I am a professor in the Biology Department at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. On campus I share my passion for plants with those looking to engage with and understand the amazing world that grows all around us.
As a scientific author, my publications attempt to foster a sense of appreciation for the unique flora in California. Plants of San Luis Obispo: Their Lives and Stories, and A Californian’s Guide to the Trees Among Us, are two such examples. A hero of mine, David W. Orr, once wrote, “The average person has come to recognize over 1,000 corporate logos, but can now recognize fewer than 10 plants and animals native to his or her locality.” My life’s work has been to lead young people on eye opening journeys into nature, helping them to learn more about the organisms in their world. I believe in paying close attention; to looking at the beauty in the details—life is rich when we take time to closely observe the organisms and processes around us. My natural history books have been attempts to reveal these natural wonders to my readers.
I have published numerous academic writings focused on Eucalpytus trees, horticulture, ecology, and plant taxonomy. I am the editor-in-chief of Madroño, the journal of the California Botanical Society.
In my spare time, as a hobby, I do construction and build furniture. I gained an appreciation for wood and trees while growing up in Northern California next to a wooden boat builder. I was an apprentice for master furniture maker Victor DiNovi in Santa Barbara, California.
Thank you for your time, and if you would like to get in touch, send me a message from my contact page.
With warm regards,