Butterfly Pavilion welcomes scientist

Conservation biologist joins staff in Westminster

Staff report
Posted 3/6/16

Richard Reading has joined the Butterfly Pavilion as its new director of research and conservation. As such, Reading will lead an expansion of Butterfly Pavilion’s world-leading captive breeding, international field research and conservation …

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Butterfly Pavilion welcomes scientist

Conservation biologist joins staff in Westminster

Posted

Richard Reading has joined the Butterfly Pavilion as its new director of research and conservation. As such, Reading will lead an expansion of Butterfly Pavilion’s world-leading captive breeding, international field research and conservation programs.

Reading earned a Ph.D. and three master’s degrees from Yale University, in wildlife ecology and human dimensions of wildlife, and an honorary doctorate from the National Education University of Mongolia. His work has focused on grassland ecosystems on six continents, including the great plains of North America, the steppes of Mongolia, the savannahs of Botswana and the Altiplano of Peru and Bolivia.

Reading is recognized for developing pragmatic, effective and interdisciplinary approaches to the conservation of wildlife and protected areas. He is also celebrated for the positive social and economic impacts of his fieldwork on the local governments and indigenous people of some of the world’s most challenged regions.

Reading is also director or advisor to several nonprofit organizations in the U.S. and overseas. He has written or edited eight books, more than 175 scientific papers and book chapters and dozens of popular articles. He also serves as a conservation biology consultant and adjunct professor for the University of Denver’s biology department, and scholar in residence at DU’s graduate school of social work.

“We are very excited to have Dr. Reading on our team,” said Mary Ann Colley, vice president of science and conservation. “His knowledge of conservation biology is a perfect fit for the work we do at Butterfly Pavilion. His experience and passion for research and conservation bolster our current efforts and I look forward to our future achievements in the world of invertebrate science.”

“As one of the top 200 zoos on the planet, it is our responsibility to drive the science and research required to understand our impacts on earth, and to use our findings to create engaging, hands-on exhibits and education programs,” added Butterfly Pavilion chairman Rob O’Dea. “Dr. Reading’s leadership and expertise takes our ability to do this to another level.”

Butterfly Pavilion CEO Patrick Tennyson said he also looked forward to the development of new programming in hopes that doing so will broaden interest in the Butterfly Pavilion beyond the region.

“We have some very exciting new programs Dr. Reading will help us launch,” he said. “We cannot wait to share these with the community and to watch the enthusiasm for Butterfly Pavilion continue to grow across the region and beyond. Dr. Reading’s addition to our team will help to shape our next phase of growth and development for Butterfly Pavilion.

“The research work behind the conservation of important insects like butterflies and bees is more important now than ever before,” Tennyson added. “We are fortunate to have Dr. Reading join our team. I look forward to all he will accomplish.”

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