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What can Hollywood teach us about our planet?
Date:4/3/2012

ence education to all sorts of people, from children to adults, even those who might not have a strong interest in science."

At UC Riverside, Holt's lab conducts research in the ecology of weedy and invasive plants in order to contribute ecologically sound weed management practices. She is a coauthor of Ecology of Weeds and Invasive Plants: Relationship to Agriculture and Natural Resource Management.

"Although the plants on the moon Pandora in Avatar might seem to be the most fabulous and exotic plants imaginable, there are many far more fantastic plants here on earth, such as in the tropics or deserts," Holt said. "Most people learn very little about plants in school, yet they are essential for our food, shelter, clothing, and the very air we breathe. Most people "see" plants as the fairly static green backdrop to their lives, but plants are actually living, respiring organisms that have very complex and interesting lives. Through my talk, I hope to open people's eyes to plants so that their view of the world is changed, even if just a little bit."

Holt chaired the UCR Department of Botany and Plant Sciences from 2003 to 2010. She is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA). At the WSSA, she serves as an associate editor of the journal, Invasive Plant Science and Management.

Holt received the UCR Distinguished Teaching Award for 2008-09. In 2010, she received the Paul Ecke Jr. Award of Excellence from the San Diego Botanic Garden "for her life's work as a distinguished scientist and educator."

This year's lecture series, titled "Earth 101: What You Need to Know About Life on Our Planet," aims to boost the public's awareness and understanding of science and of how scientist
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Contact: Iqbal Pittalwala
iqbal@ucr.edu
951-827-6050
University of California - Riverside
Source:Eurekalert

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