Dwayne Estes serves as executive director for Southern Grasslands Initiative. For ten years Dwayne has served as Professor of Biology at Austin Peay State University and was promoted to Full Professor in 2015. Since 2008, he has served as a Principal Investigator for APSU’s Center of Excellence for Field Biology. In 2013, Dwayne was awarded tenure and accepted a joint position with BRIT where he serves as Botanical Explorer. In the past several years, he and his collaborators have successfully secured more than $1 million dollars in grants, including three from the National Science Foundation. He has published 20+ publications and has directed the work of more than a dozen graduate students. In May, 2016 he organized and hosted the Mid-South Prairie Symposium and has built a strong network of collaborators, from farmers and scientists to corporate business leaders and politicians. Dwayne manages a dedicated team who will work on grassland conservation projects across the Southeast. He was awarded the 2017 Conservationist of the Year award from the Tennessee Wildlife Federation.