Richard Spellenberg is Professor Emeritus of Biology at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico. He obtained a doctoral degree in botany from the University of Washington in 1968, after which he moved to N.M.S.U. where he has taught since. He has studied plants in western North America during his career, particularly those of the desert Southwest, contributing to numerous technical works on the classification of native plants. In addition has contributed to several books on wildflowers and general ecology directed toward the lay public.