Symposium to Examine ‘Environmental Issues of the Developing World’

DELAWARE, OHIO – Ohio Wesleyan University will hold its third annual Environmental and Natural Resource Symposium on Feb. 24. This year’s panelists will discuss “Environmental Issues of the Developing World.”

“I hope that the audience members come away from the symposium with an improved understanding of environmental challenges and opportunities in the developing world,” said Andrew Meyer, Ph.D., assistant professor of economics and moderator. “As these countries continue to develop, it will take cooperation from stakeholders in the developing countries and higher-income countries to make progress on environmental issues.”

The symposium will begin at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 24 in the Benes Rooms inside Ohio Wesleyan’s Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave., Delaware. It also will be streamed live and archived online at

This year’s speakers are Laurel Anderson, Ph.D., professor of botany-microbiology at Ohio Wesleyan, and Douglas Southgate, Ph.D., professor of agricultural, environmental, and development economics at The Ohio State University.

Laurel Anderson, Ph.D.

Laurel Anderson, Ph.D.

Anderson specializes in plant physiological ecology, the study of links between plant physiology and patterns/processes at community to global scales. Her current research includes invasive plants, urban ecosystems, and plant interactions with global changes.

Anderson’s research has inspired her to develop Travel-Learning courses to Brazil, enabling Ohio Wesleyan students to observe first-hand the impact of human interaction in the Amazon and other areas in the region. She also is co-coordinator of the university’s “Food” network of courses, allowing students to study food from multiple academic perspectives, such as scientific, political, and economic.

Anderson also is network coordinator of the Ecological Research as Education Network (EREN), a project focused on developing large-scale, collaborative ecological experiments involving students and faculty at small colleges. She joined Ohio Wesleyan in 2001 and earned her doctorate from the University of Colorado.

Douglas Southgate, Ph.D.

Douglas Southgate, Ph.D.

Southgate specializes in the study of natural resource issues in the developing world and has written numerous books, journal articles, and scholarly papers about public policies contributing to tropical deforestation, the economics of water resource development, and other topics. He is a co-author of “The World Food Economy” and currently is completing a book about the banana industry in Ecuador and other parts of the Western Hemisphere.

Southgate has worked in 18 Latin American, Caribbean, and African nations, and he has directed Ohio State’s Latin American Studies Program. He also has served on the Tropical Ecosystems Directorate of the U.S. Man and Biosphere (MAB) program, created by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

In September 2011, Southgate was named associate director of Ohio State’s Subsurface Energy Resource Center, created to address accelerated hydrocarbon development in Ohio. He joined Ohio State in 1980 and earned his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin.

The Environmental and Natural Resource Symposium is sponsored by Ohio Wesleyan’s Department of Economics and by the university’s Woltemade Center for Economics, Business and Entrepreneurship. Learn more at or

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private, coed university offers more than 90 undergraduate majors, minors, and concentrations, and competes in 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Ohio Wesleyan combines a challenging, internationally focused curriculum with off-campus learning and leadership opportunities to connect classroom theory with real-world practice. OWU’s 1,850 students represent 42 states and 37 countries. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” listed on the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction, and included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at

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