Damon Waitt, Ph.D. - Dr. Waitt is Senior Director and Botanist at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas. Waitt serves as the Wildflower Center's botanical authority and is the author of the Center's Native Plant Information Network. Waitt holds a Ph.D. in Botany from the University of Texas in Austin where he studied the evolutionary ecology of Phlox drummondii, an M.S. in Botany from Louisiana State University Baton Rouge for work on sex ratio evolution in sedges and a B.S. from Tulane University. Dr. Waitt serves as the principal investigator on several projects related to the Wildflower Center’s Pulling Together Invasive Species Initiative. Dr. Waitt serves on the Invasive Species Advisory Committee for the National Invasive Species Council, is founder and past president of the Texas Invasive Plant and Pest Council, past chair of the National Association of Exotic Pest Plant Councils, chair of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Advisory Committee, serves on the Texas Invasive Species Coordinating Committee Advisory Group and is Past-president of the Texas Academy of Sciences.
Karen H. Clary, Ph.D. - Karen Clary is the Manager of Plant Conservation programs at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas at Austin. Clary provides programmatic oversight for all conservation programs. Dr. Clary holds a B.S. in Anthropology from Texas A & M University, College Station, an M.S. in Anthropology from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque and a Ph.D. in Botany from the University of Texas, Austin. Prior to coming to the Wildflower Center, Clary served as a Wildlife Habitat Resource Assessment Biologist in the Wildlife Habitat Assessment Program for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Austin. She was also the Lead Biologist for the Environmental Affairs Division at the Texas Department of Transportation, Austin. Karen serves on several conservation committees including the Navasota Ladies’ Tresses (Spiranthes parksii) Recovery Team, the Texas Plant Conservation Initiative, the Texas Plant Conservation Action Plan Committee and the Texas Wildlife Action Plan Committee – Edwards Plateau Ecoregion. She is also a Research Affiliate with the University of Texas, Austin, Plant Resources Center (Herbarium) and a Scientific Reviewer for the Flora of North America (Agave Family), Missouri Botanical Garden.
Minnette Marr, M.S. - Minnette Marr holds an M.S. in Science Education from Texas Woman’s University (1991) and an M.S. in Biology from Texas State University – San Marcos (2002). Before joining the Conservation Department of Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, she managed the Wetlands Restoration Nursery in the headwaters of the San Marcos River and monitored invasive plant species in East Texas forests. As a plant conservationist, she collaborates with land managers and citizen scientists to collect seeds of native species for regional in situ restoration projects and national and international ex situ conservation programs.
Jessica Strickland, M.S. - Jessica Strickland is the Invaders of Texas citizen science program’s coordinator. She holds a Master of Science degree in Aquatic Resources from Texas State University in San Marcos, TX (2009) and a Bachelor of Science: Wildlife and Fisheries Ecology from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA. (2005). Before coming to the Wildflower Center, Jessica was esponsible for conducting biological, hydrological, and chemical studies relating to water supply, climate change, invasive species, and habitat restoration with American Rivers in Nevada City, CA. As coordinator of the Invaders of Texas program, Jessica is responsible for all communication with volunteers, promoting the program, conducting workshops, validating all observations, public outreach dealing with invasive species, and various other invasive species related tasks.