Doug Ladd is director of conservation science for the Missouri Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, where he manages science, land management, and conservation real estate activities. He has been involved with fire management and fire ecology, conservation planning, natural area assessment, and ecological management, restoration, and research for more than thirty years, with particular emphasis on vegetation, ecological restoration, and fire ecology. Recent work has concentrated on vegetation and fire ecology of Midwestern prairies and woodlands, the development of assessment and ecological monitoring protocols for terrestrial vegetation, and ecoregional conservation planning. He is a certified prescribed fire leader and has instructed fire training courses in the United States and Central America. He has also worked on lichens in the Midwest for over two decades, and is currently collaborating with Richard Harris of the New York Botanical Garden on a study of Ozark lichens, which has resulted in the discovery of several species and genera new to science.
Ladd serves on the board of the Conservation Research Institute in Chicago, as well as the advisory boards of the Harris World Ecology Center and Shaw Nature Reserve, and is an adjunct faculty member at Washington University. He has undergraduate degrees in botany and chemistry, and a master’s degree in botany from Southern Illinois University, where his thesis research was conducted under Dr. Robert Mohlenbrock on the flora and vegetation of north-central Vermont. In addition to numerous articles and reports, Ladd is the author of two field guides, North Woods Wildflowers and Tallgrass Prairie Wildflowers, and coauthor of Discover Natural Missouri and Distribution of Illinois Vascular Plants. A research associate at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis and the Morton Arboretum in Chicago, Ladd resides in Webster Groves with his wife, Deborah.