The next in the Distinguished Professor Lecture / Performance Series features Distinguished Professor of Biology Dr. James H. Brown who will discuss, "Human Macroecology: The Malthusian-Darwinian Dynamic and the Rise of Human Civilization," on Wednesday, April 18 at 5 p.m. in room 102 at the Science and Math Learning Center.

It was back in 1989 when Brown and Michigan State Associate Professor Brain Maurer coined the term "macroecology," which is the subfield of ecology that deals with the study of relationships between large-scale, statistical, informatics-based discipline that offers powerful insights into contemporary problems of global change and human ecology. The "top down" approach seeks to understand through the study of the properties of the system as a whole.

Recently Brown, who is considered "the father of macroecology," and collaborators have taken a macroecological approach to human ecology. In just the last 50,000 years, Homo sapiens has expanded out of Africa to colonize the entire world with 7 billion people. Near-exponential population growth and resource use are now pushing up against the finite limits of the Earth. How we understand and respond to this fact will in large part determine the future of our species.

Brown grew up in upstate New York, attended Cornell University and received his Ph. D. from the University of Michigan. He is known for his research in desert ecosystems, biogeography and ecological theory.

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