Karl J. Niklas received a B.S. (mathematics) from the City College of the City of New York and a M.S. (chemistry) and Ph.D. (plant biology) from the University of Illinois, Urbana. He joined the Cornell faculty in 1978, where he is the current Liberty Hyde Bailey Professor of Plant Biology and a Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow. His research focuses on biomechanics, allometry, and plant development and evolution.