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Scholars study diversity of life in the Yucatan

Scholars study diversity of life in the Yucatan

(January 17, 2001)

The origins of chocolate, the impact of migration and the rise and fall of the ancient and modern Mayan people are just a few of the discussion topics during a conference on life in Mexico's Yucatán Península, Thursday, Jan. 18 through Saturday, Jan. 20 at the University of California, Riverside.

UCR's 21st Symposium in Plant Biology is called "Lowland Maya Area: Three Millennia at the Human-Wildland Interface." It will draw faculty members and graduate students from universities all over the world. It is also open to the public. The registration fee is $95 per person, or $50 for students.

"UCR has one of the most important U.S. programs in Maya studies in the world," said Professor Arturo Gómez-Pompa, one of the UCR conference organizers working in collaboration with the Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán. Scholars scheduled to speak come from the U.S. and Mexico.

A Saturday presentation focuses on Habitatnet, a conservation biology program that allows high school students to participate in hands-on research at the El Edén Ecological Reserve located in Quintana Roo, Mexico.

The conference is funded by the UCR Department of Botany and Plant Sciences with help from the UCR Center for Conservation Biology; the UCR College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences; UC MEXUS; El Edén Ecological Reserve; Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán; the U.S. Department of Agriculture; and the World Wildlife Fund.

Additional information is available by telephone at (909) 787-3423. A complete schedule is available online at

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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