2016 Lectures

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Thane Maynard talks with the four 2015 Barrows Conservation Lecture Series speakers on a special segment of Cincinnati Edition. Listen now!  

About the Series

Jane Goodall – First Recipient of the Cincinnati Zoo’s WILDLIFE CONSERVATION AWARD

Since 1993, the series has brought a slate of esteemed naturalists and scientists to Cincinnati to address wildlife issues and global conservation efforts.

The Barrows Conservation Lecture Series is made possible by the ongoing support of the family of Winifred & Emil Barrows.

Cincinnati Zoo Wildlife Conservation Award Recipients (pdf).


Tickets are on sale now for the annual Barrows Conservation Lecture Series. Order your before they sell out!

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Wednesday, March 23 – Jennifer Gray, Director of the Melbourne Zoo

Wednesday, April 13 at 7pm – Suzana & Claudio Padua, Brazilian conservationists

Wednesday, April 20 at 7pm – Greg du Toit, Kenyan wildlife photographer, author

Wednesday, May 4 at 7pm – Dr. Joy Reidenberg, Ph.D., Professor

Wednesday, May 11 at 7pm – Scott Weidensaul, Ornithologist and author


Wednesday, March 23

TDevils and Bandicoots – How Zoos can deliver Compassionate Conservation – Jennifer Gray, Director of the Melbourne Zoo

Jenny Gray, the formidably able CEO of Zoos Victoria, combines an impressive corporate background with a genuine passion for conservation.

Her move from the corporate sector into the zoo world – she was CEO of the electronic banking division at FNB Corp Bank- was the result of an epiphany when, disillusioned with making money for rich people with whom she didn’t share a value system, she realised she would prefer to be using her abilities to do some good in the world.

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Zoos have many important contributions to add to the conservation cause, in particular the unique ability to interact with millions of visitors and the capacity to hold, breed and rehabilitate animals.  The impending crisis for biodiversity, demands that zoos maximise their contribution to conservation, providing a stronger narrative on the importance of captive animal collections, while simultaneously ensuring positive welfare states for every individual animal in their care.

At Zoos Victoria we have implemented a model for zoo based conservation, delivering conservation outcomes every day through the species we hold, our engagement with our visitors and our recovery programs.  We are committed to Fighting Extinction and have committed that no Victorian, terrestrial, vertebrate species will go extinct on our watch.

The dire condition of many Australian species requires specialist intervention, particularly captive breeding.  The unique challenges facing Tasmanian Devils and Eastern Barred Bandicoots showcase the lengths Zoos Victoria goes to, to help save these amazing animals.

Su e CP rindo - zoomWednesday April 13

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 & Claudio Padua

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.

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Besides research and implementation of environmental education programs, Suzana has helped create an education center linked to IPÊ, which helps provide conservationists from Brazil and other Latin American countries with skills that may enhance their performance in conservation and sustainability related fields. This Center has expanded to a graduate program that offers Master’s and a MBA with the aim of spreading the concept of sustainability to diverse audiences.

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. She is an Ashoka fellow, an AVINA leader and a Folha de São Paulo and Schwab Foundation Entrepreneur. She has received a number of awards: the Bahá’i X World Citizenship Award of 2007;  2006 Ford Motor Company of Brazil Conservation Award, Woman of the Year in 2002 from Claudia Magazine, in the environmental category she was among the Most Influential Women of Brazil (Forbes, Gazeta Mercantil and Jornal do Brasil) in 2005, and in the USA, the she was received in 2003 the Conde Nast Traveler Environmental Award and together with Claudio, her husband, she was portrayed in 2002 as Time Magazine’s “heroes of the planet”.



Wednesday April 20

gregdutoitBlood, sweat and Photographic Tears – Greg du Toit, Kenyan wildlife photographer, author

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. The personable style of the presentation as well as the infectious story itself motivates audiences on a deeply personal level and there is also time afterwards for questions and answers. We invite you to come partake in another man’s ‘against all odds’ quest to accomplish the impossible and to find out how images that Greg captured in a remote corner of Africa, lead to a sellout solo exhibition with the National Geographic Society in London and to a cover story for the Africa Geographic Magazine.

To make your evening extra special, Cincinnati Zoo is offering an exclusive book signing of his coffee table book titled Awe, with all proceeds being donated to lion conservation in Kenya (more details about this project will be shared on the night).

Joy S. Reidenberg2Wednesday,May 4

Why Whales are Weird, Wacky, and Wonderful – Dr. Joy Reidenberg

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.

Scott WeidensaulWednesday, May 11 

Messing Around with Birds (For Fun and Science) – Scott Weidensaul, Ornithologist and author

Join naturalist Scott Weidensaul 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.

Scott Weidensaul is the author of more than two dozen books on natural history, including the Pulitzer Prize finalist “Living on the Wind,” about bird migration, “Return to Wild America,” and “The First Frontier: The Forgotten History of Struggle, Savagery and Endurance in Early America.” His newest book, “The Peterson Reference Guide to Owls of North America and the Caribbean,” has just been published.  Weidensaul is a contributing editor for Audubon and writes for a variety of other publications; he lives in the mountains of eastern Pennsylvania, where he studies the migration of hawks, owls and hummingbirds.

Peterson Reference Guide to Owls of North America and the Caribbean; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2015
The First Frontier: The Forgetten History of Struggle, Savagery and Endurance in Early America; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2012.
Of a Feather: A Brief History of American Birding; Harcourt, 2007.
Return to Wild America: A Yearlong Search for the Continent’s Natural Soul; North Point Press, 2005.
The Ghost with Trembling Wings: Science, Wishful Thinking and the Search for Lost Species; North Point Press, 2002.
Living on the Wind: Across the Hemisphere with Migratory Birds; North Point Press (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), 1999.