of Growild, Inc. of Fairview, TN; has experimented with all
things native in homeowner’s yards, state and federal parks, commercial development,
land restoration, on roof tops, rain gardens and in his own yard for the past 31 years.
His native plant addiction has evolved into a nursery of over 40,000 native plants
for sale from the tiniest violet to the mighty oaks. A grower, designer and installation
business was not enough for Mike. He is now co-host to the Native Plant Podcast where
native plants meet Click & Clack with a little hillbilly. This year will be Mike’s
26th year to attend this native plant family reunion we call Plant Camp and he couldn’t
be happier to share his passion.
Kim is a field organizer for Audubon North Carolina, a state program of the National
Audubon Society. Kim has a master's degree in ornithology and was an Audubon Toyota
TogetherGreen Fellow in 2013 for her native-plants work with Habitat for Humanity
and Audubon in Forsyth County. Kim leads Audubon NC’s Bird-Friendly Communities program,
which focuses conservation efforts – including promoting native plants – where most
people live, in cities and towns.
Tradd and Olga Cotter
The Cotters own and operate Mushroom Mountain, a mushroom cultivation and research
facility located in the upstate South Carolina. Tradd is the author of Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation (Chelsea Green), EPA Fellow, and head of Laboratory Research and Product Development
and designer of the FDA sanctioned Wild Mushroom Food Safety course. Olga oversees
all company business, social media, green markets, and expert mushroom hunter.The
pair launched Mushroom Mountain University, an online learning platform in spring
Dr. David Cozzo
Dr. David Cozzo is an ethnobotanist specializing in the relationship of the Cherokee
to their botanical world. He is an Area Specialized Agent for the North Carolina Cooperative
Extension based at the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians Extension Center and is
the Project Director for the Revitalization of Traditional Cherokee Artisan Resources.
He teaches courses and has published articles on the nutritional and medical ethnobotany
of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians.
Cecelia Dailey has managed the studio of Mary Edna Fraser since 2008 in Charleston,
SC. Dailey and Fraser's book The Batik Art of Mary Edna Fraser is being published
by USC Press, 2017. Her work with botanist Richard Porcher includes a book in progress,
incorporating Dailey's images and research. Her photographs using the camera-less
technique of "lumens" were recently exhibited by Salem College, and she has taught
workshops on the process. She was artist-in-residence at Spring Island, SC in November
2016. She is planner and grower for a new urban pollinator garden in Charleston. www.celiedailey.com
Eli Dickerson is the Ecologist and chief "tree hugger" at Fernbank Museum of Natural
History where he manages the 65 acre, old-growth Fernbank Forest. Eli is an avid distance
runner and enjoys exploring the trails of Georgia and North Carolina. In his spare
time he also serves on American Forests National Cadre of Big Tree Measurers and manages
Atlanta's Champion Tree Program. Eli has B.S. in Biology from Winthrop University
and an MBA in nonprofit management from Georgia State University. The Native Plant
Podcast Growing from a friendship forged at the Cullowhee Native Plant Conference
many moons ago, this rock star garage band has brought podcasting to a whole new level.
We're not saying that's a high level, just a new level. :)
Andrew Fox, PLA, ASLA is an Associate Professor and University Faculty Scholar in
the NC State University Department of Landscape Architecture. He is also a professional
landscape architect, co-director of the Coastal Dynamics Design Lab (CDDL), principal
at Lift Environmental Design, and the founding faculty member of the NC State Design+Build
Studio. Andrew specializes in the areas of resilient community design, green infrastructure
and sustainable stormwater management, high-performing public landscapes, and public
A resident of Durham, NC, Matt Gocke is currently the nursery and greenhouse manager
at the North Carolina Botanical Garden in Chapel Hill, NC. His responsibilities at
the Garden include seed and vegetative propagation of southeastern US native plants
for use in the NCBG habitats and landscapes and for sale to the general public. Prior
to working at the NCBG, Matt landscaped and was a Master's student and staff member
at NC State University, Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources. His research
focus was developing rooting protocol for stem cuttings of native tree species including
pine, sweetgum and a variety of oak species.
Becky Griffin is the Community and School Garden Coordinator for University of Georgia
Extension and a Georgia certified beekeeper. You will often find Becky traveling the
roads of Georgia assisting in gardens and helping UGA Extension Agents in their projects.
