Dr. Michael Balick studies the relationship between plants, people, and culture, the field known as ethnobotany, and floristics, the study of botanical diversity within a specific region. Most of his research is in remote regions of the tropics, where he works with indigenous cultures to document plant diversity, knowledge of its traditional utilization and evaluation of the potential of botanical resources for broader application and use, including to improve primary health care. His research has included studies in the Amazon Valley, Central and South America, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and currently focuses on the tropical Pacific Islands. Dr. Balick has authored over 150 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals, and authored or edited 26 scientific and general interest books and monographs. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1980 and has been at the New York Botanical Garden since that time.