Botany 2005 - Scientific Meeting

Learning From Plants
Austin, Texas
August 13 - 17, 2005
Plenary Speaker



Dr. José Sarukhán,

Instituto de Ecología
National Autonomous University of Mexico

Mexican Biodiversity: Returning Knowledge and Information to Society

Dr. José Sarukhán has an undergraduate degree in Biology from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), a Master's degree in Agricultural Botany from the Agricultural Graduate College in Mexico, and a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of Wales, Great Britain.

He was elected as Director to the Instituto de Biología (UNAM (1979-1987). In February 1987, he was appointed Vice Chancellor for Science at UNAM, and in December 1988, was elected by the Board of Governors as Rector (President) of this university for the period 1989-1993 and reappointed for the same post for the period 1993-1997. UNAM is higher education institutional complex which produces more than 50% of the research in the country, with 22 teaching campuses and an equal number of research campuses, distributed all over Mexico. It has an undergraduate and graduate enrollment of 167,000 students and 28,000 faculty members. In 1988, at the end of its term as Rector, Sarukhán returned to his post as full-Professor in the Institute of Ecology. He was invited in 2000 by President Fox of Mexico, to serve as Commissioner for Human and Social Development at the Executive Office of the President, a post that he resigned in March 2002.

José Sarukhán was president of the Botanical Society of Mexico (1972-1975), of the Mexican Academy of Sciences (1984-85), and of the Association for Tropical Biology (1986-1987). He has been Coordinator of the Mexican National Committee on the Study and Conservation of Biodiversity (CONABIO) since 1992. CONABIO has assembled the most complete data-base on the Biodiversity of Mexico established a World Biodiversity Information Network with both Mexican and Foreign nodal institutions, and has provided basic information to implement Biodiversity conservation and management policies in Mexico.

He was President of the Latin American Union of Universities (UDUAL). He was Coordinator of the Red Latino Americana de Botánica, which he helped found in 1987, and is the main South-South scientific cooperation and training organization in America. He has published more than 125 papers and 6 books.

His main areas of interest have been Plant Population Ecology and Systems Ecology, Biodiversity science, focused especially in Mexico, as well as the role of training and education in Science in general and in Ecology in particular in the development of Third World countries. Currently he is involved in studying the roles of science in attaining sustainable development at the global and Mexican scales.

He was Chairman of DIVERSITAS (ICSU/UNESCO) an International Program on Biodiversity Science, and a Member of the World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST/UNESCO). He chaired the trinational committee on the effects of transgenic maize in Mexican maize land races, a study established by the CEC of NAFTA. He is a foreign member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society of London.


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