AU Press Releases

Burdick Lecture to focus on preserving tropical biodiversity

Sharon Matola, founding director of the Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center in Belize, Central America, will deliver the 17th annual H.O. Burdick Memorial Lecture in Biology at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29, in Nevins Theater, Powell Campus Center on the Alfred University campus.

Her topic is “Conservation Action in Belize: Work that Works to Protect Biodiversity. Her talk is open to the public, free of charge.

Matola, who has dedicated her life to conservation of Belize’s wildlife through education, founded the Zoo’s education department in 1986 to increase awareness and appreciation of the natural world; promote “recognition and understanding of Belize’s unique ecosystems and diverse wildlife; and “instill sound knowledge, positive attitudes and valuable skills… (to) aid in the preservation of Belize’s natural resources.”

Currently, Matola’s efforts focus on the Belize Harpy Eagle Restoration Project and the Problem Jaguar Rehabilitation Program. She will speak on her work with the jaguars at Friday’s Environmental Studies Speakers Series at 12:20 p.m. Friday in Roon Lecture Hall on the AU campus.

More information about the Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center and Matola’s work is available at

The Division of Biology in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences sponsors the annual Burdick Lecture. Support for the lecture series comes through at endowed fund created by the family of H.O. Burdick, who was a biology professor and dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences during a 31-year career at Alfred University.

He was instrumental in establishing what became the School of Nursing at Alfred University.