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The University of Alabama

Alabama Citizens to Pay Tribute to Dr. Edward O. Wilson at UA

Dr. Edward O. Wilson

Dr. Edward O. Wilson

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Citizens from throughout Alabama, including Crimson Tide football great Bobby Humphrey, will join together for an evening of storytelling and sharing discoveries about Alabama’s natural world to honor Alabama native son and internationally recognized biodiversity expert Dr. Edward O. Wilson.

The tribute is part Edward O. Wilson Week at The University of Alabama April 21-25.

“Alabama’s Biodiversity: Inspiring A New Century of Discovery” will take place Wednesday, April 23 at 7 p.m. in the Concert Hall of the Moody Music Building on the UA campus.

The event is presented by more than 20 Alabama conservation and biodiversity organizations and The University of Alabama’s College of Arts and Sciences. Tickets can be purchased at and at the box office.

“Frog callers, butterfly experts, and naturalists who have discovered plants and animals found nowhere else but in Alabama will share their experiences and expertise in this fun-filled and information-packed night to honor our good friend and Alabama native son Dr. Edward O. Wilson,” said Pat Byington of Wild South, a sponsor of the event. “Wilson is well-known for his passions for promoting and protecting Alabama’s impressive biodiversity and in supporting Alabama’s future scientists.

‘Indeed, he frequently returns to his home state for field work and explorations,” Byington said. “Our speakers will include both professional researchers and lay naturalists who will focus on those two passions and how they have given them a greater appreciation of Alabama’s natural environment.”

The event is open to the public. Admission is a minimum $10 donation to the Edward O. Wilson Biodiversity Fellowship program at The University of Alabama.

Speakers will include  Bill Finch, author of “Longleaf – As Far as the Eye Can See” and a renowned naturalist; Dr. Bernie Kuhajda, aquatic conservation biologist at the Tennessee Aquarium and former collection manager for The University of Alabama Ichthyology Collection; Sara Bright and Paulette Haywood Ogard, authors of  “Butterflies of Alabama”; naturalists and biologists Mark Bailey and Jimmy and Sierra Stiles; Bishop Heron Johnson, Alabama’s own modern “Noah,” of the Faith Apostolic Church, with special guest Alabama football great and Freshwater Land Trust board member Bobby Humphrey; and many more scientists, educators and naturalists from Alabama.

The evening will also feature the presentation of a special gift to Wilson from the children of Alabama by Dr. Thomas R. Bice, state superintendent of education, and Maggie Johnston with the Environmental Education Association of Alabama.

Proceeds will support the Edward O. Wilson Endowed Biodiversity Fellowship program at UA.  Established by Wilson, the program provides support to young scientists to conduct field work in biodiversity throughout Alabama.

“Alabama’s Biodiversity: Inspiring A New Century of Discovery,” is presented by the Alabama Coastal Foundation, Alabama Environmental Council, Alabama Forest Resource Center, Alabama Rivers Alliance, Alabama School of Mathematics and Science, Birmingham Audubon Society, Black Warrior Riverkeeper, Cahaba Riverkeeper, Cahaba River Society, Camp McDowell Environmental Center, Collaborative Environmental Network of Alabama, Coosa Riverkeeper, Conservation Alabama Foundation, Cyprus Partners, Environmental Education Association of Alabama, Fresh Air Family, Freshwater Land Trust, Friends of the Delta, Jacksonville State University Environmental Policy and Information Center, Land Trust of North Alabama, Little River Waterkeeper, The Nature Conservancy of Alabama, McDowell Environmental Center, Mobile Bay Audubon Society, Mobile Baykeeper, Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve, Southern Environmental Center at Birmingham Southern College, Weeks Bay Foundation, Wild South and the College of Arts and Sciences at The University of Alabama.

Edward O. Wilson Week will also include the Edward O. Wilson Biodiversity Symposium, in which internationally recognized researchers in biodiversity will join Wilson and present research on the state and future of biodiversity on our planet.  To register for the symposium and learn more about Edward O. Wilson week, visit

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.