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Grizzly bears in a raindrop?

Museum presentation takes unique look at rainforest biodiversity

(RALEIGH)  Journey into one of the last great wilderness areas on our planet — the enchanted Great Bear Rainforest of British Columbia — and discover the rich tapestry of life that occurs in the smallest organisms living high in rainforest canopies, as well as some of the largest forest inhabitants that depend on the area’s rivers and estuaries. Join Dr. Neville Winchester for a look through the ‘eyes’ of a raindrop when he presents "Life in a Raindrop and Beyond: From Microarthropods to Grizzly Bears, a Celebration of Biodiversity" at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences on Thursday, December 9 at 7 pm.

Winchester is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor (research entomologist) in the Geography Department and a teaching staff member in the Biological Sciences Department at the University of Victoria. He has explored rainforests from the Carmanah Valley in British Columbia to the Church Forests of Northern Ethiopia to study the diversity of arthropods, ancient rainforest ecology and conservation biology.

Winchester’s doctorate thesis in the early 1990s yielded the discovery of more than 70 new species of arthropods — mites, spiders and insects — in the suspended moss/soil layers of just five old-growth Sitka spruce trees in the then-endangered Upper Carmanah Valley. This study helped to raise public awareness about the biological uniqueness of these ancient forests and, along with a successful campaign by the Wilderness Committee, resulted in the protection of the entire Carmanah Valley in 1994.

Prior to the presentation, from 6 to 7 pm, talk with postdoctoral and graduate students from NC State University who will be presenting information about their varied research projects. From 5 to 7 pm, you can also see and learn more about live animals from the Museum’s living collections, or enjoy food and beverages from the Acro Café.


 

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, located at 11 West Jones Street in downtown Raleigh, documents and interprets the natural history of the state of through exhibits, research, collections, publications and educational programming. Visit us online at naturalsciences.org. Hours: Monday-Saturday, 9 am–5 pm and Sunday, Noon–5 pm. General admission is free. The Museum is an agency of the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Dee Freeman, Secretary.