Biodiversity is Topic for Pesek Colloquium Oct. 27-28

October 12th, 2009

AMES, Iowa - The ninth John Pesek Colloquium on Sustainable Agriculture, which honors a retired Iowa State University agronomy professor, will be Oct. 27-28.

Shahid Naeem, professor of ecology and chair of the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology at Columbia University, will be the featured speaker at two events - one at Iowa State University and one at Grinnell College.

The first lecture will be Tuesday, Oct. 27 at 8 p.m. in the Great Hall of the Iowa State Memorial Union, with a reception to follow.

The second lecture will be Wednesday, Oct. 28 at 4:15 p.m. in 101 Joe Rosenfield Center at Grinnell College. Both events are free and open to the public. 

Naeem is director of science at the Center for Environmental Research and Conservation at Columbia. His teaching and research focus on the environmental consequences of biodiversity loss. The title of his lecture is "The Environmental Significance of Biodiversity in Managed and Unmanaged Ecosystems: From China, to Sub-Saharan Africa, the Great Plains, and Iowa."

The Pesek Colloquium on Sustainable Agriculture is sponsored by the Henry A. Wallace Chair for Sustainable Agriculture. The colloquium is co-sponsored by Grinnell College, Center for Prairie Studies at Grinnell College, Iowa Farmers Union, Practical Farmers of Iowa, plus the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Department of Agronomy, Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology, Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management, Plant Sciences Institute, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Committee on Lectures, all at Iowa State.

The event is named for John Pesek, an Iowa State emeritus professor of agronomy, whose work in soil fertility, crop production and the economics of soil fertilizer use led scientists to a better understanding of the effects of management practices on the environment.

Editor's Note: Immediately preceding the Pesek Colloquium, the William K. Deal Endowed Leadership Lecture will begin at 7 p.m. next door in the Sun Room of the Memorial Union. Charles Manatt, former U.S. Ambassador to the Dominican Republic, is the featured speaker.


Matt Liebman, Wallace Chair for Sustainable Agriculture, (515) 294-7486,

Susan Thompson, Agriculture and Life Sciences Communication Service, (515) 294-0705,

(A photo of Shahid Naeem is available from Susan Thompson.)