Meet the Staff

  • Martin Quigley

    Martin Quigley — Executive Director

    Martin Quigley, appointed as ED in May, 2016, has been employed as a nursery laborer, horticulturist, landscape architect, land planner, environmental consultant, field ecologist and researcher, and professor of botany. He has worked in New York, California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Louisiana, Illinois, Ohio, and Florida, as well as in Mexico, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Guyana, Brazil, Uruguay, Turkey and Lebanon.

    Quigley attended Deep Springs College, and earned his B.A. in Comparative Literature at Cornell University, M.L.A. in Landscape Architecture at Utah State University, and Ph.D. in Plant Ecology at Louisiana State University. 

  • Rick Flores — Curator of California Natives Collection

    Rick Flores — Associate Director


    In addition to being the Arboretum's Associate Director, Rick Flores is a Horticulturist and Steward of the Amah Mutsun Relearning Program (AMRP). His professional experience at the Arboretum is with California native plants, but currently he oversees the work of maintaining all of the Arboretum's core plant collection displays.  As Steward of the AMRP, Rick fosters the relationship between the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band and the Arboretum, oversees educational programming, and helps develop displays of culturally important native plants. In addition, Rick assists with fundraising and grant writing.

    When not at the Arboretum, Rick enjoys hiking, backpacking, fishing, mountain biking, bird watching, and just generally being outdoors, in addition to spending time with family and friends.

    Rick has worked at the Arboretum for over 25 years and holds both a B.A. and M.A. in Environmental Studies from UCSC.

  • Katie Cordes — Administrative Manager

    Katie Cordes — Administrative Manager


    Katie began work at the Arboretum in 2008. Her love of plants began as a child in her mom's vegetable gardens and continued to grow as she did, leading her to obtain a B.A. in Biology from UC Santa Cruz. She loves the diverse Californian landscapes and is especially drawn to trees and forest life. She is a certified California Naturalist and continues to develop her love of plants through hiking amongst, gardening with, reading about and cooking with plants. 

    Katie oversees general Arboretum administration and finances including the Arboretum's Membership and Volunteer Programs, Facility Rentals and Norrie's Gift & Garden Shop. She also manages the main office and assists staff and the Friends of the Arboretum Board in event planning, marketing and logistics. 

  • Linda McNally — Nursery Manager & Propagator

    Linda McNally — Nursery Manager & Propagator


    For many years, Linda has managed the succulent propagation, worked on the revitalization of the front entrance and enlarged the Succulent garden. As the Nursery Manager and Propagator since 2019, she works closely with the executive director, gardens curators, student workers and volunteers to propagate for the garden's expansive collection and the sale of plants. 
    Linda is well known for her contagious laugh, can-do attitude and organizational skills honed from years of experience operating her own consulting business for homes and gardens. She holds several certificates, including Master Gardener and is an active member of the Monterey Bay Area and San Jose Cactus and Succulent Societies. Linda loves being out in nature, experiencing new adventures, spending time with friends and family and caring for her home and garden.
  • Christine Altermann — Curator of Collections and Propagator

    Christine Altermann — Curator of Collections and Propagator


    Christine Altermann grew up in California and spent her childhood gardening with her mom and visiting her grandparents in Chile. She has fond memories of spending time in her grandmother’s English-style garden and her extensive fruit garden in Valdivia, Chile. She traveled around with her family exploring the lush and picturesque areas surrounding Valdivia. She has lived in Santa Cruz for about thirty years and was first introduced to the Arboretum when visiting her sister, an Environmental Studies major at UC Santa Cruz and a student-worker at the gardens. After starting out in zoology, she discovered botany and decided to merge her love of design and plants by studying landscape architecture at UC Berkeley. She began working at Berkeley Horticultural Nursery which was an excellent training ground to learn a wide variety of plants, to be introduced to some of the most consequential plant people in the Bay Area, and to learn propagation. After moving on to work as propagator at Soquel Nursery Growers and Monterey Bay Nursery she began volunteering for her friend and mentor, Arboretum Nursery Manager Martin Grantham in 2018. She had always been interested in Mediterranean-climate plants, but working at Monterey Bay Nursery and the Arboretum, she vastly expanded her knowledge of plants from Australia, South Africa, California and New Zealand. When beloved, long time curator, Melinda Kralj, retired in June of 2021, Christine was promoted to Curator of Collections. She is honored with this privilege and looks forward to working with the fantastic team at the Arboretum as well as students, volunteers, visiting scholars, scientists, horticulturists, designers, foreign visitors, and plant enthusiasts. 

