About CCSD
Guiding Principles

The Center for Conservation and Sustainable Development (CCSD) explores and implements new, science-based approaches to the conservation and sustainable use of plant diversity. CCSD’s strategies for conservation are based on a sound, scientific understanding of the occurrence, distribution, and ecology of plants.


CCSD is committed to the following principles:

  • Pursuit both of research in biodiversity and conservation and of conservation action
  • A focus on geographical areas where conservation need is urgent and the Missouri Botanical Garden has both expertise and a depth of  experience 
  • A commitment to continually strengthen training and exchange of knowledge with people in these priority geographical areas so that they have the tools to contribute toward building a sustainable future 
  • An emphasis on collaborative and participatory conservation



  1. Advance biodiversity and conservation research to provide a sound basis for    formulating conservation strategies and practical solutions and for advocating for these strategies
  2. Continue to apply the outcomes of research in biodiversity science and conservation biology to conserve rare and endangered plant species and their habitats and to engage St. Louis area residents with plant conservation 
  3. Further develop community programs aimed at conservation and sustainable management of natural resources and improved well-being of community residents
  4. Expand capacity building programs aimed at developing abilities to implement conservation
  5. Strengthen, and continue to build, partnerships with public and private sector organizations and agencies to foster conservation, and continue to participate in and promote the international conservation endeavor


The work of CCSD is made possible through the very generous
support of the Bellwether Foundation, private donors, and other funding organizations.


Matthew Albrecht, Ph.D.
Conservation Ecologist

Olga Martha Montiel

Barbara Alongi
Senior Administrative Assistant

Stephen Murphy
Post Doc
Global Change Ecology

James Aronson, Ph.D.
Restoration Ecologist

Hans Rajaonera
Communications and Education Officer,
Madagascar Program

Burgund Bassüner, Ph.D.
Science Specialist

Leighton Reid, Ph.D.
Restoration Ecologist
Indiana Coronado
Research Fellow

Shannon Skarha
Lab Technician
Brad Delfeld
Research Specialist

Adam Smith, Ph.D.
Global Change Ecologist
Christine Edwards, Ph.D.
Conservation Geneticist

Sebastián Tello, Ph.D.
Assistant Scientist

Kelley Erickson
Post Doc
Global Change Ecology

Bladimir Terán
Environmental Specialist,
Bolivia Program

Alan Graham, Ph.D.

Rodolfo Vásquez
Manager, Peru Program

Iván Jiménez, Ph.D.
Associate Scientist

Amy Zanne, Ph.D.
Research Associate

Allison Miller, Ph.D.
Research Associate


Keynote Speaker

Christy Edwards was invited to deliver one of the keynotes addresses at the 6th Global Congress of Botanic Gardens Conservation International that took place in in Geneva, Switzerland in June. Christy talked on the importance of using conservation genetics to increase the effectiveness of plant conservation efforts.