Georgia EPPC Board of Directors


Ben Ackerly

Ben began his horticulture career in Ohio, first at Spring Grove Cemetery & Arboretum and then at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. During that time, Ben was involved in the Ohio Invasive Plant Council and also participated in a Midwest Invasive Plants Network working group. After moving to Georgia, Ben accepted his current position as Garden Manager at Woodlands Garden of Decatur, an eight-acre public garden focused on celebrating plants native to the Georgia Piedmont. Ben believes that public gardens should play an important role in invasive species management both by identifying potential problem species and educating the public on native alternatives to invasive plants. One of his career aims is to bring together stakeholders from diverse backgrounds (land managers, plant breeders, nursery owners, researchers, and the public) to create solutions that move the horticulture industry forward

Emilee Poole
Graduate Research Assistant
Department of Entomology
University of Georgia

Emilee is a Georgia native, and she received her Bachelors of Science in Environmental Resource Science from the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the University of Georgia in 2017. During her time as an undergraduate student, Emilee began working as a student research assistant with the Departments of Horticulture and Entomology, where she was able to assist with projects focusing on transgenic crops, sugarcane aphid on forage and silage sorghum varieties, pollinator diversity and abundance utilizing native plants and insect nesting boxes, and the effects of cultural practices on ornamentals. Additionally, she was able to volunteer as an assistant to assess the invertebrate diversity of ephemeral and constructed wetlands at the Fall Line Sand Hills WMA in Butler, GA.  Emilee is now pursuing a graduate degree in entomology at the University of Georgia, where she is advised through the U.S. Forest Service and is investigating the decline of native sugarberry trees (Celtis laevigata) in the southeast.

Eamonn Leonard GA DNR WRD – Nongame Conservation Section
Wildlife Resources Division
Georgia Department of Natural Resources

Eamonn Leonard is a Wildlife Biologist with the Georgia Dept. of Natural Resources – Wildlife Resources Division – Nongame Conservation Section in Brunswick, GA. Born and raised in Huntsville, Alabama earned a BS in Horticulture (2000) from Auburn University. Attended graduate school at Utah State University and obtained an MS in Plant Ecology (2007) with a focus on invasive species. Worked at the J.W. Jones Ecological Research Center at Ichauway, then for the USGS in Idaho before working with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (2007) and completed a habitat mapping project that covered the 11 coastal counties of Georgia. Eamonn is now working on projects focused on assessment and management of invasive species in coastal Georgia and promoting the use of native species. Eamonn sits on the Conservation Task force for Cannons Point on Saint Simons Island, chairman of Coastal WildScapes, chairman of the Coastal Georgia Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area, vice chair of the Savannah Pest Risk Committee, treasurer for the Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council, and treasurer for the Coastal Plain Chapter of the Georgia Native Plant Society.

Past President
Timothy Daly
County Extension Agent
UGA/Extension Gwinnett

Timothy Daly is the Agriculture and Natural Resources County Extension Agent for the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, Gwinnett County. He has Masters of Science in Entomology and Bachelors of Science in Horticulture both from the University of Georgia. Mr. Daly was employed for 15 years in the ornamental horticulture industry serving commercial landscape accounts in the metro Atlanta area. He is a Certified Arborist, Certified Crop Adviser and a Georgia Certified Landscape Professional (GCLP). He is the past secretary of the Georgia Arborist Association and the UGA Cooperative Extension representative to the Georgia Urban Agriculture Council.

As a UGA County Extension Agent, Timothy Daly does extensive educational programming and consultation for green industry professionals, homeowners, small farmers, and manages a large group of Master Gardener Extension Volunteers.

His goal is to revitalize the Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council to increase programming and educational outreach efforts to spread awareness of the threat invasive exotic plants pose for the environment.

