Scientist, Author, Educator, Tree Canopy Biologist


Dispatch from Ethiopia: Curse of the Church Forests


Dr. Lowman’s article originally posted at
I’m swallowing mouthfuls of dust each day driving long distances through a landscape parched by East Africa’s annual dry season. The majority of roads are not only dusty; they’re unbelievably rough, and our four-wheel-drive’s dysfunctional shock absorbers subject us to a […]

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Are church forests key to conservation in Ethiopia?


Article from Deutsche Welle (DW) that provides an excellent summary of Dr. Lowman’s conservation efforts in Ethiopia:
In the highlands of Ethiopia efforts are underway to protect the cultural and biological resources of an ancient landscape. The key to regeneration may be as old as the book of Genesis itself.
The […]

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Lowman to study coffee forests in Ethiopia as Fulbright Specialist

Meg and the Wall around the forest of Zhara

Dr. Margaret D. Lowman, research professor in the College of Sciences at North Carolina State University and senior scientist at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, will teach and study coffee forests in Ethiopia this winter as part of the Fulbright Senior Specialist Scholar Program. Lowman […]

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Pioneering scientist speaks to Woman’s Club

Dr. Lowman speaks to the Tarboro Woman’s Club about preserving the tropical forests of Ethiopia and encouraging girls to become scientists.
From The Tarboro Daily Southerner:
TARBORO — The woman who discovered treetop canopy ecology, Dr. Meg Lowman, spoke to the Tarboro Woman’s Club at their meeting at The […]

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A Preliminary Assessment of Ethiopian Sacred Grove Status at the Landscape and Ecosystem Scales


Abstract: The northern Ethiopian landscape is dotted with small patches of church forests that are religious centers for the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church (EOTC). These sacred groves are what remain of the once vast tropical Afromontane dry forest. Herein we review the landscape pattern of sacred groves […]

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“Saving the Forest Canopies of Ethiopia” in Summer 2013 Newsletter of The International Canopy Network


Dr. Meg Lowman writes about saving the forest canopies of Ethiopia in “What’s Up?” The Newsletter of the International Canopy Network; Volume 19, Number 3, Summer 2013.
The International Canopy Network publishes its newsletter quarterly and features articles and content of interest to forest canopy researchers, educators, students, […]

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Update on Woji and Debresena church forests in Ethiopia


Woji church forest now has walls. In 2013, the local people worked with their priests to make a conservation wall around this forest. TREE Foundation made a donation to the church to thank them for their stewardship.
Alemayehu provides this update:
The last three days I was out for […]

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Update on Mosha church forest wall and expansion


Below is an update from Alemayehu on the Mosha church forest in Ethiopia:
Mosha is a 7 ha forest which was surrounded by degraded grazing land. For the last years the degradation level of the surrounding land has become more serious and the grazing effect has been intense […]

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Update on Woji church forest, Ethiopia


Woji church forest in Ethiopia has a wall!! This was the fourth and latest construction site for conservation of northern Ethiopia’s last remaining forests, in a project funded by TREE Foundation. The photos below show the local villagers as well as clergy from the Coptic church all […]

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Church Forest documentary film to be released 2014

Church Forest Preview from Greg Vander Veer on Vimeo.
Church Forest reveals a mystical world where priests and scientists struggle to come together, despite vastly different beliefs,  to save the last forests of Northern Ethiopia. Through stunning religious ceremonies, humorous moments with eccentric scientists, revealing macro-photography, and traditional […]

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