Advisory Board

Shipley Allinson

Landscape Designer, ‘80 UD Alum, Plant & Soil Sciences

Dr. Susan Barton

Associate Professor, UD Cooperative Extension Specialist, ’81 UD Alum

Valann Budischak

UDBG Volunteer & Education Coordinator

Dr. Erik Ervin, Chair

Plant & Soil Sciences

Dr. John Frett

UDBG Director and UD Professor Plant & Soil Sciences

Caroline Golt

Past UDBG Friends President, retired UD Research Associate, ’69 & ’07 UD Alum

Mike Loftus

Associate Director, UD Facilities/Grounds

Carol Long

Assistant Curator of Winterthur Gardens, ’90 UD Alum, Plant & Soil Sciences

Dr. Robert Lyons

UDBG Board President, Retired UD Professor, Plant & Soil Sciences

Jenny McDermott

Manager of Facility & Farm, College of Agriculture & Natural Resources

Dan Sarkissian

Development Director, College of Agriculture & Natural Resources

Dr. Greg Shriver

UD Associate Professor, Entomology & Wildlife Ecology Department

Anna Wik

Assistant Professor of Landscape Design



Andrew Adams

Horticulture Manager

Andrew Adams is a recent UD graduate with a BS in Plant and Soil Sciences and Agriculture and Natural Resources and a minor in Landscape Horticulture and Design. He worked at UDBG as an intern in the summer and fall of 2016 and collected urban forestry data for Dr. Tara Trammell in the summer of 2015. Andrew has eight years of experience working for his father’s landscaping business.
(302) 831-0909

Valann Budischak

Volunteer & Education Coordinator*

Valann Budischak is the Volunteer and Education Coordinator at the UDBG. She also wears two other professional hats: As the Executive Director of the Delaware & Nursery Landscape Assoc. and as a UD Extension Agent. Previously, Valann worked for 14 years for Black & Decker in New York and Philadelphia, first as a Sales Representative and then as Regional Account Manager. She has worked in numerous professional capacities as project administrator for Delaware Livable Lawns, Plants for a Livable Delaware and Enhancing Delaware Highways. She also serves on the board of the Urban Community Forestry Council, the Governor’s Water Supply Coordinating Council, and Bright Spot Ventures.
(302) 831-4188

Dr. John Frett


Dr. Frett earned his PhD from the University of Georgia, where Dr. Michael Dirr served as his advisor. He then joined the faculty at Texas A&M University. In 1986 he joined the faculty at UD, where he teaches many plant and botany courses, including Woody Landscape Plants and Indigenous Woody Flora of the Eastern U.S. As the Director of the Botanic Gardens, he has developed an extensive collection of woody plants. While Dr. Frett never met a plant he didn’t like, he has a particular fondness for and specialties in magnolia, holly (Ilex), oak (Quercus), maple (Acer), viburnum, and false indigo (Baptisia). Dr. Frett taught continuing education classes at Longwood Gardens for 20+ years and lectures in the mid-Atlantic.
(302) 831-2531

Melinda Zoehrer

Program Coordinator*

At UDBG, Melinda manages its membership program, website development, special events, maintenance of the Herbaceous Garden and Lepidoptera Trail, and garden interpretation. She earned a BS in Environmental & Systematic Biology and MS in Public Horticulture Management. She has worked and volunteered in public horticulture for over 30 years.
(302) 831-0153