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DANBURY, CONN. — Western Connecticut State University Professor of Biological and Environmental Sciences Dr. C. Thomas Philbrick has logged a lot of soggy miles sloshing through tropical waterfalls in search of a rare and elusive plant species called “riverweeds.” At 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 18, he’ll discuss the results of his research in the first WCSU Science-at-Night lecture of the fall semester. The talk will be in Room 125 of the Science Building on the WestConn Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury. It will be free and the public is invited.

Philbrick’s travels have taken him from Venezuela’s Angel Falls, the tallest waterfall in the world at 2,648 feet, to the Iguazzu Falls in Brazil, which line the rim of a 2.5 mile-long crescent-shaped cliff with 275 individual cascades and waterfalls plummeting up to 269 feet into the gorge below. More than 15 years of research have yielded a number of exciting discoveries for Philbrick in remote regions of Central and South America, including the classification of species previously unknown to science. A number of WestConn students have been fortunate to accompany the professor on his expeditions and he is an advocate of integrating students into his research.

An entertaining lecturer who is passionate about his research, Philbrick has countless anecdotes about his search for — and discovery of — these flowering plants that occur only attached to rocks in river-rapids and waterfalls. A reception will follow the lecture.

For more information, call the Office of University Relations at (203) 837-8486.


Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.