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Reforestation site in Madagascar

Dr. Patricia Wright: Building Forests and Saving Lemurs with Technology in Madagascar

Dr. Patricia Wright: Building Forests and Saving Lemurs with Technology in Madagascar

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- February 27, 2020 / 7:00 pm

Thursday, February 27 at 7 p.m. | Free and open to the public
RIT Golisano Auditorium (view campus map) | Parking available in Lot J. Follow event signs to Golisano Auditorium

Presented by RIT and Seneca Park Zoo Society

Madagascar, the fourth largest island in the world, is home to over 112 lemur species, 94% which are in danger of extinction. Despite heroic efforts to save the habitat and the lemurs over the past 30 years, we still face their possible extinction from fires and forest destruction in the near future. Bringing into play new technologies such as conservation drones, metabarcoding biodiversity and modern camera traps and sensors, there is new hope for saving lemurs, as well as improving the economy of the Malagasy rural communities.

About Dr. Wright

Dr. Patricia Chapple Wright is the Herrnstein Family Endowed Chair in Conservation Biology, and Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, New York. She has made major contributions in the biology, ecology, conservation and behavior of living primates. She discovered a new species of lemur, Hapalemur aureus in 1987 and helped establish Madagascar’s Ranomafana National Park to protect it. Her research concerns focus on behavior, senescence, parasitology, predation, rainforest ecology, climate change and conservation studies of Malagasy lemurs. Patricia Wright earned a BA from Hood College in 1966 and a PhD in Anthropology from City University of New York in 1985.

Dr. Pat Wright
Dr. Patricia Wright

Dr. Wright has led over 50 field expeditions to Peru, Paraguay, East Malaysia, the Philippines and Madagascar. She has held professional appointments at Duke and Stony Brook Universities and is the Executive Director of the Institute for the Conservation of Tropical Environments at Stony Brook University and the Founder and International Director of the Centre ValBio research station at Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. She has authored over 200 scientific publications and is the holder of many high honors. She is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and recipient of awards including the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship Hauptman Woodward Pioneer in Science Medal, Distinguished Primatologist Award from American Society of Primatology, honorary degrees from Hood College, the University of Fianarantsoa, the University of Antananarivo and a Distinguished Alumnae Award from Hood College . She was the first woman to receive the Indianapolis Prize for Animal Conservation.

Her books include “Madagascar: Forests of our Ancestors”, “Tarsiers: Past, Present and Future”, “High Moon over the Amazon: My Quest to Understand the Monkeys of the Night” and “For the Love of Lemurs: My Life in the Wilds of Madagascar.” Dr. Wright was a member of the National Geographic Society Committee for Research and Exploration, and NGS Conservation Trust. She is on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Species Survival Commission (IUCN SSC) Primate Specialist Group. Her work has been featured in the film “Me and Isaac Newton” directed by Michael Apted and IMAX’s “Island of Lemurs: Madagascar 3D” directed by David Douglas (2014) and Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown”. Dr. Wright was elected to the American Philosophical Society. The Government of Madagascar has honored her with the “Knight of the National Order” in 1995, the “Officier Medal” in 2003 and the “Commandeur Medal” in 2012, the only foreigner to receive all three honors.


February 27, 2020
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
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