Fakhri A. Bazzaz

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Fakhri A. Bazzaz
Born(1933-06-16)June 16, 1933
DiedFebruary 6, 2008(2008-02-06) (aged 74)
Alma materBaghdad University
University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign
Known forPlant community ecological succession
AwardsGuggenheim Fellowship
Humboldt Prize
Nevada Medal
King Faisal Prize for Biology
Leverhulme Professorship
UIUC Alumni Award
Scientific career
FieldsPlant ecology
InstitutionsHarvard University
Doctoral advisorLawrence Bliss

Professor Fakhri Al-Bazzaz (June 16, 1933 – February 6, 2008) (nicknamed by his students, "Chief") was an Iraqi-American plant ecologist specializing in the study of plant community ecological succession. A professor and prolific author, he was ranked amongst the top ten "Most Cited Scientists in Environment/Ecology, 1992–2002".

Early years[edit]

Bazzaz was born to a Sunni Muslim family in Baghdad, Iraq.[1] After receiving his Bachelor's degree in biology at Baghdad University (1953), he received an appointment at Baghdad's Rasafa Education District. His science career was influenced by Baghdad University's biologist Abdul Karim Al-Khudairy and meteorologist Abdul Jabbar Abdullah.[2] Bazzaz completed his studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign where he received postgraduate degrees (M.Sc.,1960; Ph.D., 1963).[3]


He worked at Baghdad University as a lecturer before becoming a professor at the University of Illinois. At Harvard University, he served as the Timken Professor of Science and the Mallinckodt Professor of Biology. Bazzaz specialized in the study of plant community succession. He was the author of six books and over 200 scientific papers, including an important scholarly paper in 1990 on Carbon dioxide effects.[2] In May 1997, as one of 21 American experts on ecological systems and climate, he co-signed a letter to President Bill Clinton and VP Al Gore regarding global climate change.[4][5] He was ranked in the top ten of the "Most Cited Scientists in Environment/Ecology, 1992–2002".[6]

Of his many honors, he was elected a Fellow of several organizations: Clare Hall of Cambridge University, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. His awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Humboldt Prize, the Nevada Medal, the King Faisal Prize for Biology, a Leverhulme Professorship,[7] and the UIUC LAS Alumni Achievement Award. He was a founding member of the Iraqi National Academy of Science in 2003, and was an Advisory Board member of Arab Science and Technology Foundation (ASTF);[3] the ASTF's Fakhri Bazzaz Award was established in his honor.[8]

Graduate Students (partial list): Steward T. A. Pickett; Eldon Franz; Philip Burton; Judy Parrish; David Hartnett; David Ackerly; Timothy Sipe; Sean Thomas; Sonia Sultan; Eric Fajer; Susan Bassow; Jeannine Cavender-Bares; Elizabeth Farnsworth; Doug Karpa; Sebastian Catovsky; Christine Muth; Amity Wilczek; Tristram Seidler; Renee Richer

Personal life[edit]

Bazzaz married the biologist Maarib Bakri in 1958, and had two children, a daughter Sahar, and a son Ammar. Bazzaz's brother, Abd ar-Rahman al-Bazzaz, served as OPEC Secretary General and Prime Minister of Iraq.[7] Bazzaz's interests included Arabic calligraphy and Arabic poetry. He died in 2008 in Lexington, Massachusetts, US from stroke related complications.[2]

Partial works[edit]

  • (1977) Plant resource allocation, with John Grace
  • (1985) The effect of elevated atmospheric CO2 on plant communities, with K. Garbutt, W. E. Williams
  • (1996) Carbon dioxide, populations, and communities, with Christian Korner
  • (1996) Plants in changing environments : linking physiologycal, population, and community ecology
  • (1996) Global climate change and agricultural production direct and indirect effects of changing hydrological, pedological and plant physiological processes, with Wim G Sombroek


  1. ^ Simon, Reeva S.; Mattar, Philip; Bulliet, Richard W. (1996). Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East: A-C. Macmillan Reference USA. ISBN 978-0-02-897061-5. Retrieved 4 July 2012.
  2. ^ a b c Grubb, Peter J. (April 2008). "Resolution of Respect - Fakhri A. Bazzaz 1933–2008". Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America. Retrieved 4 July 2012.
  3. ^ a b Foster, David R.; Andrew H. Knoll; James J. McCarthy; Donald H. Pfister; N. Michele Holbrook (November 4, 2010). "Fakhri A. Bazzaz Faculty of Arts and Sciences — Memorial Minute". Harvard Gazette. Retrieved 4 July 2012.
  4. ^ "History". University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaing, School of Integrative Biology, Department of Plant Biology. Retrieved 4 July 2012.
  5. ^ "Ecologists warn President Clinton: Prevent rapid climate change". Stanford University. May 22, 1997. Retrieved 4 July 2012.
  6. ^ Grubb (2008), p. 93
  7. ^ a b Alsabti, Athem. "Obituary - Professor Fakhri Bazzaz (1933-2008)". National Association of British Arabs. Archived from the original on 7 January 2009. Retrieved 4 July 2012.
  8. ^ "Scientific Research Outlook". astf.net. 2008. Archived from the original on 6 February 2012. Retrieved 4 July 2012.