Sunday, July 17, 2005

In Memorium: Francesco di Castri

Sid Passman informs me that the following was published yesterday in the Washington Post:

"Francesco di Castri, 74, an ecologist, former deputy director of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and former president of the World Science Institute, died July 6 in Nimes, France. No cause of death was reported.

"Dr. di Castri was the founding director of UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme, considered one of UNESCO's principal contributions in promoting international cooperation on environmental issues. He also was the director of the French CNRS Centre for Functional and Evolutionary Ecology, worked as a university professor in Santiago, Chile, and became an expert on the moai statues of Easter Island.

"With Michel Batisse, he nurtured the birth and development of the biosphere reserve concept and the designation of the early biosphere reserves.

"A prolific writer with more than 20 books and 350 articles to his credit, Dr. di Castri's work addressed such matters as quantitative soil biology, the convergence of Mediterranean ecosystems and the structure of animal communities from the tropics to Antarctica."

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