Steven Broyles, professor and chair of SUNY Cortland’s Biological Sciences Department, will discuss the pressing issues surrounding the role of genetically modified food in global sustainability on Wednesday, Feb. 11.
His talk, titled “Food Fight: When Genetic Engineering Makes Sense for Agricultural Sustainability,” will begin at 4:30 p.m. in Moffett Center, Room 2125.
Broyles, a 2002 recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, will examine the scientific evidence regarding the safety of such foods and the arguments for their role in the sustainability of global food provision.
A reception will precede his presentation at 4 p.m. in the Rozanne M. Brooks Museum, Moffett Center, Room 2126. The Brooks series events are free and open to the public.
His lecture continues the 2014-15 Rozanne M. Brooks Lecture Series, themed this year on “Culture, Technology and Sustainability.” The series explores the present and future on a planet with a rapidly growing population, critical food shortages, climate change and a host of other factors that affect the quality of life across the world. Presenters will discuss these issues and offer possible solutions to major global problems, including the role technology may play in helping or hindering progress toward a “livable planet.”
A botanist, Broyles has a bachelor’s degree from University of North Carolina at Charlotte and master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Georgia. A member of the SUNY Cortland faculty since 1992, Broyles teaches Biological Sciences I, Field Natural History, Field Biology at Raquette Lake, Ornithology, Biology of Trees, Conservation Biology Seminar, and Neotropical Biology.
Plant genetics is the focus of some of the considerable volume of research he has published in journals that include Evolution, American Naturalist, Journal of Heredity, Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics and American Journal of Botany.
Broyles has long enjoyed accolades as a scholar and teacher. His doctoral dissertation, “The Reproductive Biology of Poke Milkweed, Asclepias exaltata L.: Population Structure, Mating Patterns, Pollen Dispersal and the Evolution of Inflorescence Size,” was recognized by the University of Georgia with the 1993 Sigma Xi Outstanding Ph.D. Dissertation Award. The university also presented him with its Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award in 1990 and its Outstanding Teaching Award in 1992.
The Botanical Society of America presented Broyles with its 1991 Margaret Menzel Award for Outstanding Paper in Plant Genetics. The Conference of Southern Graduate Schools awarded him its 1990 Outstanding Thesis Award in Natural Sciences and Mathematics. In 1989, he was recognized by the Association of Southeastern Biologists both for best student paper in ecology and for student research. He was inducted into the interdisciplinary honor society Phi Kappa Phi and the Blue Key National Honor Fraternity.
In 2012, SUNY Cortland presented him with its highest honor for faculty, the Rozanne M. Brooks Dedicated Teacher Award.
A frequent invited speaker by local community groups on a range of different biological subjects, Broyles oversaw the Cortland Tree Survey from 2004 to 2005 as a service learning course for his students to examine, evaluate and identify Cortland street and park trees. He chaired the City of Cortland’s Water Board from 2002 to 2003.
The 2014-15 Brooks Lecture Series is sponsored by a grant from Auxiliary Services Corporation and the Cortland College Foundation. For more information, contact Sharon R. Steadman, SUNY Cortland professor of sociology/anthropology and Brooks Museum director, at 607-753-2308.