WEATHER »

PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Monday, May 23, 2016

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden Welcomes New Conservation Staff

The Garden is pleased to welcome Dr. Heather E. Schneider as the new Rare Plant Biologist in the Conservation and Research Department. She will focus on the most vulnerable of California’s native plants, those 1300 rare or endangered species.

Dr. Schneider received her Ph.D. in Plant Biology from the University of California, Riverside, in 2010, with a focus on plant ecology and invasive species. Following graduation, she worked as an Ecologist for the US Geological Survey for two years before accepting a postdoctoral fellowship at UC Santa Barbara in 2013.

Research and conservation of native plants has been part the Garden’s mission since 1926 when noted plant ecologist Dr. Frederic Clements first proposed the new Garden. The current research team includes scientists working to understand and preserve California plants from the genetic level to the ecosystem level. Dr. Schneider will round out this team in this new position with a focus on rare and endangered plants. While much of her work will be done in the field, Dr. Schneider will also be working with the team in the new Pritzlaff Conservation Center.

# # # #

For further information or to request high-resolution images please contact Rebecca Mordini, Communications Coordinator, at 805-682-4726 ext. 132. For more information about the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, please visit www.sbbg.org

About the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden: The Garden is a 78-acre nonprofit educational and scientific institution that conserves California’s native plants through display gardens, research and education, and serves as a role model for sustainable practices. The Garden was founded in 1926 and is among the nation’s oldest botanic gardens focused exclusively on native plants.

Rare Plant Biologist Joins the Conservation and Research Team

The Garden is pleased to welcome Dr. Heather E. Schneider as the new Rare Plant Biologist in the Conservation and Research team. She will focus on the most vulnerable of California’s native plants, those 1300 rare or endangered species.

Heather received her Ph.D. in Plant Biology from the University of California, Riverside, in 2010, with a focus on plant ecology and invasive species. Following graduation, she worked as an Ecologist for the US Geological Survey for two years before accepting a postdoctoral fellowship at UC Santa Barbara in 2013.

According to Dr. Denise Knapp, Director of Conservation and Research at the Garden, “Heather’s diverse research background gives her the tools she will need to address the threats facing rare plants which can be at any biological level from genes to ecosystems.”

As a plant ecologist, Heather studies the relationship between plants and their environment. Her research on how native plants use added nitrogen differently than invasive species may lead to environmental adjustments that help native plants regain control over areas taken over by invasive species. Her research in evolutionary biology tracks how plants are adapting to the changing climate, with difference in petal sizes, bloom times, and pollination. Heather starts work at the Garden in March, conducting rare plant surveys in the Central Valley, the Central Coast and the off-shore islands. This initial research will help set priorities for expanding the current rare plant program started by Dr. Dieter Wilken.

Growing up in the Chicago area, Heather spent a lot of time camping and hiking. Each year, her mother created a field of native wildflowers in their yard and Heather grew up munching on berries and fruits grown in their own garden. Her mother is a biologist whose knowledge of the plant world became a natural part of Heather’s experience.

Heather is excited to be working here because, as she says, “botanic gardens are embedded in their communities and provide a natural space for science to develop practical knowledge and to enrich people’s understanding and appreciation for nature.” She is a welcome and much needed addition to our conservation team.

Contact

By Rebecca Mordini, Communications Coordinator

event calendar sponsored by:
Recent Comments