December 18, 2006

Charles Harmon Director of University Relations, Dr. David L. Bechler, Biology Dept.<br />(229) 293-6063

25th Anniversary of VSU's Annual Connell Lecture attracts CanadianWildlife Service Polar Bear expert for January 25th event

Dr. Nick J. Lunn, Research Scientist with the Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment Canada, will discuss “Long-Term Trends in Polar Bear Ecology in Relation to Climatic Change” when Lunn participates in the 25th Anniversary of Valdosta State University’s Annual Clyde Eugene Connell Visiting Lecture Program. The event, which is free and open to the public, is scheduled for Thursday, January 25, 2007 at 7:00 p.m. in VSU’s Whitehead Auditorium.

Lunn’s primary research interests lie in polar marine ecology, with particular emphasis on marine mammals. He has been involved in studies of polar bears, arctic seals, Antarctic fur seals, penguins, and albatrosses. Currently, his research is directed towards polar bears and ecological relationships within marine ecosystems.

“Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) live throughout the ice-covered waters of the circumpolar Arctic,” says Lunn. “Despite some uncertainty with respect to magnitude, scenarios predicted by global climate models suggest increased rates of warming and substantial loss of sea ice throughout the Arctic.” He says polar bears will be particularly vulnerable to the effects of a warming climate because of their dependence on sea ice.

Lunn received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. from the University of Alberta and undertook his Ph.D. with the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge, United Kingdom. He has been interviewed or appeared on CBS’s 60 Minutes, the Canadian Broadcasting Company’s News In Depth, CNN, and ABC’s the Foreign Correspondent.

The Clyde Eugene Connell Visiting Lecturer Program, coordinated through VSU’s Biology Department, was the first endowed visiting lecturer program established at Valdosta State. The program is named after former VSU biology professor Dr. Clyde Eugene Connell.

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