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K-State Today

July 30, 2012

Biology professor gives plenary lecture in Japan

Submitted by Brett K. Sandercock

Japanese Rock Ptarmigan, Mt. Norikura, Japan

Brett K. Sandercock, professor of biology, delivered a Plenary Lecture at the 12th International Grouse Symposium, July 20-24, in Matsumoto, Japan. The four-day international symposium drew more than 80 delegates from 15 countries in Asia, Europe and North America and included presentations on the ecology and conservation of grouse in tundra, forest and grassland ecosystems throughout the northern hemisphere.

Sandercock presented a plenary lecture titled "Life-history variation in ptarmigan: consequences for impacts of environmental change, translocations, and harvest," based on more than two decades of field work in northern Canada, the Aleutian Islands of Alaska and Norway. His presentation followed a one-day symposium on the ecology of the Japanese Rock Ptarmigan (Raicho), an alpine bird endemic to the mountains of Japan, and a cultural icon of the Japanese people. Roundtable discussions with international experts and government representatives started the important task of developing conservation plans for this sensitive species of bird.

The conference concluded with a special presentation by the Princess Hisako of Takamadonomiya, a member of the imperial family of Japan. Princess Hisako is the Honorary President of BirdLife International and spoke to conference delegates on the cultural significance and history of the birds of Japan.

Financial support for travel to Japan was provided by a Faculty Development Award from the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, and a travel award from the BRIEF program of the Division of Biology.