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Conservation biologist Michael Lannoo to win Field Museums Parker/Gentry Award

Amphibian expert will give lecture Sept. 11

CHICAGO When it comes to the environment, frogs are the canaries in the coalmine. Because their thin skin is permeable to water and grunge, frogs and other amphibians serve as excellent bioindicators. The presence of abundant, healthy amphibians indicates good quality aquatic and terrestrial habitats. Over the past several years, however, the number of amphibians has been declining. Meanwhile the number and severity of malformed frogs has been increasing dramatically. This is a worldwide problem, but the Upper Midwest has been designated as one of two U.S. hotspots for amphibian malformation.

"In death and disfigurement, frogs are teaching us a lesson about how to conduct ourselves as human beings and members of society," says Michael Lannoo, PhD, winner of this years Parker/Gentry Award. "It would be foolish to ignore or dismiss the message about environmental perturbation that malformed amphibians are sending."

For his success studying amphibians and educating the public about the importance of amphibian well-being to human health, Dr. Lannoo will receive the Parker/Gentry Award from The Field Museum at a private ceremony on Sept. 12, 2001. Established in 1996 by an anonymous donor, the award honors an outstanding conservation biologist who has had a significant impact on preserving the worlds natural heritage, and whose actions and approach can serve as a model to others.

Dr. Lannoos environmental work covers many fronts: basic research, author, university professor, featured Discovery.com expert, tireless advocate for biodiversity, and the conscience of conservation biology.

In 1990, the World Conservation Union established the Declining Amphibian Populations Task Force to determine the causes of declines in amphibians and to halt or reverse the declines. While head of DAPTFs Central Division, Dr. Lannoo edited the book S
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Contact: Greg Borzo
gborzo@fieldmuseum.org
312-665-7106
Field Museum
29-Aug-2001


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