Guest Speaker: Patrick McMillan
Patrick McMillan is the Emmy Award-winning host, co-creator and writer of the popular ETV nature program Expeditions with Patrick McMillan. For over 20 years, Patrick has worked as a professional naturalist, biologist and educator. His range of experience has concentrated on botany, though he is also well-respected through his work in ichthyology, herpetology and mammalogy. Patrick received his BS in Biology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and his PhD in Biological Sciences from Clemson University. In addition to hosting Expeditions, Patrick spends his time at Clemson University, fulfilling his teaching, outreach and curatorial duties.
Patrick’s intense interest in natural history began at a very young age. He attributes his memorization of thousands of scientific names to his grandmother, who would read him Animal Kingdom and wildflower books as a young child, including the Latin names—quite a contrast to Dr. Seuss! He spent his early childhood in the Fakahatchee Strand and Big Cypress Swamp with his father and grandfather. Patrick and his family moved to Alleghany County, North Carolina, in 1976, where he lived a few hundred feet off the Blue Ridge Parkway at milepost 231. Every day was spent familiarizing himself with the rhythm and diversity of his neighborhood woods, fields and streams. By the time he entered the University of North Carolina, his explorations had already documented plants formerly unknown in North Carolina. His research has taken him around the world in pursuit of new species of plants, and his areas of expertise are in sedge and Begonia taxonomy, natural community ecology and conservation biology.