When not on the road, Becky creates a weekly blog and maintains a website of educational
information (https://ugaurbanag.com/gardens). In 2016 she launched the Pollinator
Spaces Project initiative which encourages gardeners to add pollinator habitat to
their gardens. The project expanded in 2017 into a citizen science program to teach
gardeners to identify and count the pollinators visiting their gardens.
Stephan Hart has been studying plants for over 35 years. As an avid naturalist/botanist,
he has been leading hiking, biking and paddling trips in the southern Appalachian
Mountains for 22 years Favorite areas of interest are the edible, medicinal and useful
aspects of native (ans well as some non- native) plants. Stephan is co-owner of a
native plant education and consulting company called Simply Native Plants, LLC.
With over a decade of experience in Western North Carolina's vast horticulture, Executive
Director Kelly Holdbrooks demonstrates her passion for fostering a human connection
with nature by loving the Reserve as she does children. Blooming with laughter and
learning, a guided tour with Kelly is a real treat! Kelly's research in experiential
methods and the humanism of nature earned her a Master's degree in Landscape Architecture,
with honors, from the College of Environment & Design at the University of Georgia.
She is proud to call Western North Carolina her home.
Steph Jeffries is a naturalist at heart and a forest ecologist by training. She's
the Director of the Environmental First Year Program and a teaching assistant professor
in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources at NC State, where she earned
her Ph.D. in 2002. She also teaches Forest Ecosystems of the Southern Appalachian
Mountains at the Highlands Biological Station. Steph recently co-authored Exploring
Southern Appalachian Forests, which shows readers how to read the natural history
of the forested landscape. Outdoors, she shares her love of the natural world with
people of all ages and backgrounds—her two sons most especially.
Brian F. Jorg, Manager of Native Plant Program at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden,
joined the organization in 2004. Brian’s responsibilities include managing the Native
Plant Project. This project includes the conservation, education, and promotion of
native flora. Finding more efficient methods of propagation and cultivation are a
prime goal of this program. Brian teaches various educational seminars to the general
public, as well as professional organizations. Brian also appears regularly on both
TV and radio as a regional horticulture expert. Another of Brian’s passions is photographing
native flora. Studying these plants on site, or in the field, he documents these sometime
rare and endangered specimens.
SHR's Director of Horticulture, Eric Kimbrel, is a native of the Southern Appalachian
Mountains. After five years working independently and exclusively with private gardening
estate clients with Evergreen Inc. as their primary maintenance specialist, Eric is
happy to be, as they say, home again at last! After earning his Bachelor of Science
degree in Horticulture and Design from the University of Tennessee, Eric specialized
in the woodland area of the Atlanta Botanical Garden. If you want to have an answer
to the question you've always wondered about a rare plant of the Southern Appalachia,
come meet Eric!
Ron Lance is a Biologist and Land Manager with the North American Land Trust. He has
held previous posts in education, natural history interpretation, biology, forestry,
botany and horticulture since 1975. He served on the Board of the International Oak
Society for 12 years, and has authored and co-authored numerous publications dealing
with native woody plants of the Southeastern U.S., including "Woody Plants of the
Southeastern U.S, a Winter Guide" by the Univ. of Georgia Press and Pyracantha in
Flora of North America, volume 9. His interest in hawthorns has yielded 14 separate
publications on Crataegus.
John Magee has been designing and building landscapes in the Washington DC Metro area
and beyond for the past 25 years. His experiences in fragile natural settings around
the world have influenced his designs and installations of his landscapes. He operates
his own, award winning design firm (Magee Design) in the beautiful countryside of
Middleburg, VA. He specializes in the use of native plants, but is also known for
his work with stone and water. These 'earthy' elements combine to create a natural
setting that enhances not only the home of the landscape, but the surrounding area
as well. In his spare time, he helped to create and hosts the Native Plant Podcast.
John Manion, who though born in Georgia, spent his youth growing up in rural upstate
NY. He has lived in many places in the U.S. and abroad and after working in several
careers (the longest as an emergency/trauma nurse) he realized his true passion was
for plants. After earning an undergraduate degree in plant science at SUNY Cobleskill,
he was awarded a fellowship to earn a Master's Degree in Public Garden Leadership
at Cornell University. He has interned and worked at several botanical gardens and
arboreta, including the Royal Botanical Garden in Edinburgh, Scotland. After working
as Historic Gardens Curator at the Atlanta History Center, he assumed his present
position as Kaul Wildflower Garden Curator at Birmingham Botanical Gardens in Alabama,
where he has been for six years. Five years ago John began a Certificate in Native
Plant Studies program that has been immensely successful.
