NC Plant Conservation Program & Friends of Plant Conservation Staff
Lesley Starke, NCPCP Program Director
Lesley has worked with NCPCP since 2010, first as Research Specialist, then Plant Ecologist, and now leading NCPCP as Program Manager. Lesley has a background in conservation ecology and land protection. She has a Master of Environmental Management (MEM) degree from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment and a BA in Biology from Hampshire College. In her free time, Lesley loves to tend her vegetable garden, knit, and try new recipes. Lesley is dedicated to conservation and she is also a Friend!
Lori Wright, NCPCP Program Assistant
Lori has worked for the Dept. of Agriculture since December 2019. Previously, she was an Administrative Assistant and Criminal Justice Instructor with Wake Tech. She will graduate from Fayetteville State University May 2020 with a BSBA. In her free time she likes to take long and short trips to the beach, jog, spend time with family and friends, and volunteer with non-profit organizations. She is excited to be a part of the Plant Industry Department.
Olivia Dannemiller, FoPC Volunteer Coordinator
Olivia grew up and currently lives in Asheville, North Carolina. She always had an interest in the outdoors, but her passion for environmental sustainability began at Appalachian State University, where she received a B.S. in Sustainable Development with a focus in environmental studies and a minor in Biology.
A few internships at environmental non-profits throughout and after college and serving two years as an Americorps member at Conserving Carolina made her realize she wanted to continue a career in environmental non-profits. She is excited to now be the Volunteer Coordinator for FoPC and find ways to allow the program to grow.
In her free time, you can find her mountain biking, adventuring to swimming holes, kayaking, seeing live music, or hanging out with her dog.
Katherine Cullata, NCPCP Research Specialist
Katherine grew up in Boone, North Carolina. She holds bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Studio Art from
UNC-Asheville and is currently finishing up a M.S. in Plant Biology in the Krings Lab at N.C. State University. Her love of plants began in the Blue Ridge Mountains and has taken her to seasonal field botanist jobs in coastal Massachusetts and the Kansas prairie. Working for the Plant Conservation Program has been on her “dream job” list since college and she has enjoyed jumping into her duties as Research Specialist, including monitoring rare species, issuing permits, and participating in controlled burns.
In her free time, she enjoys cooking, sketching plants in ink and watercolor, and hiking.