Georgia EPPC Board of Directors
County Extension Agent
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.
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.
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.
Bodie V. Pennisi
Associate Professor and Extension Landscape Specialist
Horticulture Dept., The University of Georgia
Dr. Bodie Pennisi is an Associate Professor and Extension Landscape Specialist at the University of Georgia. She received her Masters in 1996 and a PhD in 1999 from Environmental Horticulture Dept. of University of Florida, Gainesville. She joined the Horticulture Department at UGA in June of 2000. Until July 2010, she had responsibilities for the floriculture industry. Currently, Dr. Pennisi has statewide responsibilities for the Georgia landscape industry.
She teaches two undergraduate courses, Plant Propagation, and Herbs, Spices, and Medicinal Plants, on the UGA's Griffin campus.
Her major areas of research have included landscape applications of tropical plants as means to develop niche markets for floriculture producers; evaluating the cold hardiness of tropical perennials, the use of plant growth retardants as means to improve post-harvest performance of interiorscape plants; and developing cultural guidelines for foliage plants. Most recently, Dr. Pennisi has been researching phytoremediation removal of volatile organic compounds by interiorscape plants and quantifying carbon dioxide assimilation in interiorscape plants.
Dr. Pennisi is on the board of the national non-profit organization Green Plants for Green Buildings (GPGB). She works with Florida Nursery Greenhouse and Landscape Association (FNGLA) and the National Foliage Foundation (NFF) to furnish scientific data to support the argument for LEED credits in green sustainable interiors based on the use of living plants.
Dr. Pennisi’s organizes county and state educational programs. Dr. Pennisi serves as an educational advisor to The Georgia Green Industry Association.
Dr. Pennisi has been a recipient of the John Hutchison Extension Educator Award from the Southern Region-American Society for Horticultural Science and the Outstanding Educator of the Year from the Georgia Green Industry Association.
Dr. Pennisi has made numerous educational presentations at national industry conferences and trade shows, among which are:
- Ohio Short Course
- Tropical Plant International Exhibition
- Southeast Greenhouse Conference and Trade Show
- Mid-Atlantic Horticulture Short Course
- Gulf States Horticulture Expo
Board Members at Large
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
Plant Health Manager
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.
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."
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.
UGA Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health
Karan is the Invasive Species Coordinator and the Bugwood Images Coordinator at the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health at the University of Georgia. She has her masters of Science Degree from University of Texas in Arlington. Previously, Rawlins worked at the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge as a naturalist developing many programs including invasive species awareness. She also worked with the Texas Invaders Program as a Regional Coordinator, collecting data, training volunteers and validating data submitted by volunteers. Her duties at UGA include; development and delivery of outreach materials and presentations, expanding the development and operation of the Georgia Invasive Species Task Force, developing Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas in Georgia, classification of images and information into the Bugwood Image Database System, development and training associated with the Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System (EDDMapS), and field work including installation and management of research plot and collection of field survey data. Her goal is to help preserve and restore our native habitats and landscapes by working in the field of invasive species.
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.
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.
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.