Fakhri A. Bazzaz
|Died||February 6, 2008 (aged 74)|
|Alma mater||Baghdad University|
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
|Known for||Plant community ecological succession|
King Faisal Prize for Biology
UIUC Alumni Award
|Doctoral advisor||Lawrence 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".
Bazzaz was born to a Sunni Muslim family in Baghdad, Iraq. 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. Bazzaz completed his studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he received postgraduate degrees (M.Sc.,1960; Ph.D., 1963).
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. 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. He was ranked in the top ten of the "Most Cited Scientists in Environment/Ecology, 1992-2002".
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, 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); the ASTF's Fakhri Bazzaz Award was established in his honor.
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
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. Bazzaz's interests included Arabic calligraphy and Arabic poetry. He died in 2008 in Lexington, Massachusetts, US from stroke related complications.