“Biodiversity” will be the subject of a lecture on Thursday, Jan. 12, at 3:30 p.m. at the Arizona Senior Academy. Paul Hamilton, director of Reptile and Amphibian Ecology International (RAEI), will give an illustrated talk on the science of biodiversity and how science can be used to save ecosystems.
The presentation, free and open to the public, will be held in the Great Room at the Arizona Senior Academy Building at Academy Village, an active adult community off Old Spanish Trail six miles southeast of Saguaro National Park East.
Hamilton’s doctoral studies at Arizona State University focused on conservation, behavioral and evolutionary ecology, and herpetology. Later he founded RAEI to further his work on co
nservation ecology of reptiles and amphibians in Ecuador. An accomplished photographer, he has won acclaim for both scientific and artistic uses of photography.
Hamilton states that the mission of RAEI is to discover, document, and preserve the rich diversity of living reptiles and amphibians. His spectacular photographs convey the beauty and wonder of rare species and remote places.
A chief area of concern and study for RAEI is the fact that small animals such as frogs are “indicator species,” meaning that, because of their special sensitivity to changes in both air and water, their health is very revealing about the health of entire ecosystems. Hamilton and his colleagues explore what is happening to these vulnerable animals and work to understand and ameliorate the conditions that threaten them, helping to safeguard the environment for all.
Submitted by Betty Feinberg, Academy Village Volunteer