Life Sustaining Life: Lecture and Panel Discussion Featuring World-Renowned Water Scientist Dr. David Schindler March 23 & 24


Trent University and Ministry of Natural Resources Present Two Sold-out Public Events Exploring Link between Humans and the Natural World in Support of International Year of Biodiversity

Wednesday, March 17, 2010, Peterborough

Interview Opportunity:

Dr. David Schindler and Dr. Stuart Pimm will be available for media interviews on Wednesday, March 24 at 9:30 a.m. in the Synergy Space of the DNA Building at Trent University.

Interviews will be by appointment only. Please contact Kate Shaughnessy at (705) 748-1011 x6180

Trent University, in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources, will present People, Prosperity and the Natural World: Life Sustaining Life, two sold-out public events exploring the link between humans and our natural world and featuring internationally-renowned water scientist Dr. David Schindler, on Tuesday, March 23 and Wednesday, March 24.

The events are being organized in support of the International Year of Biodiversity. The UN General Assembly has declared 2010 the International Year of Biodiversity, a unique opportunity to increase understanding of the vital role that biodiversity plays in sustaining life on Earth.

Dr. Schindler, a world-renowned limnologist, specializing in the study of freshwater ecosystems, is the Killam Memorial Chair and professor of Ecology and the University of Alberta. He was professor in Trent University’s Biology Department from 1966-68.

The first event, a lecture and Q&A with Dr. Schindler will be held on Tuesday, March 23 at 7 p.m. in the MNR Ballroom (300 Water Street). During the lecture, entitled “The Ebb and Flow of Science and Communication: From Detergents to Tar Sands,” Dr. Schindler will discuss his experience with both government and academia on effectively linking science to sound environmental policies. His experiences range from banning phosphorus in detergents (to improve water quality), to curbing acid rain to his most current research on the environmental degradation from tar sands.

The second event, a panel discussion entitled “Two Worlds? Science Meets Policy in the Environmental Age,” will be held on Wednesday, March 24 at 7 p.m. in the Great Hall of Champlain College at Trent University. The discussion will be moderated by Alanna Mitchell, journalist and author of Sea Sick: The Global Ocean in Crisis. She specializes in investigating changes to the earth's life-support systems and travels the world in search of scientists at the centre of what's going on. The panel will examine the interface between environmental science and policy – the relevance of scientific research in everyday life and the means for scientists to engage with decision makers and the public in shaping our environmental future.

Joining Dr. Schindler on the panel will be Maude Barlow, Jon Grant and Dr. Stuart Pimm. Maude Barlow is an internationally-renowned activist and author. She is the national chairperson of the Council of Canadians and the inaugural senior advisor on water to the president of the United Nations General Assembly. She also chairs the Board of Washington-based Food and Water Watch and is a councillor with the Hamburg-based World Future Council. As a best-selling author, Ms. Barlow has written or co-written 16 books, including the recently released Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and The Coming Battle for the Right to Water. Trent University awarded Ms. Barlow an honorary degree in 2009.

Jon Grant, former president and CEO of Quaker Oats, is chair of the Ontario Biodiversity Council, chair of the Board of CCL Industries and vice chair of Agricore United. He is among the first Canadian business leaders to marry the concept of environmentally conscious decision-making with his commercial interests. He is also a former chair and current honorary member of Trent University’s Board of Governors, retired chair of Laurentian Bank, and former chair of the Ontario Round Table on the Environment and Economy, the Canada Lands Company, and the Nature Conservancy of Canada. Mr. Grant is also an officer of the Order of Canada.

Dr. Stuart Pimm is Doris Duke Professor of Conservation Ecology at the Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences at Duke University and one of the most cited scientists working in the field of conservation biology. Dr. Pimm is the author of more than 150 scientific papers, as well as three books, including A Scientist Audits the Earth.

The events are supported by an anonymous donor who created the first-ever endowed professorship at Trent University, valued at $1 million, in 2008. The David Schindler Endowed Professorship in Aquatic Science establishes a prestigious position at the University for a leading academic in this increasingly important field of aquatic science, a multidisciplinary study of aquatic systems, encompassing both freshwater and marine systems. A search is currently underway for the first holder of the professorship. For more information about the David Schindler Professorship in Aquatic Science at Trent University visit


Dr. David Schindler and Dr. Stuart Pimm will be available for media interviews on Wednesday, March 24 at 9:30 a.m. in the Synergy Space of the DNA Building at Trent University. Interviews will be by appointment only. Please contact: Kate Shaughnessy at (705) 748-1011 x6180

For more information about the events, please contact:
Dr. Jim Schaefer, Professor, Biology, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 x7968; or
Dr. Erica Nol, Professor, Biology, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 x7670