George Albert Llano was born in Havana, Cuba, on November 22, 1911. He attended Cornell, where he received a B.S. in 1955. Llano received his M.A. at Columbia (1939) and his Ph.D. in botany at Washington University in St. Louis (1949).
Llano was a biologist for the United States Department of Agriculture, soil conservation service, in New York from 1935 to 1937. He then taught at the Pennsylvania Military College (1940), Harvard (1943), and Washington University (1946-1948). In June 1948, Llano joined the staff of the United States National Museum, Department of Botany, as an associate curator in the Division of Cryptogams. He was to have general supervision of the lower cryptogams, excluding diatoms and fungi. In February 1951, Llano resigned from his position at the USNM in order to become an associate professor of botany at Maxwell Air Force Base. Most recently, Llano has been the program manager of the Polar Biology and Medical Offices at the National Science Foundation (1971- ).
Llano's botanical studies are concentrated on polar biology, especially lichenology and the economic uses of lichens. He received an Arctic Institute of North America fellowship (1949-1951), which is documented to some extent in these papers. Among Llano's writings is a monograph on the lichen family Umbilicariaceae as represented in the Western Hemisphere (1951), and "Utilization of Lichens in the Arctic and Subarctic." Llano is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.