Ecologist Jeremy Jackson to receive Roger Tory Peterson Medal

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Jeremy Jackson, renowned marine ecologist of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, has been selected to receive the 11th annual Roger Tory Peterson Medal presented by the Harvard Museum of Natural History (HMNH). Jackson will deliver the Roger Tory Peterson Memorial Lecture on April 6 at 3 p.m. in the Science Center, 1 Oxford St.

In his lecture, “Brave New Ocean,” Jackson will discuss the future of the world’s oceans.  Decades of overfishing, habitat destruction, and ocean warming have left our marine ecosystems and biodiversity in a state of crisis. But with successful management and conservation strategies, Jackson sees hope for renewing the health and sustainability of our oceans.

The HMNH inaugurated the memorial lectures in 1997 to honor the pioneering naturalist and author of the legendary “Peterson Field Guide to Birds.” This annual event celebrates and perpetuates Roger Tory Peterson’s tireless efforts to conserve the planet’s biological diversity. Past recipients of the medal have included E.O. Wilson, Jared M. Diamond, Paul R. Ehrlich, Bruce Babbitt, Richard Leakey, Peter Matthiessen, David Attenborough, Roger Bateman, David Suzuki, and Jane Goodall.

Jackson is currently the William E. and Mary B. Ritter Professor, Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, and senior scientist, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. His current research includes the long-term ecological effects of overfishing on coastal ecosystems and the ecological and evolutionary consequences of the formation of the Isthmus of Panama, which divided the Pacific and Atlantic oceans about 3 million years ago.

Jackson is co-founder of the Shifting Baselines Media Campaign, a public educational program bringing together ocean conservation scientists and organizations with filmmakers and producers in Hollywood. The campaign has developed unconventional outreach materials, such as public service announcements with famous actors or set in comic settings. He is also the author of more than 100 scientific publications and five books. Jackson is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and has received the Secretary’s Gold Medal for Exceptional Service of the Smithsonian Institution in 1997.  He has served on committees of the National Research Council, the Advisory Board of the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, and the Science Commission of the Smithsonian Institution.

Admission to the Roger Tory Peterson Memorial Lecture is $5 for the general public and free for museum members. Advance tickets are required. Tickets for the public will be available through the Harvard Box Office in Holyoke Center (617-496-2222) or by visiting beginning March 18. For more information, call (617) 495 3045 or visit