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Paul House obituary

23 / 08 / 2016, The Guardian

Ethnobotanist who spent 30 years in Honduras working to protect the country’s ecosystemsThe ethnobotanist Paul House, who has died of cancer aged 55, was fascinated by the interaction of human societies with their surrounding ecosystems, and always coupled social and environmental advocacy with scientific inquiry. He spent nearly 30 years in Honduras, working to understand and protect the country’s ecosystems and inspiring a generation of young Honduran biologists.He carried out fieldwork in areas ranging from the cloud forests of the country’s highest mountains to the dry thorn scrub of the interior valleys. It highlighted the need for active conservation, given the high levels of endemism – when a species is unique to a particular place – in Honduras’s vulnerable ecosystems, and the pressures from expanding agriculture, urban sprawl and infrastructure projects. He identified several new plant and tree species and was a member of an international panel of experts on threatened flora in the Central American isthmus. Continue reading...

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