Marsh Award for International Plant Conservation

This Award is run in partnership with Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) and recognises an early/mid-career individual who has made a significant achievement in the conservation of rare and endangered plant species and plant diversity.

BGCI’s vision is a world in which plant diversity is valued, secure and supporting all life. To create this world their mission is: "To mobilise botanic gardens and engage partners in securing plant diversity for the well-being of people and the planet."

The 2016 winner is Dr Jennifer Cruse Sanders

Dr Jenny Cruse Sanders is a commendable leader of plant conservation initiatives in the USA and is guiding the plant conservation in significant directions at a national level. She has developed conservation programmes at local, state and regional levels for numerous threatened species and habitats of the biodiverse Southeast including orchids, pitcher plants and the Torrey pine, one of the most threatened conifers in the world.

Jenny has positioned the Atlanta Botanical Garden as a conservation hub in Georgia and the Southeast USA, and has put them on the map nationally as a member of the Centre for Plant Conservation. She uses well informed approaches to monitor study and establish conservation protocols for the species she works with, utilising a broad scope of cutting-edge technologies. Jenny’s smart approach and talent for bringing partners together has resulted in her playing important roles in the development of the Georgia Plant Conservation Alliance and the North American Orchid Conservation Centre, among several other network-based initiatives aimed at sharing tools and information to strategize and inform conservation activities.

Jenny’s motivation and creativity has led to numerous media spotlights on her conservation projects and building awareness of the importance of saving threatened species. Her dedication to plant conservation has been demonstrated by the Torrey pine conservation programme which Jenny has expanded in recent years, including the establishment of a national collection of the species at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. She has also created a novel survey tool to measure research and plant conservation capacity at botanic gardens, and in partnership with other organisations in the USA, has launched a national system to track botanic garden conservation capacity.


Descanso House
199 Kew Road



Previous Winners:

2015 Dr Jože Bavcon

2014 Zheng Naiyuan