Bachelor of Science in Biology, Jacksonville (Alabama) State University, 1970. Master of Arts in Biology, Jacksonville (Alabama) State University, 1973. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany, University North Carolina, 1981.
Instructor, Jacksonville State University, 1972-1973; assistant professor of biology, U. North Carolina Herbarium, 1978-1983; associate professor, U. North Carolina Herbarium, 1983-1984; professor, U. North Carolina Harbarium, since 1984. Advisor to Herbarium Birmingham Botanical Gardens, 1983-1984.
Member Natural Resources Advisory Committee, Alabama, 1983-1984. Member National Education Association, Alabama Education Association, Jacksonville State University Education Association (president 1985-1986), International Association for Plant Taxonomy, American Society of Plant Taxonomists, Mu Phi, Beta Beta Beta National Honor Society (biology), Sigma Xi, Omicron Delta Kappa, Southern Appalachian Botanical Club (systematics editor of Castanea since 1987), Museum League, Anniston (Alabama) Museum of Natural History.
Married Cynthia Abel Whetstone. Children: Laura Leigh Latta, Jordan Elizabeth.