Eric Lamont was born and raised on Long Island, NY. Early in his life, he was influenced by his grandmother, Darina, who was born in an isolated valley of the High Tatras Mountains in present-day Slovakia. She would take young Eric on nature walks and the two would spend hours together in her flower gardens. Eric has a Ph.D. in Botany and taught high school biology for 32 years. He currently is the curator of Caribbean Asteraceae at the New York Botanical Garden and has been the president of the Long Island Botanical Society since 1992. He was a contributing author to Flora of North America and is the author of 60 botanical papers in peer-reviewed journals. Eric has also discovered two previously undescribed plant species that were new to science. Eric and his wife Mary Laura live in the hamlet of Northville on eastern Long Island.