‘Natural History of Maple Syrup’ topic of WCSU lecture March 17
WCSU biologist Philbrick to discuss sugar maple ecology, climate change impact

DANBURY, CONN. — As maple trees across New England sprout taps and buckets heralding the imminent arrival of spring, Western Connecticut State University will offer insights into maple syrup production from a biologist’s perspective in a lecture on Thursday, March 17.

WCSU Professor of Biological and Environmental Sciences Dr. Thomas Philbrick will discuss “The Natural History of Maple Syrup: Botany, Ecology and Climate Change” at 7 p.m. in Room 125 of the Science Building on the university’s Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury. Admission to the talk, sponsored by the WCSU “Science at Night” lecture series, will be free and the public is invited to attend. A reception with light refreshments will follow in the Science Building Atrium.

“Maple syrup is a cultural icon of eastern North America,” Philbrick observed. “My presentation will address the diversity of maple species from which maple syrup is derived and their ecology.” His talk also will explain why sap flows and how these flows are related to the specific anatomies of the trees.

Philbrick will outline factors that have played a role in the recent decline of sugar maple forests in the eastern regions of North America. Geographic distribution in maple tree populations also has shifted markedly in recent years, and the lecture will explore how climate change trends have influenced this shift.

A New Hampshire native, Philbrick will return to his New England roots for this lecture. His farflung biological research interests have taken him to remote river and forest locations across the Americas from Mexico and Central America to Venezuela and Brazil. He has conducted extensive field studies and published numerous articles in scientific journals on the biology, taxonomy and evolution of aquatic flowering plants and the biodiversity of riverweeds.

For more information, contact Philbrick at philbrickt@wcsu.edu or (203) 837-8773.

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.


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