Timothy P. Spira is professor of biology at Clemson University. His love for nature began in the mountains of California, where he studied alpine gentians as a graduate student and did rare plant surveys for the U.S. Forest Service. Since completing a Ph.D. in botany at the University of California, Berkeley, Tim has shared his passion for plants with students and colleagues for nearly 30 years, including 10 years as a faculty member at Georgia Southern University and 18 years at Clemson University, where he currently teaches plant ecology, field botany, and the natural history of wildflowers. Tim enjoys hiking, bicycling, gardening, and traveling to natural areas throughout the world, as well as exploring plants and habitats in the southern Appalachian mountains and adjoining piedmont. He has published more than 30 research papers in scientific journals, and his photographs have appeared in books, scientific journals, and magazines. Tim and his wife, Lisa Wagner, (along with their dog Mocha) divide their time between Clemson, South Carolina, and Asheville, North Carolina, where they've transformed their lawns into meadows, shrub borders, and woodlands featuring native plants.