The Florae Team

A team of experts who use a state-of-the-art greenhouse and propagation lab to grow all sorts of cool plants.

Our team is growing! Check out our current job openings.

Nina Bassuk

Nina is a living legend of the plant world. Currently a professor and program leader of the Urban Horticulture Institute at Cornell University, she also is the co-author of Trees in the Urban Landscape, a text for landscape architects and horticultural practitioners on establishing trees in disturbed and urban landscapes.

Nina has authored over 100 papers focusing on the physiological problems of plants growing in urban environments, including improved plant selections for difficult sites, soil modification including the development of CU-Structural Soil and improved transplanting technology.

A native New Yorker, Nina is on the Technical Advisory Committee of the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) and works closely with municipalities to help implement best practices in urban forestry management.

Nina helped to develop the Student Weekend Arborist Team (SWAT) to inventory public trees in small communities. She is a frequent invited speaker at conferences and workshops and received the Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellowship from Cornell University.

At Florae, Nina oversees research, education, conservation, and propagation of rare woody ornamentals.

Nina Bassuk
Ryan Georgia
Ryan Georgia

Ryan Georgia

Ryan Georgia is one of the United State’s premier carnivorous plant growers. He is best known for founding Native Exotics, a carnivorous plant nursery focused on plants produced in tissue culture. Ryan grows top-notch, well acclimated plants and has contributed many unique hybrids to the hobby, including Nepenthes glandulifera x edwardsiana and Nepenthes (veitchii x lowii) x edwardsiana.

Ryan first started with carnivorous plants at age 12, when he was taken under the wing of Mary Alyce Kobler at Cornell University. His horticultural skills were honed at Boyce Thompson Research Institute, where he received carnivorous plant seed from the International Carnivorous Plant Society and learned how to propagate and cultivate these amazing plants. Over the years working with other Cornell staff and graduate students he learned how to propagate Nepenthes and other plants via plant micropropagation. After graduating high school, Ryan went on to study Environmental Studies at the College of Environmental Science and Forestry.

Ryan and Nina met in 2018 and founded a lab at Cornell University researching the clonal fidelity of Quercus (commonly known as oak trees). After initial success, they decided to combine their forces (and plant knowledge) and to start Florae Collaborative.

Ryan is responsible for our tissue culture lab, greenhouse, and the cultivation and propagation of tropical plants.

Andrew Smith

Andrew is the operations guy. A graduate of Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Andrew is the gear-box that keeps Florae running smoothly. His experience in sales, international supplies chains, and eCommerce made him an ideal fit to help bring Nina and Ryan’s work to the public. He coordinates Florae’s shipping, customer service, sales, and operations.

Andrew Smith

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