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Common ravens, photo by Bernd Heinrich
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WIU February 6 Morrow Lecture; "How and Why Ravens Share"

February 1, 2008

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MACOMB, IL - - Bernd Heinrich, University of Vermont professor emeritus of biology and wildlife and an awarded writer of scientific, environmental and children's books, will present "How and Why Ravens Share" for the College of Arts and Sciences 2008 Morrow Lecture Wednesday, Feb. 6 at Western Illinois University.

The 7 p.m. lecture will be held in the University Union Sandburg Theatre, followed by a reception in the Sandburg Lounge. The lecture and reception are open free to the public.

Heinrich is the author of numerous award-winning books, including the bestselling "Winter World: The Ingenuity of Animal Survival" (HarperCollins, NY 2003), "The Geese of a Beaver Bog" (HarperCollins, NY 2003) and "The Snoring Bird: My Family's Journey Through a Century of Biology" (Ecco Press, NJ 2007).

For the Morrow Lecture, Heinrich will discuss his extensive knowledge of ravens, which he raised as pets, studied in the wild and chronicled in his book, "Mind of the Raven: Investigations and Adventures with Wolf-Birds" (Harper Collins, NY 1999). Among his finds are that ravens participate in complex activities and display emotions and high intellect, along with strong pair-bonding, use of tools, elaborate vocal communication and play. Heinrich also will look at raven's social organization. The book received praised from mainstream national media in addition to the professional science world.

New York Time book reviewer David Quammen wrote: "Heinrich has a rare ability to embed dense scientific explications within graceful, light-footed nature writing….The mind of Bernd Heinrich is a big, antic thing, like a raven, and meant to live outdoors."

German-born, Heinrich became a naturalized U.S. citizen in Maine as an 18 year old. He earned his bachelor's (1964) and master's (1966) degrees in zoology from the University of Maine, Orono, and his Ph.D. (1970) in zoology from UCLA. He taught at the University of California, Berkeley for six years before returning to New England and the University of Vermont, where he taught from 1981 until his retirement in 2004.

The annual lecture is made possible through an endowment in honor of Roger M. Morrow, the first head of the physics department at Western Illinois University, and his wife, Jean, who was one of the University's first women faculty members.

For more information about the Morrow Distinguished Lectureship, contact CAS Associate Dean Susan Martinelli Fernandez, 309/298-1828.

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