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Mathematics & Statistics

The R. Kent Nagle Lecture Series

January 21, 1999

Simon A. Levin explains “The Rise and Fall of Biodiversity”

Audience The talk is directed at a general audience and is open to the public. There is no entrance fee.
Date January 21, 1999
Time Thursday evening, 7:30-8:30 p.m.
Place Cooper Hall, Room 103 (CPR 103), at USF Tampa, just west of Maple near Elm, south of the Education Building

Simon A. Levin
The Rise and Fall of Biodiversity

Description of the Talk

The world's biodiversity is in crisis and, consequently, many of nature's services to humans are endangered. Understanding how to protect biodiversity requires understanding of how it arose and how it is maintained. The biosphere is a complex, adaptive system which has self-organized through the collective activities of many players — plants, animals and microbes. The dynamics of the Global Commons emerges from the selfish actions of individuals and the enlightened self-interest that results in altruism, coalitions and communities. The lecture will explore these features and lessons to be learned for achieving a sustainable future.

Description of the Speaker

Simon A. Levin is currently the George M. Moffett Professor of Biology and was the Founding Director of the Princeton Environmental Institute at Princeton University. Previously, while based at Cornell University, he was the Charles A. Alexander Professor of Biological Sciences, Chairman of the Section of Ecology and Systematics, Director of the Ecosystems Research Center and Director of the Center for Environmental Research.

He has served as President of the Society for Mathematical Biology and the Ecological Society of America. On the national level, he served on the Department of Energy's Health and Environmental Research Advisory Committee and on the Oversight Review Board for the National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program.

Among his other honors, he has been a Guggenheim Fellow and a Visiting Fellow at All Souls College at the University of Oxford. He is currently a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was the Founding Editor of Ecological Applications and serves on numerous other editorial boards.


The Organizing Committee of the NLS consists of Ed Saff (Chair), Ken Pothoven, Ralph Oberste-Vorth, Mourad Ismail, and Greg McColm.