Join Us for Biodiversity Days April 24–25

The E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation is pleased to announce our upcoming “Biodiversity Days” on April 24th and 25th at Duke University and the Nicholas School of the Environment in Durham, North Carolina.

Biodiversity Days are focused on cultivating awareness and promoting understanding as a key foundation for engagement, action and inspired care of our planet.

Join Edward O. Wilson and other notable scientists and conservationists at Duke University for two full days of public lectures and panel discussions addressing the most important conservation issues and restoration efforts of our time. Evening highlights include:

• “Setting Aside Half the World for the Rest of Life,” with E.O. Wilson.

• “Global Conservation” Panel Discussion, with E.O. Wilson, Jim McClintock, and Greg Carr. Moderated by Stuart Pimm.

• The James and Cathleen Stone Distinguished Lectureship in Biodiversity with Callum Roberts discussing, “What Will It Take to Avert an Extinction Wave in the Oceans?” and introductory comments by E.O. Wilson.

All events are free and open to the public, but require a ticket. Tickets for events can be obtained through the Duke University Box Office online at or by phone at 919-684-4444, or in person at the Bryan Center Box Office weekdays 11 am – 6 pm. Please note, charges apply to all orders placed by phone and online.

Parking is available in the Bryan Center parking deck for all events.

Please check this page often for the latest updates.

Image of E.O. Wilson in a field.


Field Auditorium, Environment Hall, 9 Circuit Drive, Duke University.

  • 6 pm: Chris Norment Book Reading/Signing.Conservation biologist Chris Norment will read from and sign copies of his new book, Relicts of a Beautiful Sea: Survival, Extinction, and Conservation in a Desert World.5:15 pm: Light reception
    6:00 pm: Chris Norment Lecture and Reading
    7:30 pm: Book signing
    Parking after 5 pm available on Circuit Drive and LaSalle Street.


Duke Gardens Breakfast—By Invitation Only

Day 1: Biodiversity Days Lecture Series

Love Auditorium, Levine Science Research Center B101, West Campus, Duke University.

  • 1:00 pm: Peter White, Professor of Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill‘The Signature of Time and Place: Celebrating the Southeast’s Remarkable Biodiversity Pattern.’Peter White received his PhD from Dartmouth College in plant ecology. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the Missouri Botanical Garden and a research position with the University of Tennessee and Great Smoky Mountains National Park, he joined the faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. For 28 years he led the North Carolina Botanical Garden, an award winning conservation-focused institution, and joined the faculty full-time in January. He teaches conservation biology and ecology at UNC. He was one of the founding leaders of the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory in the Smokies. His research focuses on conservation topics, disturbance ecology, and patterns of alpha and beta diversity.
  • 2:00 pm: Gary Machlis, Science Advisor to the Director, National Park Service, and Professor of Environmental Sustainability, Clemson University‘Revisiting Leopold: Resource Stewardship in the National Parks’
  • 3:00 pm: Todd Witcher, Executive Director, Discover Life in America‘The Smokies ATBI: A Model for Global Biodiversity Census.’
  • 4:00 pm: Greg Carr, President, Gorongosa Restoration Project‘A Twenty-Year Project to Restore Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique’

VIP Reception—By Invitation Only

Day 1: Biodiversity Days Half Earth Lecture and Panel Discussion

Reynolds Industries Theater, Bryan Center, West Campus, Duke University.

