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MEDIA CONTACT: Garrett Astler

FAU Launches 2013 Frontiers in Science Public Lecture Series with Professor Edward Petuch

BOCA RATON, Fla. (January 10, 2013) – Florida Atlantic University’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Science will launch its Frontiers in Science 2013 public lecture series with a presentation by Edward Petuch, Ph.D., titled “Mollusks of the Tropical Western Atlantic: New Perspectives on Biogeography and Biodiversity.” The lecture will take place on Friday, Jan. 11 at 3:30 p.m. in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, Room 126, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton campus.

 Petuch, a geosciences professor at FAU, will focus his lecture on the vast array of new species of mollusks that have been discovered by FAU researchers.

 “Mollusks are the most diverse and species-rich group of marine animals and, because of this, are among the most important indicators of marine environmental changes and oceanographic conditions,” said Petuch. “Of the world’s oceans, the tropical western Atlantic is still one of the most unstudied areas and recent field studies by FAU researchers, from North Carolina to southern Brazil, have yielded hundreds of important new species and genera.”

 Petuch earned a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in geology from the University of Wisconsin, and a doctorate in geology from the University of Miami. He specializes in invertebrate paleontology of the Floridian peninsula and the Atlantic coastal plain. Over his academic career, Petuch has discovered and named more than 1,200 species of fossil shells, written 17 books and traveled to 47 countries.

 “Dr. Petuch is an excellent scientist and educator to kick off this year’s Frontiers in Science public lecture series,” said Gary W. Perry, Ph.D., dean of the College of Science. “This lecture series has been an annual event for over a decade, and is well attended by an eclectic group of community members, from retired CEOs and faculty to business owners, teachers and physicians. This year’s lectures makes for a very interesting program.”

 The lecture is free and open to the public, and is sponsored by the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science and supported by FAU’s Lifelong Learning Society Endowed Professorship in Science. Printing and mailing of lecture series materials are made possible by a Warren Lloyd Holtzman Seed Grant, a component fund of the Community Foundation of the New River Valley.

 For more information, visit or contact Tarra Smith at 561-297-3035 or .


About Florida Atlantic University:
Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University, with an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion, serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students at sites throughout its six-county service region in southeast Florida. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University is placing special focus on the rapid development of three signature themes – marine and coastal issues, biotechnology and contemporary societal challenges – which provide opportunities for faculty and students to build upon FAU’s existing strengths in research and scholarship. For more information, visit

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