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Authority on Rice Production and Conservation To Deliver Tyler Lecture at UCR April 14

Authority on Rice Production and Conservation To Deliver Tyler Lecture at UCR April 14

(April 7, 1999)

Te-Tzu (T.T.) Chang, a world authority on rice and winner of the 1999 Tyler Prize, will give a free public talk on the grain that sustains an estimated one-third of the world's population at 4:10 p.m. Wednesday, April 14, at University Village in Riverside.

The talk, hosted by the University of California, Riverside, will be held in theater #8 of the CinemaStar Luxury Theaters located in University Village at the corner of University Avenue and Iowa Avenue. It will be followed by a reception in the Universi ty Village Conference Room.

In "Introduction to the World of Rice," Chang is expected to discuss the importance of rice in feeding hundreds of millions of people throughout the world and the impact that research has had in helping farmers grow rice.

Before his retirement in 1993 as principal geneticist at the Philippines-based International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Chang made major advances in rice plant breeding, productivity and disease resistance - contributions that helped initiate the Green Revolution of the 1960s. He contributed to developing high-yielding varieties of rice by using a semi-dwarfing gene, discovered in Taiwan, and exploiting its usefulness. This and other varieties of rice boosted rice production and prevented rice shortages in tropical Asia and Latin America over the last three decades.

He was also the driving force behind international efforts to collect nearly 40,000 wild rice varieties - many on the brink of extinction - which are held in the IRRI collection and serve as an invaluable resource for further advances in global rice production. Chang's efforts mobilized international and multi-agency resources in 14 Asian nations and several African nations to undertake massive field collections of rice specimens. The IRRI collection is now the largest collection for a single crop plant in the world.

Later this month, Chang will be formally presented the 1999 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, generally regarded as the world's premier award for environmental science and leadership. He will share the 1999 award and its $200,000 cash prize with Joel E. Cohen, a professor at both The Rockefeller University and Columbia University who has made important contributions to the understanding of food webs in natural and human-made ecosystems.

Chang's UCR lecture is sponsored by the Tyler Prize Executive Committee, the Office of Chancellor Raymond L. Orbach, the UCR Center for Conservation Biology, College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, Department of Botany and Plant Sciences and Interdepartmental Graduate Program in Genetics.

Complimentary parking will be available at University Village. For more information, call (909) 787-7292.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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