D. Bruce Means grew up in Alaska, received his Ph.D. in biology from Florida State University, and is president of the Coastal Plains Institute and Land Conservancy, a nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving the rich biodiversity of the vast coastal plain of the southeastern United States. He is an adjunct professor of biological science at Florida State University, where he has taught courses on the ecology of upland, wetland, and coastal environments of the Southeast, as well as vertebrate biology, ichthyology, mammalogy, herpetology, general biology, tropical ecology, and conservation biology. His research has focused on such diverse topics as fire ecology, the natural history of South American tepuis, biogeography, conservation, endangered species, and the evolution and natural history of amphibians and reptiles. He has published more than 235 scientific articles, technical reports, and popular articles in National Wildlife, International Wildlife, Natural History, BBC Wildlife, National Geographic, Fauna, South American Explorer, and other magazines.