  • 7:30 pm: E.O. Wilson, Pellegrino University Professor, Harvard University‘Setting Aside Half the World for the Rest of Life’and ‘Global Conservation’ panel discussion with Edward O. Wilson, Jim McClintock, and Greg Carr. Moderated by Stuart Pimm.The United States inspired the world when it invented national parks. “Now,” says E.O. Wilson, “it’s time to take things to the next level.” Join Edward O. Wilson, Jim McClintock, Greg Carr and Stuart Pimm as they explore a bold new strategy for protecting biodiversity in vital places around the world. E.O. Wilson will start the evening by introducing his vision for “Half Earth”—the permanent networks of protected and interconnected wild landscapes that are necessary to ensure the survival of the 10 million other species with which we share the planet. This short lecture will be followed by a deep panel discussion of unique ideas, practical experiences, and creative solutions that can bring this goal to life. Come to be inspired. Join some of the finest boots-on-the-ground researchers and conservationists as they discuss a thoughtful, moral and science-based response to the current biodiversity extinction crisis.Edward Osborne Wilson is generally recognized as one of the leading scientists in the world. He is also recognized as one of the foremost naturalists in both science and literature, as well as synthesizer in works stretching from pure biology across to the social sciences and humanities. Wilson is acknowledged as the creator of two scientific disciplines (island biogeography and sociobiology), three unifying concepts for science and the humanities jointly (biophilia, biodiversity studies, and consilience), and one major technological advance in the study of global biodiversity (the Encyclopedia of Life). Among more than one hundred awards he has received worldwide are the U. S. National Medal of Science, the Crafoord Prize (equivalent of the Nobel, for ecology) of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and the International Prize of Biology of Japan; and in letters, two Pulitzer Prizes in non-fiction, the Nonino and Serono Prizes of Italy and COSMOS Prize of Japan. For his work in conservation he has received the Gold Medal of the Worldwide Fund for Nature and the Audubon Medal of the Audubon Society. He is currently Honorary Curator in Entomology and University Research Professor Emeritus at Harvard University and Chairman of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation Board of Advisors.


Day 2: Biodiversity Days Films and Lecture Series

Love Auditorium, Levine Science Research Center B101, West Campus, Duke University.

  • 1:00 pm: ‘The Naturalist: Conversations with E.O. Wilson’ and ‘The Guide’ Film Screenings. Introduction by Greg Carr, President, Gorongosa Restoration Project.The Naturalist: Conversations with E.O Wilson features one of the world’s leading evolutionary biologists, as he explores the natural and human world. Humanity is on the brink, and Wilson delivers the unsettling truth that all of humanity’s troubles are due to the fact that ‘we are a dysfunctional species; we have star wars technology with stone age thinking.’ At 85 years old and a lifetime of work behind him, Wilson still passionately believes that science, specifically biology, is the key to help us understand the meaning of life and humanity’s future. The Naturalist is directed and produced by Shelley Schulze.The Guide, a documentary short featuring E.O. Wilson, is a coming-of-age tale set against the restoration of a war-torn national park in Mozambique. Raised near Gorongosa National Park, young Tonga Torcida dreams of becoming a tour guide. But when he meets famed biologist E.O. Wilson, his new view of the world around him—and his future—places him at a crossroads. Should Tonga become a guide, or take on a bigger role in trying to keep the park alive? The Guide is directed by Jessica Yu and produced by Jessica Yu and Elise Pearlstein. The Guide has screened at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival and the Aspen Shortsfest.Greg Carr will answer questions after the films.
  • 2:00 pm: Stuart Pimm, Doris Duke Chair of Conservation Ecology at the Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University‘Practical Solutions for Preventing Extinction’
  • 3:00 pm: Bill Finch, Senior Fellow, Gulf of Mexico, Ocean Foundation‘The Long View of Longleaf Pine Restoration: Making the Connections That Restore Contiguity and Continuity to Rivers, Wetlands and the Longleaf Pine Ecosystem on the Northern Gulf Coast’
  • 4:00 pm: Jim McClintock, Endowed University Professor of Polar and Marine Biology, University of Alabama at Birmingham‘From Penguins to Plankton: the Impacts of Climate Change on the Marine Ecology of the Antarctic Peninsula’

Day 2: Public Reception with E.O. Wilson and James and Cathleen Stone Distinguished Lectureship in Biodiversity

Love Auditorium, Levine Science Research Center B101, West Campus, Duke University.

  • 5:00 pm: Public Reception with E.O. WilsonEnjoy wine and cheese during this public reception with E.O. Wilson and other scientific participants. Jim McClintock will also be available to sign his book, Lost Antarctica.
  • 6:00 pm: Callum Roberts, Professor of Marine Conservation, University of York‘What Will It Take to Avert an Extinction Wave in the Oceans?’
    Introductory comments by E.O. Wilson


VIP Brunch—By Invitation Only

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