2018 - 2019 SPEAKER BIOS
September 12 - 13, 2018
Professor, University of Utah
Dr. Nadkarni's academic and research interests include: community and ecosystem ecology of tropical and temperate forest canopies; the effects of forest fragmentation on biodiversity and community function; the development of database tools for canopy researchers; dissemination of research results to non-scientific audiences; partnering of scientists and artists to enhance conservation of forests.
October 10 - 11, 2018
Professor & Chair, Boston College
The primary area of Dr. Jorgenson's research is the human dimensions of global environmental change, with a particular focus on the anthropogenic drivers of greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption, industrial pollution and land cover change. His secondary area of research focuses on nations’ political-economic and environmental conditions that shape public health disparities, uneven development and income inequality. He has also conducted research on the global dimensions of environmental concern.
November 7 - 8, 2018
Research Ecologist, USGS Fort Collins Science Center
Dr. Allen conducts research on the ecology and environmental history of Southwestern landscapes, and the responses of Western mountain ecosystems and forests globally to climate change; he also provides technical support in the areas of ecosystem management and restoration to diverse land management agencies in the region. He is a core principal investigator of the USGS Western Mountain Initiative, an integration of research programs that study global change in mountain ecosystems across the western United States (see WesternMountains.org), with extensive international collaborations.
December 5 - 6, 2018
Professor & Associate Head, Colorado State University
Dr. Cotrufo is a soil ecologist and biogeochemist, internationally recognized as an authority in the field of litter decomposition and soil organic matter dynamics, and in the use of isotopic methodologies in these studies. Her main research interest is in understanding the mechanisms and drivers of formation and persistence of soil organic matter, and its response to global environmental changes and disturbances. She also pursues applied research to propose soil management practices that increase soil health and mitigate climate change, such as application of biochar in soils. As a scientist fully aware of the current and future challenges expecting humanity, she is interested in promoting K-12 education and outreach activities to advance scientific literacy and societal understanding of current human impacts on the Earth System.
January 16 - 17, 2019
Assistant Professor, Colorado Mesa University
Dr. Varner teaches mammalogy, general human biology and senior thesis. Her research interests include responses of alpine mammals to climate change and disturbance, with a focus on pikas — small mammals related to rabbits. Because of their sensitivity to heat stress and limited dispersal abilities, pikas may be excellent indicators of alpine ecosystem health in response to climate change.
February 20 - 21, 2019
Assistant Professor, University of Nevada
Dr. Ouyang uses natural and laboratory experiments to test how, and at what rate, hormonally regulated traits enable organismal adaptation to changing environments. Neuroendocrine mechanisms regulate the remarkable interspecific variation in life history traits that have fascinated biologists for decades. Which mechanisms, though, cause individuals to respond differently when facing the same ecological conditions? Individual variation in endocrine organization is likely to play an important role, because hormones have pleiotropic effects on behavior, morphology and homeostasis, regulating gene expression and life-history transitions.
March 27 - 28, 2019
Professor & Associate Director, University of Washington/SAFS
Dr. Essington's research focuses on food web interactions involving fish in marine, estuarine and freshwater habitats. His recent research looks at fisheries policy tools and the conservation benefits they may provide. Of particular interest is the application of ecosystem approaches to fisheries management, as applied to fisheries targeting small forage fish, a species that play important roles in food webs.
April 10 - 11, 2019
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Toronto
Dr. Darling is a marine ecologist and conservation scientist fundamentally motivated to understand coral reef ecosystems and the coastal livelihoods they support. Her research uses field surveys and collaborative 'big data' approaches to examine contemporary changes in reef coral communities and social-ecological systems of coral reef fisheries. Her research on climate change, multiple stressors, resilience, life histories and community disassembly has been published in leading scientific journals, such as Ecology Letters, Global Change Biology, PLoS Biology, Conservation Biology, and Conservation Letters and highlighted by the Faculty of 1000. She also writes popular science, including blogs for National Geographic Voices and The Conversation, and has been featured in the Huffington Post.