Annie Martin (aka Mossin' Annie) is a leading expert in moss gardening in the US.
As author of The Magical World of Moss Gardening (Timber Press 2015), this WNC native
shares her expertise and passion for mosses in an informative and entertaining format.
As a licensed NC Landscape Contractor and owner of Mountain Moss Enterprises, Mossin'
Annie has years of experience cultivating mosses and creating innovative moss landscapes.
Through her online store (www.mountainmoss.com) and at her Mossery in Brevard, Martin
offers shade and sun moss species in trays and moss mats that roll out like a green
Brent Martin lives in the Cowee community of western North Carolina and serves as
the Southern Appalachian Regional Director for The Wilderness Society. He has an M.A.
and A.B.D in History from Georgia State University, and is the author of three chapbook
collections of poetry, Poems from Snow Hill Road, A Shout in the Woods, and a fourth
collection, Every Breath Sings Mountains, which he co-authored with writers Thomas
Rain Crowe and Barbara Duncan. He is also the author of Hunting for Camellias at Horseshoe
Bend, a non-fiction chapbook published by Red Bird Press in 2015. His poetry and essays
have been published in the North Carolina Literary Review, Pisgah Review, Tar River
Poetry, Chattahoochee Review, Eno Journal, New Southerner, Kudzu Review, Smoky Mountain
News, and elsewhere.
Dr. Kathy Mathews
Kathy is an Associate Professor of Biology at Western Carolina University, since 2003.
She is Director of the WCU Herbarium and is a member of the Society of Herbarium Curators,
the American Society of Plant Taxonomists, and Southern Appalachian Botanical Society,
for which she served as President from 2014-2016. Previously, she worked as a Research
Taxonomist at Brooklyn Botanic Garden and completed a post-doc at the Harvard University
Herbaria. She received her Ph.D. in Botany at UT-Austin in 1997, where she studied
the genus Spigelia. Since then, she has undertaken research with WCU students on several
Southern Appalachian plant groups, such as Micranthes and Trillium, and has published
in scientific journals. Her current research focuses on biogeography of high-elevation
rock outcrop plants. She regularly teaches Flora of the Southern Appalachians, Vascular
Plants, Systematics, and Plants and Society.
Dr. Larry Mellichamp
Dr. Larry Mellichamp is recently retired Professor of Botany and Horticulture at the
University of North Carolina at Charlotte where he taught for over 39years. He was
also director of their 10 acre Botanical Gardens which includes many native plants.
Larry is an expert on native plants of all kinds, especially ferns and carnivorous
plants, and has written many technical and popular articles on plants and gardening.
He has received several teaching and botanical awards and written the recent book
Native Plants of the Southeast...the best species for the garden (Timber Press). He
has observed plants in many foreign countries on his travels in South Africa, Madagascar,
Australia, China and Borneo. He is the 2016 recipient of the Tom Dodd Jr. Award of
Excellence at the 2016 Cullowhee Native Plant Conference.
David Mizejewski is a naturalist and television host with the National Wildlife Federation.
His passion is urban ecology, reconnecting people to the natural world, sharing his
love of the wild plants and creatures that share our planet, and inspiring people
to support conservation efforts. He is author of the award-winning how-to book Attracting
Birds, Butterflies and Other Backyard Wildlife and host of the TV series Backyard
Habitat on Animal Planet and Pet Talk on NatGeo WILD.
George Morris is long-time conference attendee as well as a member of the Cullowhee
Players. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in plant science from the University of
Delaware. His previous experiences include Groundskeeper at Mt. Cuba Center for the
Study of Piedmont Flora, Superintendent of Grounds at Davidson College, owner of Landscape
Sanctuaries, a landscape company specializing in the use of native plants in the landscape,
and Habitat Assessment and Restoration Program (HARP), a habitat restoration firm
in Charlotte NC. He is currently the vegetation specialist for River Works, Inc.,
a stream restoration construction firm based in Raleigh, NC.
