honors program distinguished speakers event


Meg Lowman

“Life in the Treetops — Adventures of a Woman in Science” 


Valencia Community College
East Campus
Performing Arts Center

701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail
Orlando, FL  32825

Tuesday, November 10, 2009
1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Book signing and reception immediately following talk.
This event is open to the public.

Margaret D. Lowman, PhD
Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies
Director of Environmental Initiatives
New College of Florida, Sarasota FL 34243

Meg Lowman pioneered the science of canopy ecology. For 30 years, she has designed hot-air balloons and walkways for treetop exploration to solve mysteries in the world’s forests, with special expertise on the links between insect pests and ecosystem health. Meg is affectionately called the grandmother of canopy research as one of the first scientists to explore this “eighth continent”. She relentlessly works to “map” the canopy for biodiversity and to champion forest conservation in Florida as well as around the world. Her academic training included Williams College (BA, Biology); Aberdeen University (MSc, Ecology); Sydney University (PhD, Botany); and Tuck School of Business (Executive Management).

Meg facilitates policy solutions using science education as a tool, drawing upon a lifetime of research and conservation. Her international network and passion for science have led her into leadership roles where she seeks best practices to solve environmental challenges. She currently serves as vice president of The Explorers Club; vice president of the Ecological Society of America; treasurer of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation; executive director of Florida’s TREE Foundation; and Cluster Chair for the Sarasota Economic Development Corporation. She frequently speaks about her science adventures to groups ranging from elementary classes to corporate executives to international conferences. Her numerous awards include the Margaret Douglas Medal for Excellence in Conservation Education from the Garden Club of America; Girls Inc. Visionary Award; Mendel Medal for achievements in science and spirit; Lowell Thomas Medal for discoveries in the canopy; and election as a Kilby Laureate and an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow. Carolyn Shoemaker of the U.S. Department of Interior named an asteroid after her. Meg has authored over 100 peer-reviewed scientific publications, and her first book, Life in the Treetops, received a cover review in the New York Times Sunday Book Review. Working tirelessly on sustainability initiatives at home and abroad, she recently received the Lifetime Achievement Award for Conservation from Sarasota County.

“Canopymeg” is currently Director of Environmental Initiatives and Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies at New College of Florida. She also serves as the Science Advisor for Climate Change to Florida’s CFO, Alex Sink. Previously she has served as CEO of The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies at Williams College, and co-managed a sheep and cattle station in outback Australia. Meg is married to attorney Michael Brown. They are the proud parents of Eddie, research associate at Environmental Defense working on urban environmental policy; and James, applied math major at Princeton University who is modeling forests as global carbon sinks. Reflecting her love for linking kids to nature, Meg’s personal mantra is no child left indoors.