Leader in Tropical Conservation and Climate Change to Join Fairchild’s Research Team

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Leader in Tropical Conservation and Climate Change

to Join Fairchild’s Research Team

  Coral Gables, FL, July 15, 2009—Dr. Kenneth Feeley, a world expert in climate change, joins Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and Florida International University as an Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences in August, 2009. At Fairchild and FIU, Dr. Feeley will teach undergraduate and graduate courses, serve as a mentor to research students, and lead expeditions to the tropics. In addition, he will continue his research studying the role of biotic and abiotic factors in regulating tropical plant and animal communities and work toward a better understanding of the global impacts of climate change.

"We are thrilled to have Dr. Feeley join us at Fairchild and FIU,” says Dr. Carl Lewis, Director at Fairchild. “He is at the top of his field, with a great publication record and a high level of respect throughout the scientific community. He has the unusual ability to explain global climate change and how it affects plant species, natural habitats, and communities of people in the tropics. He will help give Fairchild and FIU a new, clear voice on this important issue."

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and Florida International University joined forces in 2006, forming a unique relationship between a world-class garden and a leading university. The liaison links Fairchild’s extensive conservation, research, arts and botany work to the areas of FIU’s museum management, design, art, tourism, architecture and science programs, making Fairchild a teaching resource for a major university the South Florida community.

 Dr. Feeley is regarded as a leader in tropical conservation and climate change ecology.  He studies the relationship between global climate change and the health of tropical forests. Currently, some tropical regions are already showing changes in temperature and rainfall patterns. Dr. Feeley has found that these changes are decreasing the growth, productivity, and ability for tropical forests to absorb carbon dioxide. One possible result of this decline is an increased rate of global climate change. Based on Dr. Feeley‘s projections, many tropical plant species will become extinct if the effects of climate change are not reversed. Results of his research have been published in top scientific journals.

About Fairchild

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is dedicated to exploring, explaining and conserving the world of tropical plants. It is one of the premier conservation and education-based gardens in the world and a recognized international leader in both Florida and international conservation. Currently Fairchild has field programs in over 20 countries including support to protected areas in Madagascar and Africa and botanic garden development and renovation projects in South and Central America, the Caribbean and Middle East. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden houses the National Palm Collection as recognized by the American Public Gardens Association (APGA), has the world’s greatest living collection of palms and cycads; an education program reaching more than 50,000 school children per year; hosts popular events like the International Chocolate Festival, International Mango Festival and International Orchid Festival, the Ramble, concerts, affiliated plant society shows and sales and more; and, is a not-for-profit organization relying on the support of its 40,000 members and benefactors. Fairchild hosts major art events such as Mark di Suvero, Fernando Botero, Dale Chihuly and Kris Martin at Fairchild this year, Botero, Lichtenstein and Chihuly at Fairchild in 2008 and Chihuly at Fairchild in 2005 and 2006. Fairchild is located at 10901 Old Cutler Road, Coral Gables (Miami), Florida 33156. Admission is $20 for adults, $15 for seniors, $10 for children 6-17 and free to children 5 and under and Fairchild members. For more information, please visit us at www.fairchildgarden.org and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fairchild-Tropical-Botanic-Garden/21557931711.

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