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About the Author

Dr. Wayne Arthur Whistler (October 12, 1944 – April 2, 2020) was an American ethnobotanist, taxonomist, academic and researcher. Whistler, an adjunct professor at the University of Hawaii's Department of Botany, was an expert on tropical flora of the Pacific Islands, especially Samoa and Tonga.

His field of expertise included the plants of the tropical Pacific islands, including Hawaii, and eastern Polynesia (Samoa, Tonga, and Tahiti), Fiji, and Micronesia. Born and raised in Southern California, where he attended the University of California at Riverside for his bachelor's degree and master's degree (UC Santa Barbara), he received his Ph.D. in Botany (1979) from the University of Hawaii with his dissertation focusing on the vegetation of Samoa. He began his Pacific experience serving three years in the U.S. Peace Corps teaching Biology in Western Western Samoa (1968-70). He has conducted many research projects in the Pacific Islands, including Samoa, Tonga, Niue, Fiji, Tuvalu, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Yap, Chuuk, Guam, and the Northern Marianas. Dr. Whistler published numerous scientific articles about plants, as well as twelve books, including the Flora of Tokelau, Plants of the Canoe People, Tropical Ornamentals: A Guide, Plants in Samoan Culture, Polynesian Herbal Medicine, Samoan Herbal Medicine, Flowers of the Pacific Island Seashore, Rainforest Trees of Samoa, The Samoan Rainforest, Orchids of Samoa, Wayside Plants of the Islands and Tongan Herbal Medicine.

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