About me

I’m a market researcher at the University of Texas, as well as a naturalist, author, and teacher. My academic background is solidly liberal arts, culminating in a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature (Yale), but as the son of a famous botanist, I have a penchant for objectivity and a love for plants, natural history, Texas, and the outdoors. Altogether, I approach the natural world factually, but with the heart of a humanist. My first book, Remarkable Plants of Texas: Uncommon Accounts of Our Common Natives, explores the little-known facts behind our everyday botanical landscape. My second, Unnatural Texas? The Invasive Species Dilemma, co-authored with biogeographer Robin W. Doughty, examines some of the state’s most invasive species and the conundrums they raise. I’ve published articles in both scientific and popular journals, and given dozens of lectures on natural history and native plants in our landscapes. For the past several years I’ve been delighted to teach a class on American nature writing that I was invited to design for UT’s Liberal Arts Honors Program. I’ve twice appeared as a guest on PBS’s “Central Texas Gardener” and starred in the PBS documentary, “Wildflowers: Seeds of History.” I’m a past-president of the Austin Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas, and I’ve given several presentations at their annual symposia. A fifth-generation Texan, I’m a proud native of Austin where I currently reside.