I’m a life-long amateur botanist, with the main interest in tropical floras. Having worked as a volunteer at the Botanic Garden of the University of St Petersburg, Russia, in my teens (from the age of 15 to 18; twice a week and often for 10 hours each day) and tutored by the Garden’s director, Dmitry Zalessky, I came to know closely many species from the main plant families found in the tropics. The dream of one day living in the tropics to study those plants in the wild had been present since that time. But instead of going to study botany, at 18 I shifted gears and went to study Arabic and other Semitic languages, with linguistics and study of languages my other major interest. I graduated in 1968 and was left at the Department of Arabic Philology to start my teaching career as an Assistant Professor. I did it for seven years, before shifting gears once again and emigrating to the USA in 1977. In NYC I held several jobs (office clerk, bank and library employee) before doing graduate work in linguistics at Columbia University. What I thought would be a summer job at the MLA (Modern Language Association), turned into a five-year stint there as a linguistics editor for the MLA International Bibliography. Finished the stint, I went for a vacation in Brazil and fell in love with the natural beauty and climate of coastal Bahia, deciding on return to NYC to eventually move there to live. It took me five years to make the move possible. Since 1991 I live in a rural part of northeastern Bahia (30 km off the Atlantic shore and 130 km northeast of Salvador, Bahia’s capital city). For the last five years I have been intensively studying the local flora (and fauna) of my place, collecting and photographing plants (and animals) on daily walks. My plant collection (over 900 numbers at the moment) is at the Herbarium of the State University at Feira de Santana (HUEFS), a two-hour drive from my place, and my animal collection is at the Zoological Museum (MZUEFS) of the same university.


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