Horticulturist's Bios

York Street Curators, Horticulture Specialists & Horticulturists Senior Staff

Sarada Krishnan, Ph.D., Director of Horticulture and Center for Global Initiatives, is responsible for directing the design and maintenance of the horticulture displays and collections and for developing and leading global projects. Her doctorate research at University of Colorado, Boulder, focused on the conservation genetics of the wild coffee plant (Coffea spp.) in Madagascar. She has a Master of Science in horticulture from Colorado State University and a Bachelor of Science in horticulture from India. She owns coffee plantations in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica. Here is Sarada's profile.

Panayoti Kelaidis, Senior Curator and Director of Outreach - Since 1980, Panayoti has represented Denver Botanic Gardens in educational, professional and promotional endeavors as an expert in horticulture. He also acts as a liaison to botanical societies, professional horticulture organizations and green industry members. He helped create Plant Select®;  designed and implemented numerous gardens; and has led tours to Asia, Europe and South Africa. He works with rock garden, perennial, native plant and succulent societies nationally and internationally, and has served on the boards of horticulture societies. Panayoti has received numerous awards, including the 2000 Arthur Hoyt Scott Medal from the Scott Arboretum and the 2003 Liberty Hyde Bailey medal of the American Horticultural Society, two of the highest honors in American horticulture.

Cindy Newlander, Associate Director of Horticulture, has led the plant records team’s efforts of documenting the living collections through databasing, mapping, labeling and photo documentation since 2002. She maintains the Gardens Navigator website which shares collections’ information with the public. She is actively involved with the American Public Gardens Association where she was the Plant Collections Community Chair (2017-2019), Vice Chair (2015-2017) and has worked with the Plant Collections Network as the leader (2011-2014) and group inventory manager (2011–present) for the nationally accredited Quercus multisite collection. She received a Master of Science in public horticulture from the Longwood Graduate Program at the University of Delaware and her Bachelor of Science is in horticulture from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Dan Johnson, Curator of Native Plants and Associate Director of Horticulture, has been at the Gardens since 1996. Though much of his focus is on xeric and native plants and naturalistic design, his work has included all corners of the Gardens. He has been involved with Plant Select since its debut in 1997. His horticultural exploration has included all four of the world’s Steppe regions and beyond, including the western U.S., South Africa, Argentina, Spain and Pakistan. Publications include the revised and expanded “Meet the Natives” wildflower guide, “Steppes” and many articles in gardening periodicals.

Nick Snakenberg, Curator of Tropical Collections and Associate Director of Horticulture, has worked at the Gardens since 1993. A graduate of Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in horticulture, he currently curates the Gardens’ tropical collections and helps manage the Boettcher Memorial Tropical Conservatory. He has taught many horticultural classes for the Gardens and is a frequent speaker for local garden clubs and plant societies. Nick’s affiliations with professional organizations add to his expertise and include membership in the Denver Orchid Society (having served as president), the Orchid Digest Corporation and the American Orchid Society where he serves as an accredited orchid judge for the Rocky Mountain Regional Judging Center.

Mike Bone, Curator of Steppe Collections, is involved in many aspects of the Plant Select program. Mike has worked at the Gardens since 2002 where the majority of his tenure is in propagation and production. Mike has a passion for cultivating plants from and appropriate for the steppes of North America and has traveled and studied the flora of North America and Central Asia. Mike’s love of gardening and horticulture keeps him scouring the globe for great garden plants to bring people in contact with the living world far and near.

Mike Kintgen, Curator of Alpine Collections, has been with the gardens officially since 2004 and as a volunteer since the mid-1990s. While much of his work focuses on alpine and montane floras worldwide, he works with all aspects of temperate flora adapted to the Rocky Mountain region. His horticultural exploration has taken him to Argentina, Morocco, throughout western North America, and to most of the high mountains areas of Europe. Mike is a popular lecturer locally, nationally and internationally. Publications include "Steppes" and many articles in horticultural journals and gardening periodicals. Here is Mike's profile.

Sign up for our e-newsletters!