Dr. Joseph Edward Laferriere was born in Providence, Rhode Island, USA, in 1955. He was raised in nearby Smithfield and graduated from Smithfield High School in 1973. He later attended the University of Rhode Island, obtaining a Bachelor Degree in Botany in 1980, followed by a Master's in Botany from the University of California @ Davis in 1982 and a PhD in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology from the University of Arizona in 1991. After finishing his PhD, he held professional positions at Harvard University, Washington State University, Biosphere 2, and the Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Morelos (in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico).
Dr. Laferriere's doctoral dissertation was an ethnobotanical study of plant use by the Mountain Pima people. They are a group of indigenous people living in the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains along the border between Sonora and Chihuahua, Mexico. He spent 14 months in the communities of Nabogame and Yepachic, both in Chihuahua State. His work resulted in publication of dozens of articles in scientific journals, focusing on botany, anthropology, nutrition, and optimization theory. His publications include descriptions of several new plant and fungal species: Hymenocallis pimana, Berberis pimana, Prionosciadium saraviki, Albatrellus mexicanus, Laennecia pimana, Pectis pimana, Yucca declinata, Hymenocallis clivorum, etc.
--Joseph Laferriere (talk) 11:25, 2 February 2014 (UTC)