First lecture takes place March 23 at Cincinnati Zoo CINCINNATI – The annual Barrows Conservation Lecture Series kicks off on March 23 at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. The prestigious lecture series will feature an exciting lineup of internationally acclaimed scientists, explorers and conservationists. Since 1993, the series has brought a slate of esteemed naturalists and scientists to Cincinnati to address wildlife issues and global conservation efforts. Tickets for the series or individual lectures are available now. Opening the Series on Wednesday, March 23, at 7 p.m., is Jennifer Gray, Director of the Melbourne Zoo, who will present, “TDevils and Bandicoots – How Zoos can deliver Compassionate Conservation.” Jenny Gray, the formidably able CEO of Zoos Victoria, combines an impressive corporate background with a genuine passion for conservation. The dire condition of many Australian species requires specialist intervention, particularly breeding in zoos. Unique challenges facing Tasmanian Devils and Eastern Barred Bandicoots showcase the lengths Zoos Victoria goes to, to help save these amazing animals. On Wednesday, April 13, starting at 7 p.m., Suzana & Claudio Padua will present, “30 years of integrated conservation work in Brazil: from a project to save black-lion tamarins from extinction, to IPE, an organization that works throughout the country.” Suzana M. Padua has a Ph.D. in environmental educator from the University of Brasilia, Brazil, and a Master’s from the University of Florida. She was one of the co-founders and is the current president of IPÊ – Instituto de Pesquisas Ecológicas (Institute for Ecological Research), a Brazilian non-profit organization that works for the conservation of biodiversity and sustainable development. Suzana’s work with environmental education began with the black-lion tamarin, a very threatened monkey, and expanded to reach people living around protected areas where IPÊ works. The aim is to raise local people’s awareness to the importance of conservation and offer viable alternatives that integrate social and environmental needs. On Wednesday, April 20, at 7 p.m., Greg du Toit, Kenyan wildlife photographer, will present, “Blood, sweat and Photographic Tears.” Blood Sweat and Photographic Tears is a highly original presentation that includes a literal feast of unbelievable wildlife imagery as the photographer shares his extensive knowledge of one of Africa’s wildest regions, deep within the heart of Kenya’s south rift valley. Audiences are offered insight into the patience, passion, commitment and dedication that it takes for a wildlife photographer in the 21st century to capture truly unique imagery. On Wednesday, May 4, beginning at 7 p.m., Dr. Joy Reidenberg will present, “Why Whales are Weird, Wacky, and Wonderful.” Who doesn’t like whales? They’re awesome! This talk will dive into the wild world of their weird anatomy, wacky evolutionary story, and wonderful adaptations. Through the science of comparative anatomy, you will learn about what makes whales (including dolphins and porpoises) unique. We’ll explore why their body differs from other animals, how it functions underwater, and what we can learn from this to benefit human medicine and technology. On Wednesday, May 11, beginning at 7 p.m., Scott Weidensaul, Ornithologist and author, will present, “Messing Around with Birds (For Fun and Science).” Join us for a lighthearted exploration of his many avian research projects, from banding hawks and tiny saw-whet owls to studying the migration of western hummingbirds that aren’t supposed to be in the East in December (but are), and snowy owls down from the Arctic. Best of all, learn how anyone with some enthusiasm and time can make important contributions to the science and conservation of birds, and have a great time doing it. All Barrows Conservation Lectures are held in the Cincinnati Zoo’s Frisch’s Theater in the Harold C. Schott Education Center. Attendees are advised to park in the Education Center lot. All lectures begin promptly at 7:00 p.m. The Barrows Conservation Lecture Series is made possible by the ongoing support of the family of Winifred & Emil Barrows.