Botanist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Florida Ecological Services Field Office, Panama City, Florida
My work is centered on the protection and preservation of federally listed plant species and their habitats. I perform surveys, conduct field research, and prepare mandate documents under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973, as amended. My research has focused on the breeding systems of flowering plants, systematics (Rubiaceae & Cactaceae), and plant demography, with applications to conservation and the recovery process of the ESA.
Strategic Planning Committee, Organizational Impact and Visibility priority- member/participant (2021); Human Diversity Committee (2017-2020); PLANTS Mentor (2016, 2018); co-organizer & co-moderator, Botany 2008 Symposium on ‘Pollination to Population Structure - How Understanding Reproductive Biology Can Inform Conservation of Rare Plants’.
Co-founder and co-leader of the FL Rare Plant Conservation Endowment (2014-present); Member of Steering and Planning Committee for Southeastern Partners in Plant Conservation (2015-2016, 2019-present); Member of the technical advice team for the Florida Forest Service State Conservation grants (2008-present); Member of M.S./Ph.D. committees (1995- present), University of Miami, Florida State University, Florida International University, and Miami University (Ohio); Spearheaded the development of a nationwide USFWS Strategy for Plant Conservation (2010-2012); NSF panel member and reviewer (1997, 2006, 2007).
Statement of Interest
I am honored to be a candidate to serve BSA as its President. Conserving plants protected under the Endangered Species Act has been the prime focus of my work. In the face of many stressors, plant scientists in government need to work like never before to meet the challenges head on—to proactively conserve as many at-risk species as possible over the next decade. Given the overwhelming lack of botanical expertise inside government agencies, BSA has the capacity to contribute to this endeavor. BSA has been my ‘to go’ professional meeting since my first introduction to the Society in 1985. Throughout the many talks attended at that conference, I quickly recognized the extraordinary contributions of the Society in facilitating the dissemination of information, sharing science, and providing opportunities for networking, and quickly became a regular attendee at Botany conferences. Given the opportunity of becoming President, I’ll support ongoing BSA activities and assist with the implementation of the most recent Strategic Plan. Through the BSA setting, I would like to take the opportunity to raise awareness of non-academic careers with the objective of increasing botanical expertise within government agencies and advancing the best scientific information for conservation science.