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Rainforests Will Be Focus of Musselman Natural History Lecture

Nalini M. Nadkarni, a biology professor at the University of Utah, will discuss the importance of rainforest canopies and the organisms that live in them during her Lytton J. Musselman Natural History Lecture at 7 p.m. Feb. 7 in the North Cafeteria at the Webb University Center.

Nadkarni's topic is "View from the Top: Exploration and Conservation of Rainforest Canopy Biota." She is a forest ecologist who has been a pioneer in documenting the ecological roles of canopy-dwelling plants, animals and soils in maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem function, particularly how they intercept and retain nutrients within tropical and temperate rainforests. Her recent work documents the impacts of natural and human disturbances on forest canopy communities, from single branches to landscapes.

Nadkarni has created science and conservation programs for faith-based groups, urban youth, artists and legislators. Since 2003, she has brought science education, conservation projects and nature imagery to incarcerated adults and youth around the country.

Nadkarni's work is supported by the National Science Foundation, the Mellon Foundation and the National Geographic Society. She has written more than 120 scientific articles and three books. Her awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, the National Science Foundation Public Service Award, the AAAS Award for Public Engagement, the Archie Carr Medal for Conservation and the William Julius Wilson Award for the Advancement of Social Justice.

Her lecture is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. You can RSVP by calling 757-683-3116 or by going to this site.

The Lytton J. Musselman Natural History Lecture is a continuing series led by Lytton Musselman, the Mary Payne Hogan professor of botany at ODU. The series was launched with the help of a substantial gift from ODU alumni Michael and Sue Pitchford. A former student of Musselman's, Michael Pitchford is president and chief executive officer of Community Preservation and Development Corp. in Washington D.C.

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