Paul A. Cox, an associate professor of ethnobotany at Brigham Young University, has been invited to discuss his work on rain forest preservation with the king and queen of Sweden March 7.
The Royal Travelers Club of Sweden invites one scientist a year to address the royal couple. Last year, Jane Goodall spoke about her work with chimpanzees.Cox will discuss his research in the tropical rain forests of Samoa and the devastating effect deforestation has on the world's delicate balance between nature and man.
"The king of Sweden is personally anguished about the destruction of our planet's rain forests," said Cox. "More than any other monarch, the king has been a constant and vigorous advocate of tropical rain forest preservation. He also has financially supported preservation efforts, both on a national and personal basis. This invitation is a great honor for me and for others who have devoted their lives to the preservation of this planet."
Cox, who is fluent in Samoan, has conducted research in Samoa for more than a decade. Much of his work has centered on documenting the specific plants and methods used by traditional healers on the islands, and on tracking and protecting the rain forest's primary pollinator, the "flying fox," a fruit-eating bat.
Cox will present the king with a full-color print made from original copper-plate engravings of plants collected during the 1772 expedition of Captain James Cook, who discovered the islands of the South Pacific.