T. Kent Kirk is a retired research scientist for the USDA Forest Products Laboratory of the U.S. Forest Service in Madison, Wisconsin, and professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin. He studied forestry as an undergraduate at Louisiana Polytechnic Institute, then plant pathology and biochemistry for his master’s and doctor’s degrees at North Carolina State University. He received the Marcus Wallenberg Prize in 1985 and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1988. He lives outside of Madison, except for several weeks in the winter, when he can be found in the Virgin Islands or south Florida.