Presentation of the award will take place at a public ceremony on Monday, November 29 at 3:15 p.m. in the UMD Life Science Building, room 185. Following formal presentation of the award, Dr. Pastor will deliver a lecture entitled "Beauty and Aesthetics in Mathematical Ecology and Art". A reception will follow at 4:30 p.m. in the Griggs Center, 2nd floor of the UMD Kirby Student Center.
An accomplished scientist, Dr. Pastor is an ecologist who enjoys developing mathematical models that describe the natural world; he is also an artist who delights in drawing and painting the world around him. Dr. Pastor embraces the practice of art as much as he does the practice of science. In his November 29th presentation, he will attempt to convey "the unity and tension between science and art" in a lecture including "relatively simple and beautiful mathematics", as well as drawings and paintings of the subjects he studies scientifically.
He says, "Beauty and aesthetics are often perceived to be the provence of the arts and of the humanities, rather than of the sciences. Yet the arts and the sciences are both attempts to impose order upon our understanding of the natural and the social world, where an aesthetic sense underlies reactions to theories, just as it underlies responses to art. This aesthetic sense is most apparent when we search for and discover mathematical equations that capture the essence of some small portion of the world in an elegant way."
Dr. Pastor holds a Ph.D in Forestry and Soil Science. In addition to serving as UMD Professor of Biology , he is a Senior Research Associate at the Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) at UMD. He has served as Visiting Scientist, Institute of Applied Ecology, Shenyang, People's Republic of China; Macaulay Land Use Research Institute, Aberdeen, Scotland; and Department of Animal Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Science, Umea, Sweden; and also as a Distinguished Visiting Professor, College of Forestry, University of Washington. He has received many grants in support of his research and has published over 100 articles in refereed professional journals.