Seminar Series

Seminars are held in LSB 133 from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm unless otherwise noted

2022 - 2023 Speaker Bios

Zhao Ma
Dr. Zhao Ma

September 20 - 21, 2023
Human Dimensions Lab
Department of Forestry and Natural Resources
Purdue University

I am a Professor of Natural Resource Social Science. As a natural resource social scientist, the overarching goal of my research is to contribute to knowledge that improves individual and organizational capacity to make natural resource decisions to adapt to social-ecological change at various scales. Specifically, my research lies at the intersection of political ecology and social psychology, and examines natural resource decision making processes of two types of actors, individuals and organizations.

Priyanga Amarasekare
Dr. Priyanga Amarasekare

October 11 - 12, 2023 
Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

My research focuses on how the interplay between abiotic environmental variation and biotic interactions influences ecological and evolutionary dynamics. It seeks to explain patterns of dynamics and diversity that are observed in nature, and to predict how such patterns may change under perturbations to the abiotic and biotic environment. My approach is a combination of observation, experimentation and mathematical modelling. Through investigations of species' responses to perturbations in the abiotic and biotic environments, my research spans both basic and applied issues in Evolutionary ecology.

Joshua Schimel
Dr. Joshua Schimel

November 8 - 9, 2023
Department of Ecology, Evolution, & Marine Biology
UC Santa Barbara 

My research sits at the interface of ecosystem and microbial ecology. I am interested in the role of soil microbes in controlling ecosystem scale processes. I am particularly interested in the linkages between plant and soil processes, and how changes in microbial community structure affects ecosystem-scale dynamics. My work is now focusing on three ecosystems: the Arctic tundra in Alaska and Greenland, High elevation ecosystems in the Sierra Nevada, and the California annual grassland-oak savanna.

Dr. Chris Armatas

December 6 - 7, 2023
Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute

My research is broadly focused on understanding human-nature relationships with public lands and protected areas. This includes how human well-being is supported by nature, as represented by the importance of ecosystem services or, similarly, human and ecological meanings and services. Additionally, my current research focuses on perceptions of relevant drivers of change within the context of human-nature relationships. That is, how are people’s connection to some natural resource of interest potentially threatened or enhanced by a diverse range of influential factors, including management actions, climate change, land use change, and tradeoffs among differing human-nature relationships?

Chris Armatas

Dr. William Anderegg

January 17 - 18, 2024 
School of Biological Sciences
University of Utah

My research centers around the intersection of ecosystems and climate change. In particular, I strive to understand the future of Earth’s forests in a changing climate. Massive mortality events of many tree species in the last decade prompt concerns that drought, insects, and wildfire may devastate forests in the coming decades. I study how drought and climate change affect forest ecosystems, including tree physiology, species interactions, carbon cycling, and biosphere-atmosphere feedbacks. This research spans a broad array of spatial scales from xylem cells to ecosystems and seeks to gain a better mechanistic understanding of how climate change will affect forests around the world.

william anderegg

marie josee fortin
Dr. Marie-Josee Fortin

February 7 - 8, 2024
Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
University of Toronto

An ecologist by training, Marie-Josée has four main research areas: spatial ecology, disturbance ecology, conservation, and spatial statistics. Her research program studies the effects of global change (land-use and climate) on species spatial dynamics at the landscape and geographical range levels both in multiuse forested ecosystems and aquatic networks to maintain biodiversity and species conservation.

N LeRoy Poff
Dr. N. LeRoy Poff

March 27-28, 2024
Department of Biology
Colorado State University

My research interests are guided by the broad consideration of how ecological processes and patterns are constrained by habitat structure and environmental variability and multiple scales in aquatic ecosystems. Small-scale research focuses on how spatial habitat heterogeneity influences the strength and outcomes of interactions among insect grazers and how these grazers regulate stream algal production across gradients of current velocity. At larger scales, research focuses on testing general ecological theory preducting how the structure and functional organization of bilogical communities (invertebrates and fish) depend on habitat stability. We are interested in integrating ecological response across all levels of habitat constraint, from local patches to whole watersheds. This research provides a basis for predicting aquatic community attributes at geographic scales and for ecological responses to land-use alterations and regional climate changes.

lisanne petracca
Dr. Lisanne Petracca

April 10-11 2024
Department of Animal Science and Veterinary Technology
Texas A&M - Kingsville

Dr. Petracca heads the Spatial and Population Ecology of Carnivores (SPEC) Lab at CKWRI, which focuses broadly on quantitative approaches to inform carnivore ecology and conservation. A large part of her Professorship will prioritize recovery of ocelots in South Texas. Dr. Petracca was a Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of Washington, where she led the development of a spatially-explicit projection model to assess gray wolf population dynamics and progress toward recovery goals in Washington State. She also led work to optimize the monitoring of tufted puffins across their North American range. Prior to entering academia, Dr. Petracca spent nearly a decade as a Conservation Scientist at Panthera, focusing mainly on the spatial ecology of jaguars in Central America and lions in sub-Saharan Africa.