Bio for Dr. Angela Kay Kepler & Francis G. Rust

Dr. Angela Kay Kepler is an energetic old-fashioned naturalist, meticulous researcher, author (18 books), and experimental cook. "Retired" from a multi-faceted career as an ecologist, ornithologist, conservationist, and environmental consultant, her passion for bananas and plantains propelled her to become the principal international authority on Hawaiian/Eastern Pacific bananas and a key player in banana identification. With her co-author, she revolutionized the art of international banana photography. Angela holds degrees from the University of Canterbury (New Zealand), University of Hawai`i, Cornell University (USA), and Oxford University (UK). She has received literary and photography awards for Excellence in Hawaiian Culture, and two books have been bestsellers for nearly 20 years as Hawai`i bestsellers.

Angela, a Hawai`i resident since 1963, is also an avid organic farmer practicing a high degree of self-sufficiency. The family's Pali O Waipi‘o Farmlet on Maui furnishes virtually all their fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, and protein (eggs, chickens, ducks, tilapia fish). Their staple carbohydrates are Hawaiian traditional bananas (mai`a).

Her co-author and beloved husband, Frank Rust, assists with banana field research and GPS mapping. Frank holds degrees from Georgia Tech and the University of California, Berkeley (USA). Frank worked for 15 years in engineering research and development at the Savannah River Laboratory, followed by 30 years of horse ranching and Hawaiian residency since the 1990s.