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Biology professor Christopher Smith to give public lecture

by Marketing & Communications,

Ivanpah Solar

Professor of Biology Christopher Smith is giving a public lecture, "Climate Change, Renewable Energy, and Endangered Species in Western U.S.: A Catch-22?”, on Nov. 7 at Paulus Lecture Hall. 

Chris Smith
Professor of Biology Christopher Smith

Smith is sharing his scholarship as winner of the 2021 Lynwood W. Swanson Scientific Research Award, an honor from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust. He is the first Willamette faculty member to receive the award. 

A summary of the lecture, which starts at 7 p.m., is as follows: 

The unfolding climate catastrophe is causing the extinction of thousands of species worldwide. Managing this ecological crisis requires a rapid shift to renewable energy. However, renewable energy development itself has dramatic impacts on the environment through habitat loss and the disruption of natural ecosystems. Shifting to a carbon-free energy economy while reducing the environmental impacts of renewable energy development will require difficult choices about what we can still save. A team of scientists from across the U.S. – led by Willamette University faculty – are working together to tackle this challenge. 

Smith is an evolutionary ecologist. His work examines the role of ecological processes in shaping evolutionary patterns over microevolutionary and macroevolutionary time. He is particularly interested in exploring ecological and evolutionary questions in the context of interactions between plants and insects. 

Smith has worked at Willamette since 2008. He earned his PhD from Harvard University in 2003. 

Learn more about Smith through this video by the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust: 

Willamette University

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