Robin L. Chazdon

Dr. Chazdon is a plant ecologist whose research has focused on ecophysiology, conservation and regeneration of forests. She got her B.A. from Grinell College and her Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Cornell University (in 1984). She postdoc?d at UC Davis with Pearcy and at Carnegie Institution of Stanford University with Field. She joined the faculty of University of Connecticutt at Storrs in 1988 as an Assistant Professor and was tenured and promoted there, most recently to Full Professor in 2000. Dr. Chazon has had a significant impact on her field. Her creative and careful studies on the ecophysiology of tropical understory palms are highly regarded. She has published over 50 scientific peer-reviewed papers; in addition she has written 12 papers for conference proceedings, 8 book reviews, and edited two books, of which the most recent one is an invaluable annotated collection of classic papers in tropical forest biology. She has received 14 grants (NSF, USDA, Mellon) and been a Fulbright Scholar. Dr. Chazdon is not only a productive researcher, but she is an exemplary citizen of the scientific community. She has been president of the Association for Tropical Biology, as well as serving on various boards and advisory committees of Organization of Tropical Studies, Ecological Society of America, the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis. In addition she has shared her considerable editorial expertise with the community by serving on the editorial boards for three journals, Oecologia, American Journal of Botany and Tree Physiology. She has also trained a number of MS and Ph.D. students. Recently Dr. Chazdon received a much deserved honor: she was awarded the President?s Medal from the British Ecological Society.

Dr. Chazdon?s current work has a unique focus: the dynamics of the second growth forests in the tropics. This kind of research is pioneering as most other tropical researchers have been concerned with primary forests. But primary tropical rain forests are rapidly disappearing across the planet and second growth is becoming the predominant type of forest found in tropical latitudes. How do such forests grow and how do they compare to primary forests in density, diversity, nutrient cycling, carbon-processing and other ecological processes of local and global interest? Can they serve as repositories of biodiversity: what types of species are likely to be favored or to get left out? Understanding these issues is overwhelmingly significant to tropical biology in the current century.

She will speak on this work as the 2003 Gifford Arboretum and Sigma-Xi Lecturer at the University of Miami, Cox Science Center Lecture Hall, on April 10, 2003 at 7 pm. The title of her talk is "Tropical Forest Recovery: Legacies of Human Intervention and Natural Disturbances." The lecture will be preceded by a tour of the Arboretum (at 6:15 pm) and followed by a wine and cheese reception (8-9:30 pm) featuring an art exhibit of sculptures and paintings on the theme of "Regrowth, renewal and regeneration" and a book-signing, Foundations of Tropical Forest Biology: Classic papers with commentaries, coedited by Robin L. Chazdon and T. C. Whitmore.