Smithsonian Institution, Distinguished Scientist and Curator of Botany, National Museum of Natural History, USA

W. John Kress is Distinguished Scientist and Curator of Botany at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History.  He formerly served as the Interim Under Secretary for Science at the Smithsonian and Director of Science in the Grand Challenges Consortia. He received his education at Harvard University (B. A., 1975) and Duke University (Ph. D., 1981) where he studied tropical biology, ethnobotany, evolution, pollination ecology, and plant systematics. Among his numerous scientific and popular papers are his books Plant Conservation – A Natural History Approach, The Weeping Goldsmith, The Ornaments of Life - Coevolution and Conservation in the Tropics, DNA Barcodes - Methods and Protocols, and Living in the Anthropocene – Earth in the Age of Humans. He is currently working on a Guide to the Common Trees of North America. Dr. Kress is an Honorary Fellow of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation, received the Parker-Gentry Award for Biodiversity and Conservation from the Field Museum of Natural History, and is the recipient of the Edward O. Wilson Biodiversity Technology Pioneer Award for Co-Develop Leafsnap - the First Mobile App for Plant Identification.  He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Affiliate Faculty in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at George Mason University in Virginia, and has been an Adjunct Professor of Biology at George Washington University in Washington, DC, and at Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, in Yunnan.