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News Release

May 10, 2006


Mark Shwartz, News Service: (650) 723-9296,

Yale ecologist to deliver the Boething Lecture on Forests and the Human Predicament on May 18

Yale University ecologist Lisa M. Curran will deliver the 18th Boething Lecture on Forests and the Human Predicament at 4 p.m. Thursday, May 18, in Room 105 of Building 320, 450 Serra Mall, on the Stanford campus. Her lecture, "Effects of Land Use Change and Governance on Bornean Ecosystems," is free and open to the public and will be followed by a reception.

Curran is associate professor of tropical resource science and director of the Tropical Resources Institute at Yale's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. She also is an external faculty member of the Santa Fe Institute and serves on the governing board of the Tropical Forest Foundation.

Her research focuses on the mechanisms that influence community structure and dynamics of tropical forests, including how ecological interactions are altered by human activities. Her work aims to enhance equitable and responsible management of tropical ecosystems by integrating knowledge of ecological processes in natural systems with sociopolitical and economic realities. Her fieldwork in Borneo has included long-term studies of reproductive ecology, demography and timber harvest of Dipterocarpaceae, the most economically important family of tropical trees. Her research links plant-animal interactions with land use change and their effects on rural livelihoods, the atmospheric carbon cycle and biodiversity. Current projects focus on land use change, drought and fire in the Asian and South American tropics, and on the impact of government policies and industrial practices on ecosystem management and rural livelihoods in tropical frontiers.

The Boething Lecture series is funded by John and Susan Boething and sponsored by the Center for Conservation Biology at Stanford. For more information about the lecture, contact Peggy vas Dias at (650) 723-3171 or


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