ECU symposium to address biodiversity, climate change

The East Carolina University Center for Biodiversity will host a two-day symposium on the effect of climate change on biodiversity in the southeastern U.S. March 14-15 in Room 307, Science and Technology Building.

Events on Friday, March 14  begin at 8:30 a.m. and run through 5:30 p.m. Saturday’s events will begin at 8:30 a.m. and conclude at noon.

Twelve scientists in the field of biodiversity and climate change will present at the symposium, including Dr. Terry Root of Stanford University, a 2007 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for her work on the International Panel on Climate Change. Root will lead a discussion on “Changing Climate: Changing Species,” on March 14.

Other lecture topics will include future climates for the southeastern U.S.; the responses of forests, waterways, insects, avian migration and food webs to climate change; and the short-term and long-term concerns associated with climate change.

“Our planet is currently in the midst of two very dramatic global changes – the loss of its biodiversity and a rapid change in its climate,” said Dr. David R. Chalcraft, director of the Center for Biodiversity and associate professor of biology.

“The goals of the symposium are to advance our collective understanding of how biodiversity is responding to climate change in the southeastern US, and more broadly, to provide a general framework that could guide researchers, managers and policy makers.”

“It is imperative that we understand the consequences of climate change on biodiversity if we wish to better conserve our remaining biological resources,” said Chalcraft.

More than 90 participants from various institutions across the Southeast, including universities, community colleges, state and federal agencies, private companies and politicians will attend the two-day event. All are welcome to attend the free, public lectures. A full schedule and registration information is located online at www.ecu.edu/cs-cas/biology/ncbiodiversity/index.cfm.

The symposium is sponsored by the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Center for Biodiversity. Support is provided by the Harriot College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Biology, Academic Affairs, private donors and the Southeast Climate Science Center.

For additional information, contact Chalcraft at 252-328-2797 or chalcraftd@ecu.edu. Individuals requesting accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should call 252-737-1016 (voice/TTY) at least 48 hours prior to the events.

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