Wayt is a leading authority on the plants of the Atlantic coastal forest of Brazil, one of the most critically endangered rainforests in the world, with less than 5% of its original vegetation remaining. Wayt works with Brazilian collaborators to survey these special forests and make their data available for conservation action. He is Curator Emeritus at the Institute of Systematic Botany of the New York Botanical Garden and a faculty member of the Garden’s Graduate Studies Program and in the Graduate Studies Program at the Federal University of Pernambuco.
Wayt received his B.S. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Ph.D. in botany from the University of Michigan. He served on Rainforest Trust’s Board of Directors from 2007-2023, during which time he was Board Secretary and Conservation Committee Chair.