PULLMAN, Wash. — Saving a biodiversity hotspot in Chile will be the topic of the 1998 Philip C. Holland Lecture at Washington State University. Mary Kalin Arroyo, professor of biology at the Universidad de Chile, will present a lecture titled “Saving Biodiversity in Chile: How, with Whom and at What Cost?” on Thursday, Sept. 17 at 7 p.m. in Todd Hall, Room 276.
Rapidly developing Chile contains one of the world’s five Mediterranean-climate, biodiversity hotspots and a large part of South AmericaÃs critically endangered temperate rainforest. Saving biodiversity in Chile, where land is mostly privately owned, is nearly overwhelming in part because protected lands are not congruent with centers of biodiversity, according to Arroyo.
“Convincing local landowners to collaborate directly in the protection of biodiversity is essential,” she said. “Willingness of the business sector to face up to scientific facts, modify goals and lower economic benefits, as exemplified by a recent initiative in Chile, could turn out to be a potent force for saving biodiversity.”
Arroyo is a leading international scientist in the fields of botany, biodiversity and ecological sustainability. Her work as co-coordinator of the United National Global Biodiversity Assessment Task Force led to her recognition as a United Nations Environmental Program Biodiversity expert. She led efforts to organize the Latin American Plant Sciences Network, centers in six Latin American countries that collaborate in graduate training in the plant sciences. She has done pioneering work on plant reproductive biology from the tropics to the Andes and is presently testing the efficiency of Chile’s national parks in protecting plant biodiversity.
A New Zealand native, Arroyo received degrees in botany from the University of Canterbury in Christchurch and the University of California, Berkeley. She holds the Endowed Chilean Presidential Science Chair and received the prized Amanda Labarca Award for Chilean women academics in the arts and sciences. She is a member of the American Biological Society and a Fellow of the Linnean Society. Arroyo participates in the joint WSU/Universidad de Chile environmental sciences educational program.
The Philip C. Holland Lecture is an annual event funded through an endowment established in the will of Washington State College President Ernest O. Holland (1916-1944) in the name of his father, an Indiana physician.