Nov 18, 2011
World-renowned ecologist and author Simon Levin will discuss collective animal behavior and the interplay of human welfare and sustainability in consecutive lectures Thursday, Dec. 8 at Humboldt State University. Both are open to the public.
Levin, Moffett Professor of Biology at Princeton University, will host a mathematics colloquium at 4 p.m. in the Native American Forum of the Behavioral and Social Sciences Building (BSS) on models of animal aggregation and the evolution of collective behavior. He will assess their implications for human decision-making.
A pre-colloquium tea is scheduled at 3:30 p.m. in the BSS third floor alcove. A post-lecture reception will follow at 5 p.m. in the Native American Forum Lobby.
Thursday evening at 7 p.m., also in the Native American Forum, Levin will present the Lamberson Ecology Lecture, “Complex Adaptive Systems and the Challenge of Sustainability.” The continual increase in the human population—officially seven billion and climbing—raises crucial questions about mounting per capita demands on the planet’s shrinking resources. Levin will survey the cross-disciplinary scientific challenges posed by this collision and what measures of human welfare should be central to definitions of sustainability.
Levin also will analyze how environmental and socioeconomic structures develop complex adaptations and the implications of those adjustments for the general welfare, local to global.
Editor of the Princeton Guide to Ecology and the landmark Encyclopedia of Biodiversity, Levin is Director of Princeton’s Center for BioComplexity. He retains an adjunct professorship at Cornell, where he held a number of high level posts from 1965 to 1992, and currently is a Distinguished Visiting Professor at UC Irvine.
A Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Levin is a Member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, and a Foreign Member of the Istituto Veneto. He is also a Fellow of the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics and of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. He has received honorary doctorates from Eastern Michigan University, Whittier College and Michigan State University.
In 2010, Levin won the Eminent Ecologist Award of the Ecological Society of America. He is also the recipient of the Distinguished Scientist Award of the American Institute for Biological Sciences, among many others.
The Lamberson Ecology Lecture series was established by Rollie Lamberson, HSU Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, who taught at the Arcata campus from 1980 to 2004. Lamberson co-founded the Environmental Systems M.S. program and served for many years as coordinator of both the program and its Mathematical Modeling option. He also co-founded the Resource Modeling Association and the journal Natural Resource Modeling.
Details about the Dec. 8 lectures are available from Rob Van Kirk in the Department of Mathematics at 826-3744 or Robert.Vankirk@humboldt.edu.