John Nelson, Ph.D.
Curator of the Herbarium within the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of South Carolina
John received his bachelor’s degree in biology from USC, where he was a student and protégé of Wade T. Batson. He received his master’s degree in botany at Clemson University, where a student under the direction of John E. Fairey III, and where his taxonomic interests focused on southeastern species of the genus Stachys in the mint family. He received his Ph.D. in biological sciences at Florida State University, as a student of Loran C. Anderson, where he studied the floral anatomy of Haplopappus, in the sunflower family. His academic training was followed by six years within the SC Heritage Program, as ecologist and then botanist. He assumed his position as the Curator of the USC Herbarium in 1990, and he teaches a plant taxonomy class. Nelson remains active in the study of Stachys, particularly the North American species. During his tenure as its curator, the herbarium has more than doubled in terms of accessioned collections. The Herbarium remains committed to public service through a formal offering of free plant identifications, and through a regular, weekly newspaper column called “Mystery Plant”, and he is very pleased to be regularly invited as the “Mystery Doctor with the Mystery Plant” in Clemson’s “Making it Grow!” SCETV series. He is an active plant collector within a variety of field projects within South Carolina.
David Bishop, Ph.D.
Midlands and coastal conservation director for The Nature Conservancy in South Carolina
David works with partners and private landowners on conservation projects from the sandhills to the coast. David started working for The Nature Conservancy in 2013. Previously, he worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Virginia, the U.S. Army in Colorado and The Lowcountry Institute in Beaufort. David holds a Ph.D. in Wildlife Biology from Virginia Tech and lives with his wife and two daughters in Aiken.