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7th Annual School of Science Dean’s Seminar

Dr. Camille Parmesan

Dr. Camille Parmesan

Professor at Plymouth University (UK)
and National Aquarium Chair in the Public Understanding of Oceans and Human Health

Responses of Wild Plants and Animals to Man-Made Climate Change: Challenges and Solutions in a Time of Rapid Global Change

Dr. Camille Parmesan, winner of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize as a lead author of the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), delivered the 7th Annual School of Science Dean’s Seminar on Friday, October 7, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. in the Great Hall. More than 225 people attended her talk, “Responses of Wild Plants and Animals to Man-Made Climate Change: Challenges and Solutions in a Time of Rapid Global Change.” To read an abstract of Dr. Parmesan’s talk, click here.

Dr. Parmesan received her Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from the University of Texas at Austin in 1995, and this was followed by a post-doctoral fellowship at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis in Santa Barbara, California. In addition to her role as Professor in the Marine Institute at Plymouth University (UK), Dr. Parmesan holds the National Aquarium Chair in the Public Understanding of Oceans and Human Health and is also both an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Geology and a Senior Research Fellow in the Environmental Science Institute at the University of Texas at Austin.

In her early research, Dr. Parmesan focused on various aspects of population biology, including the ecology, evolution and behaviors of insect-plant interactions. For the past several years, the core of her research has been devoted to the current impacts of climate change on wildlife. Her work on butterfly range shifts has been highlighted in many scientific and popular press reports, such as in Science, Science News, New York Times, London Times, National Public Radio, and the recent BBC film series, State of the Planet with David Attenborough. Her work on Climate Change has been featured in hundreds of additional scientific and popular press articles, such as in National Geographic, Scientific American, Science ét Vie, Audubon Magazine, National Public Radio, Earth & Sky, CNN, CBS Evening News, ABC Nightline with Peter Jennings, ABC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, and ABC’s “Nature’s Edge” series with Bill Blakemore.

As the issue of global warming intensified as an international concern, Dr. Parmesan became a pioneer in conjoining policy and science. She has given presentations for the U.S. White House and Congressional seminar series, has been involved in several U.S. and international assessments of climate change impacts, and has provided formal testimonies at the national level, including the US House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, as well as at the state level. She has also been active in climate change programs for many international conservation organizations, such as IUCN (the International Union for Conservation of Nature). Dr. Parmesan has given seminars in Washington, DC for the White House, US Congress, other government agencies, NGOs and the National Wildlife Federation, and she has served on the Science Council of the Nature Conservancy. Dr. Parmesan has been involved with the IPCC for almost two decades as both a lead author and reviewer, and it was in this capacity that she was awarded her share of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

Dr. Parmesan has received several awards of distinction for her work in climate change and conservation: the National Wildlife Federation’s Conservation Achievement Award in Science (2007); named as “Outstanding Woman Working on Climate Change,” by IUCN (2007); and named as “Who’s Who of Women and the Environment” by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) in honor of “International Women’s Day” (2007). In 2013, Dr. Parmesan was awarded the “2013 Distinguished Scientist” by the Texas Academy of Sciences, and she was elected a Fellow of the Ecological Society of America.