The Trust

VISION

We inspire respect for early naturalist explorers and ensure conservation of their work, as well as the plants, animals and habitat they studied, through education and research.

Patron

Sir Ghillean Prance, FRS, VMH – Lyme Regis, UK

Sir Ghillean Prance was educated at Malvern College and Keble College, Oxford. He has been senior vice president for science at the New York Botanical Garden and director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1993, and knighted in July 1995, he is currently McBryde Senior Fellow at the National Tropical Botanical Garden, Hawaii, scientific director and trustee of the Eden Project in Cornwall, and visiting professor at Reading University. Sir Ghillean Prance continues to be active with research in plant systematics and in conservation of the tropical rain forest.

VISION

We inspire respect for early naturalist explorers and ensure conservation of their work, as well as the plants, animals and habitat they studied, through education and research.

Vice President

Robert L. Brooke – Richmond, VA

Rob is a founding partner of Mauck & Brooke PLC, a civil litigation and IP boutique law firm located in Richmond. Before that, he lived in Charleston and was General Counsel of Kiawah Partners. Prior to joining Kiawah Partners in 2011, Rob was a partner in the firm of Troutman Sanders LLP in Richmond with a practice focusing on intellectual property, civil litigation and corporate law. Rob holds a B.A. magna cum laude from Washington & Lee University and a J.D. from the University of Virginia. He is married to Lynn Burris Brooke, a Charleston native; they have three daughters: Caroline, Elizabeth and Ralston.

Treasurer

Hugh C. Lane, Jr. – Charleston, SC

Hugh Lane is currently Chairman of The Bank of South Carolina. After graduating the University of Pennsylvania, Lane entered the Navy and upon receiving an honorable discharge, began his banking career. He is currently a member of the Charleston County Conservation Bank Board and has served as a member of the Advisory Committee for the ACE Basin National Estuarine Research Reserve System. He is past Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Belle W. Baruch Foundation; Trustee and past Chairman, Board of Wofford College; Trustee and past Chairman, SC Independent Colleges & Universities; Trustee and past President, Charleston Museum; past Co-Chairman, Community Relations Committee; past member, Advisory Committee for the Storm Eye Institute of MUSC; and past member, Board of Trident Urban League. Hugh is also the recipient of Honorary Doctorates from Charleston Southern University and The Citadel, the Wofford College National Alumni Council “Distinguished Citizen Award”, the Avery Citizenship Award, the Joseph P. Riley Leadership Award and the Order of the Palmetto.

Secretary

Maurice Thompson – Charleston, SC

Maurice H. Thompson, participant in and advocate of major projects in conservation and preservation; volunteer in numerous educational and civic endeavors; heritage gardener; study traveler to, in particular, classical and ancient history archaeological sites; former assistant organizer and manager of major international scientific meetings; former teacher; librarian; and current member of and officeholder in a variety of literary, educational and research organizations, including The American College of the Building Arts, the Department of Education, Health and Human Performance at the College of Charleston, Capers Preparatory Christian Academy, the Preservation Society of Charleston, multiple functions of the Historic Charleston Foundation, including the Russell House Committee and the Antiques Show, and co-founder, with her husband and Dr. ML Weisfeldt, Director, Department of Medicine, of the Osler Foundation at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Executive Director

David J. Elliott – Charleston, S.C.

David Elliott retired from a 37 year career with The Procter & Gamble Company as Director of International Trade in 1994. He has served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce, and as an Adjunct Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He is Founder, Chairman and now Honorary Trustee of the Kiawah Island Natural Habitat Conservancy. Born in England, he was educated at Dartington Hall School in Devonshire and Trinity College in Connecticut.

VISION

We inspire respect for early naturalist explorers and ensure conservation of their work, as well as the plants, animals and habitat they studied, through education and research.

Trustees

Trustee

Sylvia W. Bacon – Kiawah Island, SC

Sylvia Bacon has always had a strong interest in the arts, especially photography. Numerous regional magazines and newspapers have published her work. She has been featured as “Artist of the Quarter” several times at the community center on Kiawah Island and her photography continues to be displayed in local exhibits, including juried art shows. In addition to also serving as the artistic director for the Catesby Trust, she is a founder and recent past president of the Kiawah Island Photography Club. Sylvia has volunteered in numerous community and educational endeavors and served on several boards. She majored in Business Administration at The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Trustee

Charles H. P. Duell – Charleston, SC

Charles Duell is the founder and current President of the Middleton Place Foundation that owns and operates Middleton Place, a National Historic Landmark near Charleston, South Carolina, famous for America’s Oldest Landscaped Gardens. He is also President of the Middleton Inn Company. He is also presently a Trustee of Classical American Homes Preservation Trust and a Trustee Emeritus of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. He was formerly a Chairman of the Charleston Board of Architectural Review and has served on numerous not-for-profit and for-profit boards, both locally and nationally.

