Dr. Joe Pollard grew up in Atlanta and did his bachelor's degree in botany at Duke University. He received a Winston Churchill Scholarship to pursue doctoral studies in Cambridge, England, receiving his Ph.D. in botany in 1981. His doctoral research was on the ecology and genetics of variation in Urtica dioica, the stinging nettle. Dr. Pollard spent seven years on the faculty of Oklahoma State University, and then moved to Furman in 1988. He served as chair of Furman's biology department from 2000 to 2010, and in 2008 he was appointed to the Rose J. Forgione professorship in biology. In addition to teaching introductory courses, ecology, research & analysis, and field botany, Dr. Pollard has been involved in many of the department's study away programs. He has more than 20 peer-reviewed publications (many with student co-authors), and is the editor of Chinquapin, the newsletter of the Southern Appalachian Botanical Society.