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Research & Conservation Staff


Stacie Beute, B.S.

Conservation Alliance Coordinator

  • Email: sbeute[at]dbg.org
  • Phone: 
    480 481.8187
Socio-ecological systems; collaborative, community-based conservation; public participation in scientific research (PPSR) initiatives; models of PPSR and associated socio-ecological outcomes; building capacity for conservation; drivers of conservation; trade-offs in decision-making; the commons.

Steven A. Blackwell, B.S.

Conservation Collections Manager

  • Email: sblackwell[at]dbg.org
  • Phone: 
    480 481.8175
Developing propagation techniques and protocols for rare plants, seed germination and viability studies of rare plants, habitat restoration and species reintroduction.

Beth Brand

Librarian, Schilling Library

  • Email: bbrand[at]dbg.org
  • Phone:
    480 481.8133
Collections care and conservation, archiving and preservation of the Garden’s history.

Shannon D. Fehlberg, Ph.D.

Dorrance Family Foundation
Conservation Biologist

  • Email: sfehlberg[at]dbg.org
  • Phone:
    480 481.8143
Evolution, distribution, and population genetics of rare plants; determinants of genetic and species diversity; biogeography; polyploidy

Wendy C. Hodgson, M.S.

Curator of the Herbarium, Senior Research Botanist

  • Email: whodgson[at]dbg.org
  • Phone:
    480 481.8108
Floristics of Southwestern US, particularly Grand Canyon region, Cactaceae and Agavaceae systematics, ethnobotany of Sonoran Desert, invasive species, systematics of rare Southwestern plants


Plant Physiologist/Ecophysiologist

  • Email: khultine[at]dbg.org
  • Phone:
    480 481.8195
Plant water and nutrient relations of arid and semi-arid regions; desert riparian plant ecology and conservation; population dynamics of desert shrubs, trees and cactus species.

Lucas C. Majure, Ph.D.

Biologist of New World Succulents

  • Email: lmajure[at]dbg.org
  • Phone:
    480 481.8129
Phylogenetics, biogeography, morphological evolution, reticulate evolution, and polyploidy; plant systematics and speciation, especially of Opuntieae (Cactaceae); floristics.

Joe McAuliffe, Ph.D.

Director of Research

  • Email: jmcauliffe[at]dbg.org
  • Phone:
    480 481.8105
Soil-vegetation relationships in arid and semi-arid environments, ecology and conservation of semi-arid grasslands, development of long-lived clonal shrubs

Kimberlie McCue, Ph.D.

Assistant Director, Research, Conservation and Collections

Program Director, Conservation of Threatened Species and Habitats

  • Email: kmccue[at]dbg.org
  • Phone:
    480 481.8137
Population ecology and genetics of rare plants, in situ and ex situ seed bank dynamics, invasive species, conservation science outreach and education

Raul Puente-Martinez, M.S.

Curator of Living Collections,
Research Botanist

  • Email: rpuente[at]dbg.org
  • Phone:
    480 481.8110
Systematics of Opuntioideae (Cactaceae), hybridization of prickly pears, floristics, use of native and low water use plants in landscaping

Veronica Nixon, M.A.


  • Email: vnixon[at]dbg.org 
  • Phone: 480 423.7010
Collection, organization, and dissemination of spatial data; maintenance of the Garden’s GIS

Andrew Salywon, Ph.D.

Assistant Herbarium Curator
and Research Botanist

  • Email: asalywon[at]dbg.org
  • Phone:
    480 481.8107
Botanical inventories, endemic and rare and endangered plants in Arizona and the Sonoran Desert, molecular ecology, new crop development for arid-lands, and plant systematics using both traditional and molecular data.  

Joni Ward, M.S.

Plant Registrar

  • Email:
  • Phone:
    480 481.2078
Data basing, inventorying, accessioning the Garden’s Living Collection Flora of Arizona and the Southwest

Dustin Wolkis, B.S.

Research Assistant

  • Email: dwolkis[at]dbg.org
  • Phone: 480 481.8175

Use of native seeds in Sonoran Desert restoration and revegetation, Conservation of rare plants and plant communities, Plant ecology, Sonoran Desert ethnobotany, Acoustic ecology

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