Board Members at Large

Stewart Chandler
Plant Health Manager
Cairo, Georgia

Stewart’s commercial production experience started at the age of 15 in a shade foliage nursery in southern Florida and he has worked in the nursery industry or a closely related field for the past 32 years. Stewart joined the Monrovia production team in 1994 and led the Research and Development program for the Monrovia location in Georgia for more than 10 years. This included the development of a new plant evaluation program working closely with top plant breeders and originators across the Southeastern United States. He also conducted practical nursery research projects to support growers at that same facility and has worked extensively in environmental stewardship programs to include nutrient management initiatives and implementation and ongoing research on the nursery’s constructed wetlands. In 2009, Stewart returned to plant production at the Cairo, Georgia growing facility and currently works as the Plant Health Manager at that location dealing with all technical aspects of plant production.

Malcolm Hodges
Conservation Biologist
The Nature Conservancy

Hodges has a Master’s in Biology from Mississippi State, and has worked for TNC over 17 years. “Non-native invasive plants and animals are the second greatest threat to natural species and ecosystems, after development. I think GA-EPPC offers an effective avenue of combating invasive plant problems statewide, so my involvement with GA-EPPC is important for my work at TNC.”

Brian Arnold
SongBird LandCare, Inc., 

Brian earned his B.S.A. in Ornamental Horticulture at the University of Georgia in 1987 and has enjoyed a successful career in the Green Industry. He specializes in management of Tree/Shrub & Turf Care programs and has become increasingly alarmed by the damage resulting from non-native invasive species, including insects, pathogens, and plants. As a wildlife enthusiast, Brian became involved with GA-EPPC to contribute to the collaborative effort of combating non-native invasive plants and protecting habitat.

Kym Partridge

Lynne Womack

Lynne Womack has a Bachelor of Science from Sweet Briar College and Master of Forestry and Master of Environmental Management from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. She has worked across the Southeast in positions including: Land Management Apprentice at Jones Ecological Research Center, Land Stewardship Coordinator for Lee County’s Conservation 2020 program in Florida, and Land Conservation Specialist at Tall Timbers Land Conservancy. Lynne has been with Georgia Forestry Commission since 2009 and has been a Forest Health Specialist since February 2013. Lynne has also been a board member of the Georgia Chapter of The American Chestnut Foundation since 2014.

Non-Voting Members

Chuck Bargeron
UGA Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health

Chuck is the Information Technology Director for the Center for Invasive Species & Ecosystem Health at the University of Georgia. A native of Tifton, GA, he graduated from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in 1997 with an Associate Degree in Computer Science and received a B.S in Computer Science in 1999, from Georgia Southern University. In 2004, he received an M.S. in Computer Science from Georgia Southwestern State University. He has been with the University of Georgia for 15 years where he has developed web applications, interactive CD-ROMs, databases and outreach publications. Websites that Chuck has designed for the University of Georgia have been featured twice in Science Magazine, received regional awards for content and design, and have received over 750 million hits in the last 10 years.
Chuck was the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council Advocate of the Year in 2008 and received the Mid-Atlantic Exotic Pest Plant Council Award in 2009. He is the current President of the Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council He is also an active member of the Florida Invasive Species Partnership, Everglades Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area Steering Committee and the National Network of Invasive Plant Centers.

David Moorhead
UGA Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health

Dr. David J. Moorhead is Professor of Silviculture at the University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources and the Co-Director of the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health. Moorhead is a native of Louisville, KY and received a B.S. in Forestry from the University of Kentucky; an M.S. in Silviculture/Soils from Mississippi State University and his Ph.D. in Forest Ecophyiology from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He has been with the University of Georgia for 26 years providing statewide and regional service/outreach programs for county extension agents, private landowners, foresters and natural resource managers on silviculture, forest vegetation, invasive species and forest health issues, forest regeneration, prescribed fire and forest management. He is involved in extensive program development in the area of invasive species awareness and management, and conducts workshops across the South on invasive plant identification, pathways of spread in forested/natural ecosystems, and management and control techniques. He received the 2007 Outstanding Service Award in Forest Health Protection from the Georgia Forestry Commission and the 2009 Award of Excellence in Public Education in Technology Transfer from the Southeastern Society of American Foresters. Dr. Moorhead is active in the SE-EPPC; he serves as the GA-EPPC liaison with the National Association of Exotic Pest Plant Councils, and as a member of the National Network of Invasive Plant Centers.