Richard Dwight Porcher, Jr., is a native of Pinopolis in Middle St. John's Parish,
Berkeley County, South Carolina, and presently lives in Mt. Pleasant. He graduated
from Berkeley High School in 1957 and the College of Charleston with a BS in biology
in 1962. He received his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1974, where
he studied field botany under Dr. Wade T. Batson. Porcher began a thirty-three year
tenure as a biology professor at The Citadel in 1970. In 1995 he published Wildflowers
of the Carolina Lowcountry and Lower Pee Dee. He is senior author of Wildflowers of
South Carolina published in October 2001. Porcher is presently Professor Emeritus
at The Citadel, having retired in 2003. He currently is an Adjunct Full Professor
in the Department of Biological Sciences at Clemson University, where he established
the Wade T. Batson Endowment in Field Botany to assist students in the study of the
state's flora and plant ecology. Porcher and Sarah Fick published The Story of Sea
Island Cotton in 2005. Porcher and William Judd published The Market Preparation of
Carolina Rice in 2014. Porcher is working on a book titled Our Lost Heritage, a history
of the peoples and plantations in the St. John's Basin in Berkeley County flooded
by Lake Moultrie in 1942. Porcher and Celie Dailey are currently working on a book
entitled: Rediscovering the Lowcountry Landscape in the Footsteps of our Forebears.
Porcher and Joel Gramling of The Citadel are working on a new Lowcountry wildflower
book of the Coastal Plain of South Carolina.
Karen Rawlins is the Invasive Species Coordinator and the Bugwood Images Coordinator
at the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health at the University of Georgia.
Her duties at UGA include; development and delivery of outreach materials and presentations,
expanding the development and operation of the Georgia Invasive Species Task Force,
developing Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas in Georgia, classification
of images and information into the Bugwood Image Database System, development and
training associated with the Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System (EDDMapS),
and field work including installation and management of research plots and collection
of field survey data.
Ann Stoneburner received her B.S. from Radford University (VA) and her M.S. from James
Madison University (VA), both in Biology. She obtained her Ph.D. from Duke University
(NC), studying under Lewis Anderson, a leading authority on the moss flora of North
America. As a research scientist in the Department of Botany at the University of
Georgia, Ann's research centered on the systematics and evolution of polyploidy in
species of the Mniaceae, a largely circumpolar family of mosses with a number of species
whose geographical ranges extend to the Southern Appalachians.
Doug Tallamy is a professor at the University of Delaware, where he has taught and
done research for 36 years. His book Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain
Wildlife in Our Gardens was published by Timber Press in 2007 and was awarded the
2008 Silver Medal by the Garden Writers' Association. The Living Landscape, co-authored
with Rick Darke, was published in 2014. Doug is also a regular columnist for garden
Design magazine. Among his awards are the Garden Club of America Margaret Douglas
Medal for Conservation and the Tom Dodd, Jr. Award of Excellence.
Gregg is a professional horticulturist, lecturer, consultant and life-long native
plant enthusiast. Gregg worked at Mt. Cuba Center in Hockessin, DE where he held the
positions of Horticulturist, Woods Path Horticulturist and Director of Horticulture.
He has lectured extensively on native plants in the United States as well as at the
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Wisley in Great Britain. He enjoys botanizing excursions
to observe, study and photograph plants in situ. He is the Director of Horticulture
and board member of the newly-formed Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek in Dagsboro,
Larry Weaner has been creating native landscapes since 1977. His firm Larry Weaner
Landscape Associates has a national reputation for combining ecological restoration
with the traditions of garden design. The firm's work has received numerous awards,
been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Garden Design, American
Gardener, and Landscape Architecture Magazine, among other publications, and been
included on tours with The Garden Conservancy, The Cultural Landscape Foundation,
and the American Horticultural Society. Larry lectures actively throughout the U.S.,
and in 1990, he founded New Directions in the American Landscape, a conference series
with a national following. He recently coauthored Garden Revolution: How Our Landscapes
Can Be a Source of Environmental Change (Timber Press, 2016). Larry's more recent
accolades include being granted the Lady Bird Johnson Environmental Award by the Westchester
Community College Native Plant Center as well as the New England Wildflower Society
Regional Impact Award both for his continued work with native plants
Robert Wyatt obtained his bachelor's degree from the University of North Carolina
at Chapel Hill and his doctorate from Duke University, both in Botany. He taught at
Texas A&M University before joining the faculty at the University of Georgia, where
he was a Professor of Botany and Ecology for more than 20 years. From 1999 to 2005
Dr. Wyatt was the Executive Director of the Highlands Biological Station, an interinstitutional
center of the University of North Carolina. He has won numerous awards for teaching
and research, trained more than 40 graduate students, and published more than 160