  • Jose Rodriguez - Horticulturist

    Jose Rodriguez - Horticulturist


    Jose oversees many horticultural responsibilities here at the Arboretum including tree and shrub prunning and general garden maintenance as well as coordinating our garden student workers. He's also a skilled mechanic and provides essential upkeep services to our many mowers, weedwackers and other garden devices. 

  • California Native Plant Program

  • Brett Hall  —  California Native Plant Program Director

    Brett Hall — California Native Plant Program Director


    I was born and raised along the Central California coast, mostly in the Monterey Bay region. In the early 70s, I worked at my family's landscaping and garden design business. I was an undergrad at UCSC and worked at the Arboretum, graduating with a BA in Natural History and Biology. I started on the staff in October 1975 and became garden manager in 1976. My duties have evolved over the past 30 years into my current position. I oversee the horticultural staff and my role with that is increasingly as an advisor/coach, as well as working to get them the resources they need to succeed. I am continuing to play an active role in the development of many of our collections and have traveled overseas and throughout the West to accomplish this. I have been very fortunate to spend 30 years working in the Graden developing collections, planting gardens, and working with our wonderful group of staff, students and volunteers. My special interests include many of our collections but I plan on focusing considerable effort in the development of our native plant program and the California Province Gardens. I enjoy working with dedicated volunteers who have a genuine interest in botany and horticulture. [Brett is now President of the California Native Plant Society.]

  • Lucy Ferneyhough - Native Plant Program Project Manager

    Lucy Ferneyhough - Native Plant Program Project Manager


    Lucy grew up exploring the mountains and lakes around Truckee with her cross country ski team. She has lived in Santa Cruz since 2008 where she completed her degree from the UCSC environmental studies department and started a small gardening business focused on locally native and regionally appropriate plants. Lucy has done ecological garden design, perennial landscape management, and cared for orchards and vegetable gardens. After completing the UC Naturalist Program she went on to work with Brett Hall on vegetation mapping, seed collection and propagation, rare species monitoring and post fire vegetation response surveys. She has served the California Native Plant Society as a board member since 2019 and as vice president of the local chapter since 2018. In her role as Native Plant Program Project Manager, her work currently focuses on plant conservation and seed banking, vegetation ecology and mapping, and native plant horticulture. When she’s not obsessing over plants, Lucy spends her time drawing, painting, weaving, knitting, cooking, baking, reading and hanging out with family. 

  • Alex Hubner - Native Plant Program Horticulturist & Garden Steward

    Alex Hubner - Native Plant Program Horticulturist & Garden Steward


    Bio coming soon!


  • Jeremy Silberman - Native Plant Program Student Coordinator

    Jeremy Silberman - Native Plant Program Student Coordinator

    Photo & bio coming soon!

    Short quote from Jeremy: "I interned, worked, and enjoyed the UCSC Arboretum all throughout my four years in college, and I am now grateful to work here with the Native Plant Program as a student coordinator. In my experience, the Arboretum passionately and tirelessly sustains itself and its community while always prioritizing the development, learning, and curiosity of the students who work and intern with us." 



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    Other vital staff positions

    We hope to hire more vital administrative positions in the future, as funding permits. In the meantime, please understand there may be delayed replies to inquiries concerning operations related to general communications, marketing, event coordination and/or development & fundraising.

    We also hope to hire additional and essential horticultural staff in the future, as funding permits.

    The entire staff is grateful for the support from our dedicated garden volunteers and student workers!


  • Consultant

  • Martin Grantham

    Martin Grantham

    From San Francisco State, with many years at the UC Berkeley Botanic Garden, Martin has extensive training in botany that has informed his practice of experimental and ornamental horticulture. 

    He is a total plant nerd with a fondness for hard-to-propagate fern spores and the flora of South Africa.