Biology Professor to Appear in National Geographic

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Cagan Sekercioglu, an assistant professor of biology, has been honored as one of 14 new National Geographic Emerging Explorers. Each explorer wins a $10,000 award from the program, which “recognizes and supports uniquely gifted and inspiring adventurers, scientists and storytellers making a significant contribution to world knowledge through exploration while still early in their careers.” Sekercioglu — an ornithologist, conservation ecologist and director of the Turkish environmental organization KuzeyDoga — will be introduced along with the other 2011 explorers in the June issue of National Geographic magazine.
Sekercioglu studies the causes and consequences of vanishing bird populations around the globe and applies his research to grassroots, community-based conservation efforts in the developing world. By the end of this century, up to 25 percent of all bird species may be extinct, with the widespread threat of habitat loss increasingly exacerbated by climate change. ┼×ekercioglu documents the trends by gathering data from fieldwork and scientific literature into a unique global bird database that helps show which birds are threatened across the planet. He also spearheads conservation projects with local communities to protect threatened birds and bird habitats.