About Us

Wellesley College Botanic Gardens Staff


photo of Botanic Gardens summer students and staff group under oak tree in garden

Summer 2021 Botanic Gardens team - students and staff - From left: Sam Tikki, Anne Beckley, Jenn Yang, Iris Cessna, Edith Po, Laila Hurd, Mika Taga-Anderson, Isabella Chung, Kayli Hattley, Jazmin Martinez, Caroline Esposito, Julianna Razryadov, and Kristina N Jones.


photo of Kristina Jones

Kristina Niovi Jones, Director

As a native Californian who didn't know much about the east coast, getting to know the trees and wildflowers of the Wellesley campus helped me feel at home here. That was in 1994 when I was a new faculty member in Biology... Now I love working on making the Botanic Gardens ever more welcoming and interesting to students from all over as they find their place here. I'm a pollination biologist by training, interested in helping human-dominated habitats like campus serve as suitable habitat for bees and many other species. Growing food sustainably is another big interest.  Pups Rosie and Athena are good at getting me outside when I've been at the computer for too long, and outside is my favorite place to be, even in winter!

photo of Jenn Yang holding woad plant at garden

Jenn Yang, Associate Director
Wellesley College Botanic Gardens and Friends of Botanic Gardens
she/her (still figuring it out)

Hi! I’m Jenn. I am a Wellesley alum, class of 2012, and have enjoyed seeing the Botanic Gardens change and grow in so many ways-- the Edible Ecosystem is my favorite place, with its many flavorful berries and different soothing mints. My interest in food and climate change led to getting a PhD at Penn State, and now I am mostly learning to do new things.  I support our garden's student and public programs, DEIJ work, and creative collaborations (academic and co-curricular)- please get in touch if you'd like to connect! 
My roles at Wellesley have included co-instructing BISC108: Environmental Horticulture, ES/PEAC107H: Creating Sense of Place: Antiracism, Nature, and Environment, and BISC/ES327 Biodiversity in the Built Environment; developing environmental sensor networks and databases for student research in our gardens and landscapes, and supporting student connection and learning with the plant communities in and around the new Science Center, “Science Hill”. I enjoy creative cooking with plants, and posting photos in iNaturalist, which is a fun nature ID community science app I highly recommend.  My non-plant hobbies include tennis and biking, being unsatisfied with music playlists, and asking my sister what she’s doing.


photo of Julianna Razryadov in front of waterfall

Julianna Razryadov, Botanical Collections Manager

I manage the plant collections at the Botanic Gardens. This means I help curate the collections to display the greatest diversity of plant form we can accommodate under glass, display the rich systems of the northeast in the outdoor gardens, and facilitate all sorts of student work. It also means that I help manage the systems that keep our plants alive - making sure they have the correct balance of sun, water, and nutrients to keep our gardens spectacular.  In addition I am committed to making our garden spaces open and welcoming to everyone who seeks their solace and their lessons. I come to Wellesley College with a diverse horticultural background, including farm work, nursery, community garden, and conservatory management, as well as a doctoral degree in the field. My greatest asset is my passion for plants and education.  I continue learning something new every day at the Wellesley gardens and I aim to share that curiosity and growth with students, staff, and the community.

photo of Tony in front of visitor center

Tony Antonucci, Senior Greenhouse Horticulturist

In my many years at Wellesley I have been involved in all aspects of caring for our diverse collection. The day I started, our old facility was beginning a major renovation. Now many years later I have the opportunity to be part of the newly designed Global Flora. I was part of our original IPM program many years ago. Since then, we have grown in our understanding of the complete growing systems. In my personal life I love spending time with my family, step-grandkids and our two dogs. 


photo of Anne Beckley with beach background

Anne Beckley, Gardens Horticulturist

I joined the staff as Gardens Horticulturist in 2020, where I oversee the daily care of the outdoor gardens, working with students, colleagues and mother nature to highlight and sustain the garden’s beauty. I come to Wellesley with diverse experience, working throughout the country in the fields of plant community ecology, conservation, public parks operations, and ecological horticulture. In addition to tending and developing the gardens, one of my main goals at Wellesley is to inspire the next generation of nature-loving naturalists, scientists, meditators, artists and wanderers, in no particular order. I hold an M.S. degree in Environmental Studies from the College of Charleston and a B.A. in Religious Studies from Macalester College.




 photo of Eileen Sprague in front of visitor center

Eileen Sprague, Administrative Assistant, WCBG Friends

I started as the Administrative Assistant for the Friends of Wellesley College Botanic Gardens in 2007, the year my oldest daughter went off to college. I help manage the Friends’ botanical art program & work very closely with Gail Kahn, Assistant Director of Botanic Gardens & Sarah Roche, our Education Director for the Certificate of Botanical Art program offered by the Friends. We offer botanical art courses to local, adult artists. My job consists of coordinating the planning of courses, hiring instructors, promoting classes to the botanical artists, registering students, & collecting & depositing class fees. I love my job and the many wonderful people I work with every day – the WCBG staff, the botanical art instructors & all the artists who take classes with us. I am happy to help coordinate this program, which brings valuable funds to the Friends’ mission while fulfilling the artistic “fix” for our botanical artists.


photo of Chelsea Braz outdoors by water and plants

Chelsea Braz, Botanic Gardens Postbac Fellow


Hello, my name is Chelsea Braz (she/her). I graduated from Mount Holyoke College with the class of 2021. I majored in Architectural Studies and minored in Geology. I also received a certificate of Sustainable Studies (specializing in Energy, Climate, and Water), as well as a certificate of Permaculture Design. In my travels, I have spent time on two organic farms, a CSA, a nursery, a botanical garden, a trustees property, and many private gardens. My happiest memories are out interacting with the natural world with the people I care about. In my spare time, I enjoy staying active with yoga, jogging, and longboarding. I also love to cook and bake.





Questions? Please email Friends of Wellesley College Botanic Gardens at

wcbgfriends@wellesley.edu or call 781-283-3094.

Friends staff are happy to refer you to the best person for answering your questions.
Please note that we generally do not accept individual plant donations.