Following Dr. Tiffney's presentation, Dr. Mooney will help us shift gears to the present where he will focus on the ecology of biological invasions and the consequences of the increasing breakdown of the biogeographic barriers that once limited the interchange of the world's biota. This all of course has been a result of the ever increasing ease of intercontinental transport by humans and the merits of many things that they carry around with them.
The problem is a familiar one. Burgeoning population growth and all of its attendant problems, urbanization, industrialization, what have you. Just to put it succinctly as I'm sure Dr. Mooney will stress, it's just that our species has become a very dominant force on our planet controlling virtually every ecosystem on the face of the earth.
To sum up, at the very end of the day, Dr. Jose Sarukhan will provide a conclusive presentation with some illuminating overviews of the whole biodiversity crisis. He will provide a national perspective on how his home country, biodiversity rich Mexico, is gathering information to understand, use and protect their very extraordinary natural heritage.
It gives me great pleasure to introduce our first speaker, Dr. Karl Niklas. Dr. Niklas was born in New York City. He studied at the City College of the City of New York where he received a B.S. degree in Mathematics in 1970. At the University of Illinois, Urbana where he received a Ph.D. in Botany in 1974. His post-doctoral research was conducted at the University of London after which he became curator of Paleobotany at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. He is currently Professor of Botany at Cornell University where he conducts research and teaches courses in botany, plant evolution, biomechanics and comparative morphology. He's the author of 187 scientific articles and three books, all published by the University of Chicago Press, some of which are outside on the table for your examination.
Among his other current professional activities, Professor Niklas is Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Botany, the official publication of the Botanical Society of America, in addition to serving on numerous national and international committees and board of editorials. So, please help me welcome Dr. Niklas.