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THE 13TH ANNUAL WEGE FOUNDATION SPEAKER: DR. THOMAS E. LOVEJOY

March 11, 2009 - Grand Rapids, Michigan (March 11, 2009) - The Wege Foundation and Aquinas College are pleased to announce the 13th Annual Wege Foundation Speaker, Dr. Thomas J. Lovejoy, biodiversity chair and past president (2002-2008) of the Heinz Center for Science, Economics and the Environment. Lovejoy's lecture, Climate Change: Prospects for Nature, will be in the Aquinas Performing Arts Center, 1703 Robinson Road SE on Friday, April 24 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. with a reception immediately to follow.

Thomas Lovejoy is an innovative and accomplished conservation biologist who coined the term “biological diversity”. He currently holds the Biodiversity Chair at the Heinz Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment based in Washington, DC. He served as President of the Heinz Center from 2002-2008. Before assuming this position, Lovejoy was the World Bank’s Chief Biodiversity Advisor and Lead Specialist for Environment for Latin America and the Caribbean as well as Senior Advisor to the President of the United Nations Foundation. Spanning the political spectrum, Lovejoy has served on science and environmental councils under the Reagan, Bush, and Clinton administrations.

At the core of this many influential positions are Lovejoy's seminal ideas, which have formed and strengthened the field of conservation biology. In the 1980s, he brought international attention to the world’s tropical rainforests, and in particular, the Brazilian Amazon, where he has worked since 1965. Lovejoy also developed the now ubiquitous "debt-for-nature" swap programs and led the Minimum Critical Size of Ecosystems project. He also founded the series Nature, the popular long-term series on public television. In 2001, Lovejoy was awarded the prestigious Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement. Lovejoy holds B.S. and Ph.D. (biology) degrees from Yale University.

The lecture and the reception are free and open to the public. Seating is limited.