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Meet our Scientists

Director of Research and Conservation

Jennifer Ramp Neale, Ph.D.

Jenny focuses on the applied research of plants in the southern Rocky Mountain region with an emphasis on conservation genetics, long-term demographic monitoring, and restoration and reintroduction of Colorado’s most rare and imperiled plants. She works closely with local and national government and nonprofit agencies to help protect Colorado’s rare plants.

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Associate Director of Research & Head Curator of the Herbaria

Melissa Islam, Ph.D.

Melissa's research explores questions about the diversity and ancestry of plants in the southern Rocky Mountain region and similar regions around the world.

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Manager of Conservation Programs

Rebecca Hufft, Ph.D.

Rebecca supports the Gardens’ efforts to conserve Colorado’s rare plants by incorporating the ecology and demography of rare plant species and studies of biodiversity, invasive species and phenology into the conservation program.

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Research Associate

Michelle DePrenger-Levin, M.S.

Michelle uses the results of long-term demographics studies of Colorado’s rare, native plants to inform land managers on how to best conserve the unique and varied Colorado landscape.

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Research Assistant

Mary VB Goshorn, M.S.

Mary is interested in a genetic approach to plant taxonomy, as well as the use of genetic analysis to evaluate diversity in populations of plants. At the Gardens, she pursues seed collection and genetic analyses of Colorado’s rare plant populations in addition to her assistance with demographic monitoring of rare plants.

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Curator, Sam Mitchel Herbarium of Fungi

Vera Stucky Evenson, M.S.

Vera actively collects, documents and vouchers specimens of Colorado’s native fungi with research interests in several members of the families Pyronometaceae and Cortinariaceae. In addition, Vera helps identify mushrooms for the Colorado Mycological Society and poison control centers. 

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Research Associate, Kathryn Kalmbach Herbarium

Janet L. Wingate, Ph.D.
Former curator of Kathryn Kalmbach Herbarium, 1995-2007

Janet is interested in the native flora of Colorado, especially the Poaceae and Cyperaceae. She is presently researching for her book on the Carcies of Colorado. This book will be similar to her popular "Illustrated Keys to the Grasses of Colorado".

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Kathryn Kalmbach Curatorial Assistant

Pam Regensberg, M.S.

Pam's research is focused on understanding and conserving biodiversity. Her work provides valuable information of plant and fungal distributions through systematic and ongoing floristic research.

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Rick Levy, M.S.

Database Associate

Rick Levy, M.S.

Rick manages the department’s database systems and oversees all digital initiatives.

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Research Coordinator

Martha Mendoza

Martha assists all research with scientific data entry, management, and preliminary analyses. She also oversees the department’s outreach program.

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Doctoral Graduate Student

Joe Statwick

Joe is studying rare members of the genus Astragalus in western Colorado. With a background in population genetics, field ecology, and geology, he's studying why some Astragalus specialize on unusual substrates and landforms, particularly seleniferous soils and steep canyon walls.

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Graduate Research Assistant

Carla DeMasters, M.A.

With her background in plant ecology and interest in restoration, Carla is working with the Research and Conservation Department Staff in planning and implementing restoration projects at Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield.

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Research and Conservation Department
Fax: 720-865-3683

Adjunct Researchers

Adjunct Researchers support and collaborate with the Gardens scientists to ensure a diverse and robust research program.