Conference Speakers

Mark Ambrose

Mark Ambrose is a native of Orange, Connecticut. He received his Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Computer Science from Princeton University in 1985. In 1997, he received his Master of Science in Forestry from North Carolina State University. Since 1999, he has worked for North Carolina State University as part of the Forest Health Monitoring research team, analyzing large-scale datasets. When not working, he loves to spend time in his garden as well as square dancing and contra dancing.

Sara Barron

Sara is a lecturer in the Master of Urban Forestry Leadership program. Before this role, she was a lecturer at the University of Melbourne. Sara’s research interests include bridge landscape architecture and urban forestry. Her dissertation explored the design and assessment of future urban forest scenarios in compact communities. She has expertise in large-scale sustainable community planning and climate change research projects and holds a Master of Landscape Architecture degree.

Levon Bigelow

Levon is a Master of Science Candidate at the University of Connecticut in Dr. Robert Fahey's forest ecology lab. His research interests are in urban forest dynamics and promoting sustainable urban tree populations.

Zhaohua (Cindy) Cheng

Cindy is passionate about engaging the community and youth for collective climate action and sustainable urbanization. She currently manages the Citizen’s Coolkit project, while being involved in other CALP projects related to community engagement and climate change. She is also the coordinator of the Bachelor of Urban Forestry Program at the University of British Columbia, Canada’s first new undergraduate program for designing, planning, and managing urban forests and other green spaces in the city. She has over five years of experience in community and youth engagement, climate change mitigation and adaptation, student advising and engagement, and project management, through various projects and positions that she has held. She has an MSc in Forestry from UBC and is now pursuing her Ph.D. degree with Dr. Stephen Sheppard (Director of CALP) and Dr. Cecil Konijnendijk. Her research topic is urban forest-based solutions for climate resilience.

Bert Cregg

Dr. Bert Cregg is an Extension Specialist and Professor of Horticulture and Forestry at Michigan State University. He conducts research and extension programming on the physiology and management of trees in landscapes, nurseries, and Christmas tree production. He has over 35 years of research experience related to the physiological genetics of trees for conservation, production, and urban forestry. Since the emergence of emerald ash borer in Michigan in 2002, his outreach and extension program has emphasized promoting increased tree species diversity for urban and community forestry. A focus of his current research is the interface between nurseries and the landscape to improve tree establishment and long-term survival. Dr. Cregg earned his Ph.D. in Forest Resources at the University of Georgia and holds a Master’s in Forest Science from Oklahoma State University and a Bachelor in Forest Management from Washington State University. Before joining the faculty at Michigan State University in 1999, he was a research tree physiologist for International Paper and the USDA Forest Service. A native of Olympia, WA, his interest in trees and tree biology was sparked by his high school botany teacher and summers working on the Olympic and Gifford Pinchot National Forests.

Beatrice Dale

Beatrice Dale is a Ph.D. researcher studying on a Doctoral Training Partnership at Northumbria University in Newcastle Upon Tyne in the UK. Beatrice is an urban ecologist with a particular interest in insect pollinators and pollination services. Her research focuses on understanding how biodiversity and ecosystem services are affected by the urban landscape. Beatrice’s previous research has focused on urban pollination services in sub-Saharan Africa, and urban pollinator communities in the South-East of England. Before this Beatrice completed her Master’s degree in Global Biodiversity Conservation at the University of Sussex.

Earl Eutsler

Earl has spent 18 years in service with DDOT’s Urban Forestry Division.  In that time Earl has helped guide the division through a dramatic expansion in both scope and scale. Responsibilities have grown from a focus exclusively on street trees, to include the direct management of trees on all public lands, the protection and removal permitting for mature trees on private property and, the creation of robust urban wood reuse and forest health monitoring programs.  In addition to his work in DDOT alongside a dedicated team of 45 staff members, including arborists, landscape architects, tree workers and other related positions, Earl is active in both the NASF and NMSFA, and is currently serving as Vice-President for the Society of Municipal Arborists.  As the State Forester of D.C., Earl believes that equitable improvement in the health and well-being of urban residents is a critical outcome for the urban forestry program, as well as many city services, and is something that can be measured, tracked, and help bring residents together. Earl holds degrees from both St Mary’s College of Maryland and the Johns Hopkins University.

Gwilym Griffiths 

Gwilym is an urban greening expert with a passion for the planning, design, and delivery of innovative green and blue infrastructure to assist in the creation of livable cities. He has extensive experience in the connection of urban forest strategy with operational capability and has hands-on knowledge of the challenges and solutions that exist with both. He is a qualified arborist, landscape designer, horticulturist, and project manager with over 20 years’ experience spanning both government and private organizations. He is the current Program Manager for Which Plant Where and is responsible for the implementation and future development of the program.

