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Matthew R. Opdyke, Ph.D., an assistant professor of environmental studies at Point Park, will discuss his recent research on the lichen community in southwestern Pennsylvania from 7-9 p.m. on May 2, 2011 at Carnegie Science Center's Works Theater. Opdyke's research included surveys of Frick, Schenley and Mingo Creek parks as well as Forbes State Forest. In addition, he explored lichens as air pollution indicators and their characteristics in rural and urban environments.

Lichen is made up of a combination of algae and fungus and comes in a variety of shapes and sizes with names like candleflame, fluffy dust and rough speckled shield.

Opdyke will show photographs of lichens taken in southwestern Pennsylvania, explain how to identify lichens and talk about conservation efforts in the region. He will also talk about the importance of lichens to our regional ecosystem.

Admission to the event is free and parking is $5.

For more information and to register, visit the Carnegie Science Center's registration page.