David Lentz, executive director of the center for field studies at the University of Cincinnati, was previously the vice president of scientific affairs at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Before his arrival in Chicago, he was the director of graduate studies at the New York Botanical Garden and as such was appointed to the faculties of Columbia, Yale, and New York universities and the City University of New York.
Lentz’s research specialization is paleoethnobotany in Mesoamerica, North America, and Central Asia. He has authored more than 70 peer-reviewed articles and edited the book Imperfect Balance: Landscape Transformations in the Precolumbian Americas. His 2005 book, Seeds of Central America and Southern Mexico, was released by the New York Botanical Garden Press. Lentz has been awarded several research fellowships and in 1996 was elected a fellow of the Linnaean Society of London. From 2004-2006 he served as president of the Society for Economic Botany.