|The Liberty Hyde Bailey Professor of Plant Biology at Cornell University, Karl J. Niklas is a leading scholar in plant biomechanics and allometry. His research involves the application of engineering principles to the understanding of plant form and function and their adaptive evolution. Through the quantitative evaluation of plant anatomy, morphology, and development as they relate to various biological functions necessary for plant growth, he has shown that much of plant evolution is understandable in the context of optimization processes involving trade-offs among equally important biological functions that have conflicting requirements. Dr. Niklas is a graduate of The City College of New York, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He studied at the University of Illinois as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and received a Ph.D. in paleobotany in 1974. As a Fulbright-Hays Fellow, he did post-doctoral work at Berkbeck College, London. He was a curator at the New York Botanical Garden for four years before joining the Cornell faculty in 1978 as an assistant professor of botany. Named a professor in 1985, he was appointed to his present chair in 2000. Dr. Niklas was made an Erskine Fellow of the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand earlier this year. He is a former fellow of the New York Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the Linnaean Society of London, and an honorary member of Gamma Sigma Delta, the agriculture honor society. A past recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, he has also received the George Gaylord Simpson Prize given by Yale Universitys Peabody Museum, the Michael A. Cichan Award of the Botanical Society of America, the SUNY Chancellors Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Botanical Society of Americas Lifetime Achievement Award, the Alexander von Humboldt Forschungspreis for Senior Distinguished USA Scientists, and the Jeanette Siron Pelton Award. He delivered the first Japanese Annals of Botany Lecture in 1999 and has given numerous other invited lectures throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and New Zealand. The current editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Botany, Dr. Niklas has been an associate editor of Evolution, Paleobiology, and Organic Geochemistry, and a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Arboriculture. He is the author some 200 papers published in scientific journals, twenty-five chapters in volumes of collected works, and three books, including Plant Biomechanics: An Engineering Approach to Plant Form and Function (1992), Plant Allometry: The Scaling of Form and Process (1994), and, most recently, The Evolutionary Biology of Plants, which was published by the University of Chicago Press in 1997.