Monday, July 28, 2008

Conference: Biodiversity in Agriculture

Harlan II Symposium

Relevant to Egyptology but unlikely to make it onto the usual Egyptology news streams, so here's a quick plug for it. I wish I could go but California is too far and too expensive:

BIODIVERSITY IN AGRICULTURE: Domestication, Evolution, & Sustainability

Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the UC Davis Campus —

Agricultural biodiversity is now at the crux of several societal trends and concerns that have gradually surfaced over the last decades. These include an increasing interest in the origin of agriculture as a major milestone in the evolution of humans; concerns about the loss of biodiversity not only of crops and farm animals and their wild relatives, but also natural ecosystems in general; an awareness of the role of agricultural biodiversity in ecosystem function and agricultural sustainability; and the public’s interest in learning more about food, fiber, and feed production, as it relates to the quality and health of agricultural products and the environmental impact of agricultural production.

Our knowledge of the processes that affect agricultural biodiversity, in both plants and animals, has increased considerably in the recent years since an international symposium was held in Aleppo, Syria in May 1997 [“The Origins of Agriculture and the Domestication of Crop Plants in the Near East”, dedicated to Jack R. Harlan, 1917–1998, evolutionary biologist and plant explorer].

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