Louis J. Gross is a Chancellor’s Professor and Alvin and Sally Beaman Distinguished Professor of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and Mathematics and has been a faculty member at the UTK since 1979. He is the Director of the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS), a National Science Foundation-funded center to foster research and education at the interface between math and biology. He completed a B.S. degree in Mathematics at Drexel University and a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics at Cornell University. His research focuses on applications of mathematics and computational methods in many areas of ecology, including disease ecology, landscape ecology, spatial control for natural resource management, photosynthetic dynamics, climate change and the development of quantitative curricula for life science undergraduates. His research and education efforts have been continuously supported by awards from the National Science Foundation for over 25 years and since 1990 he has been a principal investigator on over $50M in external funding to UTK. He is the co-editor of the Encyclopedia of Theoretical Ecology and co-author of the textbook Mathematics for the Life Sciences. He has served as Program Chair of the Ecological Society of America, as President of the Society for Mathematical Biology, President of the UTK Faculty Senate, Treasurer for the American Institute of Biological Sciences and as Chair of the National Research Council Committee on Education in Biocomplexity Research. He is the 2006 Distinguished Scientist awardee of the American Institute of Biological Sciences, is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the Society for Mathematical Biology, and received the 2017 UTK Faculty Achievement Award from the Southeastern Conference. He has served on the National Research Council Board on Life Sciences and was a member of the National Academies Committee on Envisioning the Data Science Discipline: The Undergraduate Perspective. He is a long-time volunteer for Jubilee Community Arts and Community Shares, hosted and produced folk music programs for WUOT-FM, performs with the Lark in the Morn English Country Dancers and serves as House Sound Engineer for concerts at the Laurel Theatre in Knoxville.