Leading Shaw Nature Reserve into the Future

Dr. Quinn Long Appointed Director of Shaw Nature Reserve Following Retiring John Behrer 

The Missouri Botanical Garden recently named Dr. Quinn Long director of Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit, Mo. Long has worked for the Garden since 2011 and as a botanist and conservation biologist throughout Missouri and Kansas for 15 years. He begins his new role in September, and replaces long-time director John Behrer.

“Quinn is a well-respected scientist, conservationist and naturalist who will bring a wealth of knowledge to the role of director,” says Dr. Peter Wyse Jackson, president of the Missouri Botanical Garden. “He is a proven leader who is passionate about Shaw Nature Reserve and its role in conservation.”


Dr. Quinn Long conducting field research for the Garden’s Center for Conservation and Sustainable Development

Long currently serves as conservation biologist in the Garden’s Center for Conservation and Sustainable Development. He has worked to restore native plant communities throughout the Midwest including those at Shaw Nature Reserve. Long previously worked at the University of Kansas in various roles including research associate, teaching assistant and botanist. His conservation career began as an undergraduate student with research positions at the Garden’s William L. Brown Center and the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Long received his Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Kansas and bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He is a Washington, MO native and also serves as a scientific advisor for the Missouri Prairie Foundation and the Missouri Invasive Plant Task Force.

“My visits to Shaw Nature Reserve as a child inspired my career path in plant conservation and ecological restoration,” said Long. “I look forward to advancing the Nature Reserve’s role as a leader in environmental education, native plant horticulture and ecological restoration. I hope others will develop a fascination with the natural world through their own experiences at the Nature Reserve.”

Long will be supported in the coming weeks by Behrer, as well as Deborah Frank who serves as the Garden’s vice president of Sustainability and Shaw Nature Reserve, prior to their retirements. Behrer has worked at Shaw Nature Reserve since 1978, serving as director since 1988. In his time as director he has been responsible for many important advances at the Reserve, including upgrading facilities, restoring ecosystems and developing a staff that has grown from three to 25. He oversaw the restoration of a 42-acre wetland south of the Meramec River. The site is now registered as an official wetland mitigation bank with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Frank has worked for the Garden since 2000, and has been responsible for the implementation of sustainable business practices at the Garden, Shaw Nature Reserve and the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House. She also served as the first director of the Garden’s Earthways Division.


Katie O’Sullivan
Public Information Manager

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