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Humboldt Research Awardee at LMU

München, 09/09/2014

Ecologist Richard Primack, the latest recipient of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s Humboldt Research Award to come to LMU, has begun a collaborative project with Prof. Susanne Renner at the Institute for Systematic Botany and Mycology.

Professor Richard Primack, one of the world’s leading conservation biologists, teaches at Boston University, and has served as President of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation. He is currently Editor-in-Chief of the journal “Biological Conservation”, and is the author of the most widely used textbook on conservation biology. Prof. Primack plans to devote his three visits to the Munich Botanic Garden to the study of leafing-out and other plant traits which are undergoing rapid change as a result of the impact of global warming.

Over the past decade-and-a-half Professor Primack’s research has focused on the impact of climate change on plant and bird life in Massachusetts. He is particularly interested in alterations in the timing of flowering and leafing-out in plants, and the migratory flights of birds and butterflies. In his studies he has made use of the observations recorded in the journals of Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862), author of “Walden”, the classic description of the two years he spent in a cabin in the woods near Concord in the 1850s. In his own latest book, entitled “Walden Warming: Climate Change Comes to Thoreau’s Woods”, Primack uses Thoreau’s notebooks to review the transformations that have occurred in the natural world around Walden Pond since that time. göd