In the interview transcript below, Emeritus Professor Dr. Dieter Mueller-Dombois talks about his prolific career in the Department of Botany (now a program within the Life Sciences Department) at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa in Honolulu, Hawai'i. Dr. Mueller-Dombois describes major projects and publications across his time in Canada, Sri Lanka, and Hawai'i, his experiences as a soldier in WWII, and his deep appreciation for the Hawaiian flora and for the Botany Department that inspired and nourished his far-reaching and deeply impactful contributions to the field of forest ecology. Included is a discussion of his work on 'ōhi'a (Metrosideros polymorpha) stand-level dieback in the 1980s in connection to the more recent episode of rapid 'ōhi'a death. Although the Botany Department is now merged with other departments, Dr. Mueller-Dombois hoped for it to remain with a distinct identity. In his view, it was an amiable department that made critical contributions to understanding and protecting the tremendous natural and cultural heritage of Hawai'i.