Campus News

Matson, past president of Ecological Society of America, will give 20th annual Odum Lecture

Pamela Matson, Chester Naramore Dean of the School of Earth Sciences at Stanford University, will be the guest speaker at this year’s Odum Ecology Lecture. Matson will speak about “Agriculture and Environment in the Yaqui Valley, Mexico: Does Intensification ‘Save Land for Nature?'” The presentation will begin at 12:20 p.m. on March 26 in the ecology auditorium.

A panel discussion on biodiversity and agricultural practices will take place that afternoon at 3 in the ecology auditorium. Panelists, in addition to Matson, include UGA faculty members Jeffrey Dorfman, agricultural and applied economics; Ron Carroll, ecology; Peter Hartel, crop and soil sciences; and Robert Rhoades, anthropology. Ron Pulliam, ecology, will serve as moderator. A reception will follow the panel discussion. All events are free and open to the public.

Matson’s research focuses on the effects of land use change and other human-caused changes in tropical ecosystems. She addresses the links between development and the environment, focusing primarily on agricultural and other land uses in the Yaqui basin in Sonora, Mexico. This region, like developing regions around the world, is experiencing rapid land use change. Matson, along with other researchers from Stanford and several Mexican institutions, is using the Yaqui Valley as a model system to develop a full understanding of the consequences and implications of population growth, urbanization, agricultural intensification and water diversion on human welfare, economic growth, environmental quality and resource sustainability.

Matson holds a doctorate from ­Oregon State University and has co-authored numerous articles appearing in Science, Nature and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In 1992 she was elected to the American ­Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 1994 to the National Academy of Sciences.

She is a MacArthur Fellow and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2002, she was named the Burton and Deedee McMurtry University Fellow in Undergraduate Education at Stanford.

The annual Odum Lecture honors the late Eugene P. Odum, founder of the Institute of Ecology.

The series is permanently funded through an endowment that was created in 1984 with contributions from friends, colleagues, and former students in honor of Odum on the occasion of his retirement as director of the ­Institute.