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People of the Conservatory

Lisa Aston PhilanderLisa Aston PhilanderCurator, phil0120@umn.edu

My educational background is interdisciplinary with interests in agroecology, ethnobotany, political ecology, and arid lands resources. I am interested in the histories of plant utilization and how different cultures use the same plant in a multitude of ways that are ever influenced by other cultures. My research focuses on traditional knowledge of medicinal plants in the Cape Floristic Region, South Africa where I examined the trade of phytomedicines and developed community-based programming to conserve and grow endangered plant species. Instilling the love of plants is easy to do in this magical place that can transport you to different parts of the world by examining how rare and unusual plants have evolved to exist in various environments.

Alex EiltsAlex Eilts, Research Associate, eilts@umn.edu

Plants are awesome! Don't believe me? Come down to The Conservatory, and I'll show you what makes them so great. With my background in plant ecophysiology, I don't just see plants as pretty flowers, nice foliage, or food. Nope, plants are organisms that have adapted to a wide set of conditions despite common limitations. I particularly like examples of convergent evolution, when species have evolved similar adaptations despite not being closely related. Most people may see the diversity of plants as a green backdrop to our world, but I love the diversity of forms, shapes, and adaptations they display. Plants are every bit as diverse as animals, you just have to stop and look a little closer.

Reba JuettenReba Juetten, Museum Studies Intern, juett021@umn.edu

My internship has worked primarily on the Healing Landscapes exhibit, working on content research about medicinal plants and the people who use them along with grant applications to fund the exhibit and the application for the gallery space itself. I am currently in a Ph.D. program in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine, studying the history of botany and minoring in Museum Studies. In the future, I hope to combine my interests in plants, people, and education in a career in museums (including public gardens) or academia. 

Christina GengelbachChristina Gengelbach, Social Media Intern, genge016@umn.edu

The social media internship wants to reach out to the local community through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter; providing interesting information about our unique plant collection. Hopefully we will be able to get people learning and interacting with us even if they are unable to stop by our facility. I am an undergraduate student studying in my final year with a major in plant biology and a minor in marine biology. 

STUDENT STAFF
Tomas Glowka

Tomas Glowka

Sophia Wimberley

Sophia Wimberley

 
 
VOLUNTEERS
Meredith Campbell

Meredith Campbell

Yuanhao Ruan

Yuanhao Ruan

Rachel Meyer

Rachel Meyer

Eva Carlson

Eva Carlson

Daniel Stanton

Daniel Stanton

Chas Huston

Chas Huston

Dan Parnell

Dan Parnell

Greta Rockstad

Greta Rockstad

Cody Abel

Cody Abel

CONSERVATORY ALUMNI

Adam Alver

Adam Alver

Chole Fouilloux

Chloe Fouilloux

Keith Murphy

Keith Murphy

Joe Miller

Joe Miller


Connie Johnson

Connie Johnson

Nathan Vikeras

Nathan Vikeras

Sunshine garden club

Sunshine Garden Club


Elsa Mattson

Elsa Mattson

Jonathan Walker

Jonathan Walker

Mira Garner

Mira Garner


Adam Seubert

Adam Seubert

Brian Valley

Brian Valley

Elise Wall

Elise Wall