Gail Hansen

Dr. Gail Hansen is an associate professor in the Department of Environmental Horticulture at the University of Florida. She is also the UF IFAS extension specialist in Landscape Design and faculty advisor for the Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Program. She has an MLA and PhD in landscape architecture from the University of Florida and worked for seven years in the Landscape Architecture Department as an adjunct professor. Prior to joining UF she worked in a landscape architecture firm for eight years.

Richard Hauer

Richard Hauer is a Professor of Urban Forestry at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point teaching courses in urban forestry, nursery management, woody plants, dendrology, and introduction to forestry. He received his B.S. from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, M.S. from the University of Illinois, and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. Rich conducts research with an urban forest application through tree biology, tree diversity, urban forest management, emerald ash borer management, trees and construction, tree risk management, and ice storms. He received the L.C. Chadwick Award for Arboricultural Research from the International Society of Arboriculture and UW-System Board of Regents Excellence in Teaching. He has published over 180 publications and presented over 440 talks throughout the world. Dr. Hauer is also an Associate Editor of the Journal Urban Forestry & Urban Greenspaces.

Shawn Landry

Dr. Shawn Landry is a Research Associate Professor with the School of Geosciences and Director of the USF Water Institute at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida. His work addresses issues related to water, wetlands, urban forest, and land cover change, with a thematic focus on the spatial and temporal dynamics of human-environmental interactions, water resource management and policy, applied geospatial technology, and online decision support systems. His team manages several publicly accessible websites that provide data and information about Florida’s terrestrial and aquatic environments, including;;; and

Michelle Leishman 

Michelle works in the fields of plant invasion biology, climate change impacts and adaptation, plant conservation, and urban ecology. She is highly cited with more than 170 published book chapters and journal articles. She leads a research group in the School of Natural Sciences at Macquarie University and is Director of MQ’s Centre for Smart Green Cities. Much of her research has been translated to effective on-ground and policy advice for practitioners and government, including the development of widely used online tools for plant management and climate change adaptation. Her current research focus aims to facilitate resilient and diverse green urban spaces, where she leads the Which Plant Where project.

Todd Little

Todd Little is currently an urban forester for the city of Jacksonville (Florida) where he has served the community for over three years in this position. In this role, Todd has managed the planting of over 4,000 3" caliper street trees of a diverse species palette through their residential tree adoption program. In addition to this role, Todd is currently concluding his studies in the Master’s of Natural Resources degree program at Oregon State University. While working on this degree, Todd has completed a graduate certificate in urban forestry, with a specific focus on urban forest biodiversity. In this graduate certificate program, Todd developed a capstone project introducing the concept of Urban Ecosystem Altering Trees, which was recently introduced briefly in the Arborist News magazine produced by the International Society of Arboriculture. Todd has spoken at regional and statewide events concerning the horticulture and urban forestry industries and is continuously adding to his professional resume.

Gustav Nässlander

Gustav Nässlander is one of Sweden's most influential urban forestry experts. Gustav has combined his roles as a tree consultant and public educator by producing a popular podcast about trees. He also frequently arranges public "tree spotting" tours.

Sophie Nitoslawski

Sophie is a PhD Candidate at the University of British Columbia, exploring the intersection of smart communities, technology, and urban forest management. She works with both private- and public-sector partners to develop digital-based monitoring and management systems to ensure more equitable and resilient urban ecosystems, and teaches various urban forestry and sustainability courses at UBC. She is also a member of the ISA Science and Research Committee.

Alessandro Ossola

Dr. Ossola is an Assistant Professor in Urban Plant Science specializing in urban ecology and forestry. He is also an Honorary Research Fellow within the School of Ecosystem and Forest Science at the University of Melbourne, Australia, and an Honorary Research Fellow at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. Alessandro is a former US National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine NRC Associate within the National Risk Management Research Laboratory of US-EPA in Cincinnati, Ohio. His research encompasses several topics including ecology, climate change, forestry, water management, food production, planning, and nature-based solutions. Over the years, he enjoyed the opportunity to lecture for undergraduate and postgraduate subjects related to urban green infrastructures, forestry, biodiversity conservation, climate change, urban horticulture, eco-hydrology, landscape architecture, urban planning, and design. Alessandro is particularly interested in the applied side of his research which spans environmental management, ecological design, science communication, and outreach.

Johan Östberg

Johan Östberg is Associate Professor with a Ph.D. in Landscape Planning. Over the course of his career to date, he has produced over 175 publications, including reports, book chapters, popular and scientific reports, and peer-reviewed articles. He has been involved in a plethora of national and international projects and networking activities. Moreover, he has been vice president of The Urban Tree Growth & Longevity Working Group and president of AREA (Arboriculture Research and Education Academy). Apart from his academic career, he is also the executive director for the Swedish Tree association, an ISA Certified Arborist, TRAQ Qualified, and an active consultant. In the latter role, Johan manages a network of consultants from different professions to work together to create management plans for larger tree populations in Sweden.

