Gary Shanks is from Cape Town, South Africa. He has had an interest in plants from a very young age, including learning their botanical names, much to the surprise of his parents. His interest grew through high school and later he obtained a degree in Horticulture from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in Cape Town. He has had experience with plant breeding and developed some interesting hybrids within the genus Freesia.
Much of his work experience has been at South Africa’s Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, where he was involved in restoration projects, field collecting trips, propagation of rare species, collection management and maintenance, and plant breeding, as well as assisting with various other projects in the garden. He is extremely passionate about nature and enjoys hiking in the mountains during his time off work.
Gary is currently a manager at the Kirstenbosch Garden Centre and enjoys engaging with the public on a regular basis and promoting the use of rare species in home gardens.
Student Position: Professional Outreach Project Assistant Leader