Meet the Scientists

Matt Richards

As Conservation Horticulture Manager at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, Richards brings more than a decade of experience in the micropropagation of native orchids of North America.  He received his B.S. in Horticulture from The Ohio State University and gained further experience working for various commercial orchid operations prior to joining the Garden in 2006.  Since 2008, Richards has partnered with various state, local and federal agencies to lead many orchid restoration and recovery efforts in the southeast United States. At the Garden, Richards manages the micropropagation facilities where he oversees a team of seven dedicated volunteers and seasonal interns.  Richards has coordinated many successful orchid conservation activities for the Garden across the southeast including:

  • Recovery efforts of Cyrtopodium punctatum (cigar orchid) in the Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park.

  • Recovery efforts for Tolumnia bahamensis (Florida dancing lady orchid) in Jonathan Dickinson State Park.

  • Recovery efforts for Platanthera integrilabia (white fringeless orchid), Urban Atlanta wetland restoration and rare species recovery

  • Restoration of species diversity and hydrologic function of wetlands within the Coastal Dune Lake Watersheds - FPS (FL)

  • Safeguarding and in situ conservation efforts for Cypripedium kentuckiense (Kentucky lady slipper) in Georgia

  • Habitat preservation and in situ conservation for Platanthera chapmanii (Chapman’s fringed orchid)