John Parker

John Parker has been CEO of the Arboricultural Association since the summer of 2021 and was previously the Association’s Technical Director. He has more than ten years of experience in public sector tree management and from 2012 to 2019 was a member of the Executive Committee of the London Tree Officers Association (which he Chaired in 2016-18). Prior to 2019, John also served as a Director of the National Association of Tree Officers. John is a member of the European Forum on Urban Forestry International Steering Group and is a Chartered Environmentalist and Chartered Forester. He frequently presents at national and international conferences and has delivered a TED Talk entitled “Why trees are better than people” (available on YouTube). Since spring 2020 John has chaired the Arboricultural Association webinar series, covering a huge range of topics to a worldwide audience. In 2018 he was named Young European Urban Forester of the Year and in 2020 he was appointed as a Trustee of the Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum. John is interested in public engagement, green equity, and promoting the benefits of trees, with particular consideration for their social and cultural value. He is the founder of the Stonehouse Community Arboretum.

Christopher Riley

Christopher Riley is the Mid-Atlantic Research Scientist and Technical Support Specialist for the Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories. He also serves as a research collaborator for the DC-based nonprofit, Casey Trees. In his current role at Bartlett, Chris divides his time between conducting and disseminating research on current issues in urban forestry and arboriculture, training and supporting Bartlett Arborist Representatives and Plant Health Care Specialists and communicating with broader audiences on the fundamentals of science-based tree and landscape care. Prior to this, Chris was an NSF Graduate Research Fellow in the Department of Entomology at The Ohio State University where his dissertation research focused on the ecology of shrinking cities with a special interest in urban forest dynamics and plant-insect interactions.

John Roberts

John Roberts is a UF/IFAS Commercial Horticulture Extension Agent for Palm Beach County, FL specializing in nursery production, integrated pest management, and arboriculture.

Lara Roman

Dr. Lara Roman is a Research Ecologist with the Philadelphia Field Station of the USDA Forest Service. Her research centers on the temporal dynamics of urban forests, including tree mortality and growth, canopy cover change, historical legacies, species composition change, citizen science monitoring, and the factors constraining or enabling tree planting in diverse urban neighborhoods. These studies involve close collaborations with urban forestry professionals at municipalities and nonprofit organizations throughout the US, and her contributions to urban forestry practice were recognized with an Early-Career Scientist Award from the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). She has led or coauthored over 50 publications, including a recent urban tree monitoring field guide that set the standard for longitudinal data collection of city trees. She received a PhD at the University of California, Berkeley, and a Bachelors in Biology and Masters of Environmental Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. When she is not measuring trees, she is baking or hiking with her husband and two young daughters.

Timothee Sallin

Timothee Sallin is Co-CEO of IMG Enterprises, a diversified, family owned Florida agri-business. IMG Enterprise is the parent company of Cherrylake Inc and IMG Citrus Inc. Timothee is passionate about promoting sustainable agricultural and landscape practices as well as innovation in technology and organizational leadership.

Gina Serrano

Gina Serrano is an architect from the university Espiritu Santo in Ecuador and has a Master’s degree in Sustainable Tropical Forestry from the University of Copenhagen and the Dresden Institute of Technology. She works at E.P.A. Barranquilla Verde, the environmental authority of the District of Barranquilla, as the coordinator of (i) the participatory planting program "Barranquilla Cultiva" and (ii) the elaboration of the city's Climate Change Action Plan. She has researched the environmental services of Barranquilla's urban forest, evaluated street trees in Guayaquil, Ecuador, and documented forest governance in Kunjo, Nepal.

Natalie van Doorn 

Natalie van Doorn is a Research Urban Ecologist at the USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station in Albany, CA. She is interested in what drives change in urban and wildland forests, ways in which forests are vulnerable to disturbances and stressors, and what can be done to improve their resiliency. Natalie’s research utilizes and builds on long-term data sets tracking populations and individual trees, measuring forest structure and dynamics. Recent work includes the development of guidelines and resources for managers and researchers who want to design and implement a tree monitoring project with longitudinal field data. She is also a co-PI on the Climate-ready Trees study – a data-driven approach to evaluate the ability of promising underused species to tolerate stressors of future climates. She earned her Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctorate degrees from UC Berkeley in Environmental Science, Policy and Management focused on forest ecology.

Victoria Volke

Victoria Volke studied forestry science in Tharandt, Germany. She became extremely passionate about trees and their protection and conservation during her studies. The focus on urban forestry was strengthened by working on her Bachelor’s and Master’s theses, her independent work as an arborist, and employment at the tree nursery 'Lorenz von Ehren'. Her Bachelor’s thesis covered the cooling potential by the shade of different urban tree species and Her Master’s thesis was a survey of Hymenoscyphus fraxineus in a central European urban area and an exploration of its possible environmental drivers. She began her Doctoral studies at the Helmholtz-Centre of Environmental Research (UFZ) in 2019 with a focus on plant functional traits of urban trees and their relation to a cooling potential. In her spare time, she is involved in forest propagation in Saxony, Germany and is learning to prune fruit trees.