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Dr. Melanie Stiassny to Speak at World Wildlife Fund

American Museum of Natural History Curator to Discuss Conservation Challenges of World's Deepest River

WASHINGTON DC, November 12, 2009 – Dr. Melanie Stiassny, Axelrod Research Curator at the American Museum of Natural History will speak on “Preserving Evolution in Action in the World’s Deepest River – A Conservation Challenge” at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) today, Thursday, November 12, 2009 at 4:30 p.m.  The lecture is part of the Kathryn Fuller Science for Nature Seminar series, which brings distinguished scientists from a variety of fields to Washington, D.C. to present cutting edge research of central importance to international conservation. 

The lower Congo River has recently been revealed to be the world’s deepest river and one of the most biodiverse on the African continent. This extraordinary river system has spawned a dazzling array of endemic fishes, many exhibiting bizarre anatomical adaptations to life in fast water. A center of aquatic biodiversity, and the source of food and livelihood for tens of millions of people in the region, the lower Congo River is also a system under threat. With some of the most spectacular rapids on the planet, the river has extraordinary hydropower potential, and the prospect of major dam development threatens to transform the system.  

When: 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. (lecture); 5:30 – 6:30 (reception), Thursday, November 12, 2009

Where: World Wildlife Fund, Russell Train Conference Center, 1250 24th St. NW (between M and N streets) Washington, DC 20037. Admission is free: Click here for a Map.
Registration at:

Who: Dr. Melanie Stiassny is the Axelrod Research Curator in the Department of Ichthyology at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) and Adjunct Professor at Colombia University.

This lecture is funded through the Kathryn Fuller Science for Nature Fund, which honors Kathryn S. Fuller, president and CEO of World Wildlife Fund from 1989 to 2005.