Thomas E Lovejoy, a prominent conservation biologist and the one who popularized the term biological diversity has passed away. He was 80.
George Mason University announced his death on Saturday. He was the director of the Institute for a Sustainable Earth and the Amazon Biodiversity Center.
In the late 1970s, Lovejoy first used the term biological diversity to refer to the rich variety of life on Earth. It was later shortened to biodiversity and has become one the most important themes in the age of climate change.
Lovejoy, a leading extinction researcher, found that global warming, habitat destruction, and pollution were all destroying species around the globe. He advocated for the restoration and protection of forests and large areas of water, as well as for native animals and plants.
Lovejoy was also involved with the founding of U.S. television’s Nature. The venerable program features breathtaking video from ecosystems around world. He was working for the World Wildlife Fund at the time the show was created in 1982.
Lovejoy was inspired to save the Amazon by his research. He managed a project in Brazil to save and restore forest fragments that were under threat. Lovejoy was awarded a grant by the National Geographic Society in 1971 to study Amazon rainforest birds. He continued to serve various roles in the society over the next five decades. Jill Tiefenthaler wrote in a blog that Tom was an exceptional scientist, professor, advisor, and unyielding champion of our planet.
He also worked as an adviser in science and environment under several presidents.
(This story is not edited by Devdiscourse staff.