Research & Conservation Biologists at Desert Botanical Garden

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Meet our team

Alexandra (Ali) Schuessler, M.S.

Lab Manager

Email: aschuessler@dbg.org

Root associated fungi in desert and riparian plants, and its influence and impact on restoration. Genomics of fungi and desert plants. Plant physiology of riparian and desert plants.

Andrew Salywon profile picture - Research and Conservation staff at the Desert Botanicals Garden

Andrew Salywon, PH.D.

Herbarium Curator and Research Botanist

Email: asalywon@dbg.org
Phone: 480.481.8107

Botanical inventories, endemic, rare and endangered plants of Arizona and the Sonoran Desert, molecular ecology, new crop development for arid-lands, and plant systematics using both traditional and molecular data

Aryn Musgrave, M.S.

GIS Manager

Email: amusgrave@dbg.org
Phone: 480.423.7010

As part of the Research, Conservation, and Collections team, I manage the enterprise geographic information system and oversee mapping of the plants in Desert Botanical Garden's living collection. In addition to mapping our living collection, I also support the department by collaborating on research projects and providing maps and spatial analysis for publications.

Beth Brand profile picture - Research and Conservation staff at the Desert Botanicals Garden

Beth Brand

Librarian
Schilling Library

Email: bbrand@dbg.org
Phone: 480.481.8133

Collections care and conservation, archiving and preservation of the Garden’s history

Brad Posch, Ph.D.

Post-Doctoral Research Scientist, Plant Eco-Physiology

Email: Bposch@dbg.org

Plant thermal tolerance and acclimation; leaf photosynthesis and respiration; chlorophyll fluorescence; plant physiological ecology and global change.

Challie Facemire, Ph.D.

Central Arizona Conservation Alliance Program Director

Email: cfacemire@dbg.org
Phone: 480.481.8167

Collaborative conservation, law and policy impacts on large-scale land management, cross boundary ecosystem and biodiversity conservation and management.

Dan Koepke profile picture - Research and Conservation staff at the Desert Botanicals Garden

Dan F. Koepke, M.S.

Research Technician

Email: dkoepke@dbg.org
Phone: 480.941.1225

Plant-water relations, plant hydraulic systems, morphological and physiological investigation, histology and riparian restoration

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Irene Dickinson, B.S.

Arizona Monarch Collaborative Coordinator

Email: idickinson@dbg.org

Butterfly ecology and conservation, monarch conservation, urban insect desert ecology, community science and outreach, and interagency communication

Joe McAuliffe profile picture - Research and Conservation staff at the Desert Botanicals Garden

Joe Mcauliffe, PH.D.

Director Emeritus & Senior Research Scientist

Email: jmcauliffe@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

Kevin Hultine profile picture - Research and Conservation staff at the Desert Botanicals Garden

Kevin R. Hultine, Ph.D.

Director of Research

Email: khultine@dbg.org
Phone: 480.481.8195

Water relations, photosynthesis and thermal tolerance of plants in arid and semi-arid regions; desert riparian plant ecology and conservation; population dynamics of desert shrubs,trees and cactus species.

Kim Pegram

Kim Pegram, Ph.D.

Program Director, Pollinator Conservation and Research

Email: kpegram@dbg.org
Phone: 480.481.8135

Butterfly ecology and conservation, monarch conservation, plant-insect interactions, butterfly and pollinator science outreach to encourage conservation action.

Kimberlie McCue, PH.D.

Chief Science Officer

Email: kmccue@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

Kristen Kindl profile picture - Research and Conservation staff at the Desert Botanicals Garden

Kristen Kindl

Living Collections Coordinator/CPS Project Manager

Email: kkindl@dbg.org
Phone: 480.481.2078

Databasing and accessioning the Garden’s Living Collections; production and placement of plant identification labels

Luis Romero

Luis C. Romero, B.S.

Conservation Collections Research Assistant

Email: lromero@dbg.org

Developing horticulture and conservation practices for rare plants through tissue culture, In-situ and ex-situ plant conservation, Development of propagation and restoration techniques relating to native desert ecosystems, Ecosystems, ethnography, and botany of the southwest, Practical conservation science, education, and outreach.

MARISOL ORTIZ, B.S.

CAZCA Engagement Coordinator

Email: mortiz@dbg.org

Assist in the development of CAZCA programs, outreach events and social media strategies.

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Michiel Pillet, B.S.

IUCN SSC Cactus and Succulent Plants Specialist Group Program Officer

Email: mpillet@dbg.org

Cactus conservation ecology, with a focus on the impacts of climate change and illegal trade. Developing connections between conservation stakeholders, including the horticultural community.

Natalie

Natalie Melkonoff, B.S.

Plant and Insect Ecology Program Manager

Email: nmelkonoff@dbg.org
Phone: 480.941-3516

Plant-insect ecology, monarch conservation, native plant propagation, plant physiology, habitat restoration, science outreach

Raul Puente profile picture - Research and Conservation staff at the Desert Botanicals Garden

Raul Puente-Martinez, M.S.

Curator Of Living Collections, Research Botanist

Email: rpuente@dbg.org
Phone: 480.481.8110

Systematics of Opuntieae (Cactaceae), hybridization of prickly pears, floristics, use of native and low-water-use plants in landscaping

Ricardo Garcia

Ricardo Garcia, B.S.

Plant Materials Technician

Email: rgarcia@dbg.org
Phone: 480.941.3506

Native plant propagation and seed collection, pollinator ecology, habitat restoration and community outreach

Sarah Hunkins profile picture - Research and Conservation staff at the Desert Botanicals Garden

Sarah Hunkins, B.S.

Herbarium Collections Manager

Email: shunkins@dbg.org
Phone: 480.418.8152

Curation, conservation and processing of the collections

Shannon Fehlberg profile picture - Research and Conservation staff at the Desert Botanicals Garden

Shannon D. Fehlberg, Ph.D.

Dorrance Family Foundation Conservation Biologist

Email: sfehlberg@dbg.org
Phone: 480.481.8143

Evolution and population genetics and genomics of rare plants and their relatives; distribution and historical biogeography; factors affecting genetic and species diversity; polyploidy and hybridization

Steven Blackwell profile picture - Research and Conservation staff at the Desert Botanicals Garden

Steven A. Blackwell, B.S.

Conservation Collections Manager

Email: sblackwell@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

Tania Hernandez Headshot

Tania Hernandez, PH.D.

New World Succulents Cactus Scientist

Email: thernandez@dbg.org
Phone: 480.481.8129

Origin, evolution and diversification of succulent lineages with a focus on Cactaceae and Agavoideae

Wendy Hodgson profile picture - Research and Conservation staff at the Desert Botanicals Garden

Wendy C. Hodgson, M.S

Herbarium Curator Emerita
Senior Research Botanist

Email: whodgson@dbg.org
Phone: 480.481.8108

Floristics of Southwestern United States, particularly Grand Canyon region, Cactaceae and Agavaceae systematics, ethnobotany of Sonoran Desert, invasive species, systematics of rare Southwestern plants


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