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Smithsonian names director for tropical research

Wednesday - 4/2/2014, 4:31pm  ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Smithsonian Institution has appointed an expert in climate-change research to lead the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama.

The research complex announced Wednesday that Matthew Larsen will become the next director of the research facility on Aug. 11. Larsen is currently an associate director at the U.S. Geological Survey in charge of research on climate change, adaptation and migration as well as land use change.

At the Smithsonian, Larsen will oversee about 300 employees and the Smithsonian's tropical research facilities in Panama and field sites in 14 countries in Africa, Asia and the Americas. The research institute based in Panama has a budget of $23 million.

Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough says Larsen is a respected scientist and experienced leader to build on the Smithsonian's biodiversity research.

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