Scientist Lecture

Delve deeper into the issues and conditions that impact the world around us. These free academic lectures allow you to step back into the classroom and learn from the experts.

Each lecture is free and open to the public, but registration is required. All programs are held at 7pm.

Wednesday, Oct. 17

When Good Mutualisms Go Bad – The Complexities of Plant Pollinator Interactions.

Jennifer Ison, PhD, College of Wooster

Plant-pollinator mutualisms are often portrayed as altruistic or at least mutually beneficial. Yet, nature is complex, and both pollinators and plants often ‘cheat’ the system. Ison’s talk will focus on examples of how pollinators and plants exploit their apparent mutualistic relationships. She will present examples ranging from nectar robbing and pollen theft by bees to deceptive plants that ‘trick’ insects into pollinating them. Ison will also discuss how dramatic declines in wild bee populations are jeopardizing many of our native wildflowers.

Wednesday, Nov. 14

Biodiversity and Function in Diverse Vegetation Systems

Sabrina Russo, PhD, University of Nebraska

Russo’s research seeks to understand biodiversity on our planet  by describing the ecological processes that determine how species interact, why certain species occur in some habitat types or geographic regions and not in others, and how diversity is generated in the first place. To answer these, Russo conducts research in some of the most species-rich places on Earth, the rain forests of the Amazon and Borneo, as well as in grasslands and croplands of Nebraska.