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40,000 Year Plague: A Natural History of Human-Induced Extinction

Ross MacPhee has spent much of the last ten years studying global patterns of animal extinction. He uses the extinction histories of islands as test cases to forecast and explain the forces leading to global extinctions. As part of this work MacPhee has collaborated since 1990 with scientists from the Museo Nacional de Historia Natural in Havana, Cuba, on numerous projects that have provided new clues to the origin and extinction of much of the vertebrate biota of the West Indies. MacPhee specializes in studying the role that humans have played in inducing extinctions during the last 40,000 years and is considered an expert on this complex issue. MacPhee received his Ph.D. from the University of Alberta. Before he joined the American Museum of Natural History in 1988, he was associate professor in the department of anatomy at Duke. He was appointed chairman of the museum's department of mammalogy in 1994, and is an adjunct professor at both SUNY Stony Brook and the CUNY Graduate School.

This lecture is sponsored by the Robert's Environmental Center.