John is a horticultural scientist and was the Curator Manager of the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan for six years before he was appointed the role of Director of Horticulture for the Botanic Gardens, Greater Sydney in 2020.
His interest in horticulture started at a young age, growing up in the leafy suburbs of Brisbane where he was fascinated by the world around him, and how the tallest trees could grow from the smallest seed.
Having worked for CSIRO and the University of Sydney, John has been with the Botanic Gardens & Centennial Parklands since 2002. First managing laboratories and science infrastructure, he now oversees the largest botanic garden in Australia focussed entirely on native flora.
As a Horticultural Scientist, John has worked predominantly in plant physiology, plant breeding, tissue culture and germplasm conservation. He has worked on a range of horticultural and agricultural crops including rice, tomatoes, soybeans and probably Australia’s most famous export after Paul Hogan - macadamia nuts.
John’s most significant achievement to date has been project managing the Australian PlantBank, including securing $19.8 million dollars in fundraising, architectural design and construction of this national repository for native plant seeds.