UNC Pembroke biology professor Dr. Wm. Bruce Ezell Jr.was appointed in January to a three-year term on the Board of Trustees of the Highlands Biological Station.
The appointment was made by Erskine Bowles, president of the University of North Carolina. The Highlands Biological Station is a multi-institutional research and education facility for the study of the ecology of the Southern Appalachian Mountains.
“I was sincerely honored by this appointment to such an important research facility,” Dr. Ezell said. “It is an honor, not only for me, but for the University and the Biology Department.
“This is recognition that we have an excellent program in the life sciences at UNCP,” he said.
Dr. Ezell’s relationship with Highlands Biological Station began several years ago when he was named to its Board of Scientific Advisors. He was recommended by Biology Department chair Dr. Andy Ash, who has conducted research at the Station since 1979.
“In the past 15 years, UNCP has had a significant and growing relationship with Highlands Biological Station,” Dr. Ash said. “Bruce will do an excellent job on its board of trustees.”
A private, non-profit organization, the Station is led by the Highlands Biological Foundation and its 32-member board. The board’s mission is to raise funds and support research and educational programs.
The appointment from a non-doctoral granting institution may be a first for the station, Dr. Ash said. UNCP has sent several student interns to the Station, which is dedicated to the study and preservation of the unique animals and plants of the Southern Highlands Plateau.
For a student, an internship at the Highlands Biological Station is a transformative experience,” Dr. Ezell said.
“The setting is magnificent, with unique habitats containing plants and animals you don’t find anywhere else in the world,” he said. “A summer in Highlands changes you.”
Founded in 1927, the Highlands Biological Station acquired its first laboratory for scientific research in 1931. Since that time, scientists based at the Station have made significant contributions in a number of fields, particularly in the study of salamander biology, plant ecology, mycology and aquatic ecology.
Dr. Ash spent his time at the Station studying the Southern Appalachian Woodland Salamander.
“For the study of salamanders, it’s the most important place to be,” Dr. Ash said. “There are six species in a group that is found no where else.”
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