Brent Ewers is the Director of the University of Wyoming Biodiversity Institute and NSF EPSCoR and is a professor of plant physiological ecology in the Botany Department. Brent grew up in Oklahoma and developed a passion for hunting, fishing, and anything outdoors including a longing for the Rocky Mountains through family trips to escape the summer heat and humidity. To build on his passion, Brent obtained a B.S. in Forest Biology and a minor in Botany from Colorado State University. He obtained an M.S. and Ph.D. in Ecology from Duke University specializing in how water and nutrient availability change tree water use traits. Brent continued his science training through a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he studied how tree diversity and insect and fire disturbances change forest water use and other ecohydrological processes. He joined the faculty at UW as a plant physiological ecologist in 2002. Brent and his lab group members use first principles of biophysics approaches to look at how the diversity of plant traits in crops, rangelands, and forests impact plant controls over mass and energy exchanges and plant productivity. These techniques allow the group to address plant responses to drought, fire, and insect activity and determine how plant biodiversity should be included in ecosystem models ranging in scales from plant organs to landscapes. Over his career, Brent has produced more than 120 peer-reviewed publications and successfully competed for more than $50 million in external research funds from many state and federal agencies. In his free time, Brent enjoys taking his family on fishing and hunting excursions.