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Gary R. Graves, curator of birds and research zoologist for the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History, will speak on the Old Dominion University campus and lead a birdwatcher trip into the Great Dismal Swamp in April.

The ornithologist's visit is sponsored by the Lytton J. Musselman Endowed Natural History Lecture Series. Musselman is the Mary Payne Hogan Professor of Botany at ODU and chair of the Department of Biological Sciences.

Graves' lecture, "Natural History of Swainson's Warbler: A Biological Odyssey from the Great Dismal Swamp to the Blue Mountains of Jamaica," will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 13, in the auditorium of the Mills Godwin Jr. Building. It is free and open to the public and reservations are not required.

On Saturday, April 14, Graves and Musselman will lead the field trip from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. into the Great Dismal Swamp. It is open to the public, but space is limited and reservations must be made by contacting Mary Hayward of the biological sciences department (biolrsvp@odu.edu or 757-683-3591). The field trip will begin and end in the Godwin Building parking lot, where a picnic will commence following the excursion.

Graves, who has a doctorate in biological sciences from Florida State University, has been interested for most of his career in the causes of rarity of Swainson's Warbler.
He also has focused on determinates of species richness in Neotropical birds and has done field work in Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Brazil, Jamaica and several Polynesian island groups.

Research by Graves has promoted conservation of bottomland forests in the southeastern United States and he is on the ivory-billed woodpecker recovery team of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

This article was posted on: March 23, 2007

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