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Global climate change expert to give Rilett Lecture, April 27

image of Climate change expert John Smol in a photo from Queen's University, where he is professor of biology.

Climate change expert John Smol in a photo from Queen's University, where he is professor of biology.

Global warming will be the focus of this year’s Rilett Lecture, presented by one of the world’s leading authorities on global climate change, Professor John Smol.

The lecture will take place at 4 p.m. Thursday, April 27, in the Prairie Room of the Bone Student Center. The title of the lecture is “On Thin Ice: Long-term changes in polar ecosystems linked to recent warming.” The event is free and open to the public.

Smol is a professor and research chair in environmental change at Queens University in Ontario, Canada. The founder of the Paleoecological Environmental Assessment and Research Lab (PEARL) at Queens University, most of his research work concentrates on the Arctic region.

Smol’s work has been instrumental in informing public policy discussions and decisions nationally and internationally for many years, beginning with his predominant role in the acid rain debates.

Having lectured on all seven continents, Smol has authored over 500 journal publications and chapters and 21 books since 1980, and was the founding editor of the international Journal of Paleolimnology (1987-2007). He is currently the editor of the journal Environmental Reviews, and of the Developments in Paleoenvironmental Research book series.

Since 1990, Smol has received more than 60 national and international research and teaching awards, including an NSERC Steacie Fellowship, the Geological Association of Canada Past-Presidents’ Medal, and the Botanical Society of America Darbaker Prize, to name a few.

Smol holds the distinction of being the first scientist since the establishment of the Royal Society of Canada (founded in 1882) to win three individual medals, the Miroslav Romanowski Medal for environmental science, the Flavelle Medal for biological sciences, and the McNeil Medal for public awareness of science. In June 2013, Smol was named an Officer of the Order of Canada, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

The R. Omar and Evelyn Rilett Family Life Sciences Lecture Series was established as endowed fund in 2007, and sponsors lectures by internationally acclaimed biologists on issues of broad societal and global importance.

For special accommodation or any additional information contact, Professor of Biology Scott Sakaluk at (309) 438-2161 or sksakal@ilstu.edu; or visit the School of Biological Sciences.

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