Trustee

Marian Hill – Atlanta, GA

Marian W. Hill is the Immediate Past President of The Garden Club of America, she currently serves on The University of Georgia College of Environment & Design Dean’s Advisory Council; The University of Georgia CED Capital Campaign Committee; The Garden Club of Georgia State Board; The Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University Board of Visitors; and the University of Georgia Press Advisory Council.  Past involvement includes The High Museum of Art “Art in Bloom” Chairman; The Georgia Trust for Public Land Advisory Council; and The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Board of Directors, Vice President.

Trustee

Linda J. Lear – Bethesda, MD and Charleston, SC

Linda Lear, biographer and historian, holds a Ph.D. in History from George Washington University. She is the author of the acclaimed biography of Rachel Carson, Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature, and numerous articles on Carson, as well as the introductions to all of Carson’s published works. Dr. Lear’s biography of Carson was awarded the prize for best book on women in science by the History of Science Society. She has also authored the biography of artist and children’s writer, Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature, which was published in 2007 by Allen Lane for Penguin Inc. UK and St. Martin’s Press in the US, and which was awarded Lakeland Book of the Year prize for 2007 and the Bookends Prize for biography. Dr. Lear’s interest in Mark Catesby is long-standing, both as a collector and as an environmental historian. She has published articles in Nature and reviewed for the Environmental History Society. In Charleston, she is active in various animal rescue groups, the Library Society, and the Charleston Horticultural Society.

Trustee

J.G. Richards Roddey – Kiawah Island, SC

Roddey, prior to retirement, managed the Bank of America’s Eastern Hemisphere operations in London. Using his investment banking experience he is now a management consultant with his own firm in Europe. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy he became a fighter pilot in the Air Force rising to the level of Colonel. He has served on a number of corporate, and university boards, as well as the Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation and the Kiawah Island Conservancy.

Trustee

Arete Swartz Warren – New York, NY

Arete Swartz Warren is an architectural historian, lecturer and author of numerous articles as well as Glasshouses: An Architectural History of Greenhouses, Conservatories, and Orangeries (Rizzoli 1988) and Gardening by the Book: Celebrating 100 years of The Garden Club of America (Grolier-GCA 2013) which accompanied the major exhibition of GCA’s rare book collection at the Grolier Club in NYC. She served on the New York State Board for Historic Preservation (1998-2010), the Empire State Plaza Art Commission, and former Mayor Giuliani’s Commission for Protocol in New York City. Mrs. Warren is past chairman of the National Council of the Ackland Art Museum at UNC-Chapel Hill and trustee emerita of the American Museum in Britain. She was the founding executive director of the Royal Oak Foundation and has held various positions in museums in the United States and Britain. Mrs. Warren has served as National Chair of the Garden Club of America’s Garden History and Design Committee and two terms as its National Chairman of the Library Committee. She is past chairman of the Preservation League of New York State (2009-2012) and serves on a number of charitable boards.

Trustee Emeritus

Trustee Emeritus

Dr. Charles Nelson – Norfolk, UK

VISION

We inspire respect for early naturalist explorers and ensure conservation of their work, as well as the plants, animals and habitat they studied, through education and research.

Artistic Director

Sylvia W. Bacon – Kiawah Island, SC

Sylvia Bacon has always had a strong interest in the arts, especially photography. Numerous regional magazines and newspapers have published her work. She has been featured as "Artist of the Quarter" several times at the community center on Kiawah Island and her photography continues to be displayed in local exhibits, including juried art shows. In addition to also serving as the artistic director for the Catesby Trust, she is a founder and recent past president of the Kiawah Island Photography Club. Sylvia has volunteered in numerous community and educational endeavors and served on several boards. She majored in Business Administration at The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.

VISION

We inspire respect for early naturalist explorers and ensure conservation of their work, as well as the plants, animals and habitat they studied, through education and research.

Senior Research Director

Dr. Charles Nelson – Norfolk, UK

Dr. Charles Nelson is a native of Northern Ireland.  He graduated in botany (1st class honors) from the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth in 1971.  After completing his doctoral research at the Australian National University, Canberra, he was appointed horticultural taxonomist in the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin.  His numerous publications include several beautifully illustrated, award-winning books about the history of Irish botany and gardening.  Now a freelance author and editor living in Norfolk, England, Charles was Honorary Editor of Archives of natural history from 1999 until 2012 and was awarded the Founders’ Medal of the Society for the History of Natural History in 2013. In February 2015 he was awarded The Royal Horticultural Society's Veitch Memorial Medal for his outstanding contribution to the advancement of the science and practice of horticulture. For his  research on the history of Ireland's gardens and for raising the profile of Irish plantsmen, plantswomen, plants and gardens, in 2016 he was one of three recipients of the Royal Horticultural Society of Ireland's gold Medal of Honour.