Plant Talk

NYBG Expands Science Team with Drs. Mauricio Diazgranados and Eric Sanderson

Posted in History & People , Plant Science on June 16, 2023, by Matt Newman

Juxtaposed images of two people in brimmed outdoor hats and hiking gear posing for photos

Left to right: Dr. Mauricio Diazgranados, Dr. Eric Sanderson

We’re thrilled to share that two outstanding scholars have joined The New York Botanical Garden’s celebrated Science division over the course of this spring, expanding our formidable science division. Mauricio Diazgranados, Ph.D., started this past Monday, June 12, as our new Chief Science Officer and Dean of the International Plant Science Center, and as of March 27 of this year, Eric Sanderson, Ph.D., now serves as the Garden’s inaugural Vice President for Urban Conservation Strategy.

Dr. Diazgranados will lead strategic positioning and planning for NYBG’s Science Division. He joins NYBG from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in London, where he served as a Research Leader responsible for leading Kew’s Nature-based Solutions Initiative, which works to address environmental and societal challenges. Previously, Dr. Diazgranados was Director for Science at the Bogotá Botanical Garden, where he funded and led the construction of the largest greenhouse in South America. With over 20 years of teaching experience, including lecturing on botany and biology at several universities, Dr. Diazgranados has produced a large body of notable scholarship and is frequently invited to share his insights in presentations and talks as a guest speaker. While at Kew, Dr. Diazgranados led the development and publication of the Catalogue of Useful Plants of Colombia and the Catalogue of Fungi of Colombia, which have quickly become highly impactful and referenced works on one of the world’s most biodiverse countries.

Dr. Sanderson joins the Garden as its first-ever Vice President for Urban Conservation Strategy, a newly created role that will leverage the Garden’s scientific and public platforms to develop and propose solutions for environmental issues affecting New York City and cities across the globe. With decades of experience in conservation ecology, Dr. Sanderson comes to NYBG from the Wildlife Conservation Society, where he worked with a team of scientists and technical experts to save wild places and natural habitats. Dr. Sanderson has produced highly influential scholarship, including his work on the Manahatta project and the Welikia project, and other notable publications, including Terra Nova: The New World After Oil, Cars, and Suburbs and Prospects for Resilience: Insights from New York City’s Jamaica Bay. Consistent across Dr. Sanderson’s work is his drive to examine how nature can improve urban life and address global and local challenges, such as climate change and resilience, and even war.

As a world leader in plant science research, NYBG is firmly committed to allocating resources and talent towards developing solutions to pressing environmental threats and to inspiring the next generation of scientific leaders. We are proud to welcome Dr. Diazgranados and Dr. Sanderson to our team, in the spirit of this urgent mission.

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