The Authors

Wallace and Sylvan in NC

Writer Wallace Kaufman and Ecologist Sylvan Kaufman are the father daughter team behind the writing of Invasive Plants.

Sylvan Kaufman

Sylvan Kaufman earned her Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolution from Rutgers University for her work on Melaleuca (paperbark tree) adaptations in Florida. She did post-doctoral work in ecology at Harvard University, and went on to become Conservation Curator for Adkins Arboretum on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She participated for many years with the Maryland Invasive Species Council. Sylvan currently works as a freelance consultant and writer as principal of Sylvan Green Earth Consulting. She writes, teaches and advises on landscape restoration and native plants for landscaping. Her interests and research have taken her to South America, the Russian Far East, Australia, and Central America, but she now calls New Mexico home.

Sample publications:

Kaufman, S.R. Alternatives to Invasive Plants. American Nurseryman, February 2009.

Stinson, K., S. Kaufman, L. Durbin, F. Lowenstein. 2007. Responses of a northeastern forest community to full and partial removal of garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata). Northeastern Naturalist.

Snyder, D. and S. Kaufman. 2004. An overview of nonindigenous plant species in New Jersey. New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Parks and Forestry, Office of Natural Lands Management, Natural Heritage Program, Trenton, NJ. 107 pages. Available online

Kaufman, S. R. and P. E. Smouse. 2001. Comparing indigenous and introduced populations of Melaleuca quinquenervia (Cav.) Blake: response of seedlings to water and pH levels. Oecologia 127:487-494.

Wallace Kaufman at home in Oregon

Wallace Kaufman is a science writer, teacher, and editor with a broad, hands-on background in land management, small business development, mediation of property issues, and transition processes in the former Soviet Bloc. He served as president of three statewide conservation organizations in North Carolina. Among honors and awards he received the New River Award, a Marshall scholarship to Oxford, and a Science Writing Fellowship at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA. He has worked extensively in Latin America and in Central Asia, Russia and eastern Europe doing economic surveys, training journalists and serving two years in Kazakhstan as resident advisor on housing and land reform. He speaks Spanish and Russian. Wallace Kaufman now works from his home on the coast in Newport, Oregon.


Grow Old and Die Young, A Naturalist in Life’s Theater. 2019. Available from the author.

Coming Out of the Woods, a memoir of lessons from 30 years living in a North Carolina forest. Perseus Books, 2000.

The Hunt for FoxP5, a genomic mystery novel (co-authored with David Deamer). Springer, 2016.

The Beaches Are Moving, a social and natural history of US beaches (co-authored with Dr. Orrin Pilkey). Doubleday 1979, Duke Univ. Press 1984– present

Amazon, an illustrated basic introduction to the Amazon Valley. Image Bank, 1979.

No Turning Back, a history and analysis of the environmental movement. Basic Books, 1994.