The Science Café series returns to Mershon Hall. This series features expert speakers and discussions on exciting conservation topics. Enjoy refreshing drinks during Cocktails in the Garden every Thursday!
Free with Garden Admission | Meet in Mershon Hall
May 16: Madagascar and a New Idea for Community-based Ecotourism
Speakers: Debbie Folkerts, Auburn University Biological Sciences, retired & Fanomezana Rajaonarisoa, BA and MA degrees from University of Antananarivo, Madagascar
Description: Dr. Folkerts and Dr. Rajaonarisoa will be sharing photos from a recent visit to Madagascar, discuss current threats to the island’s native wildlife and examine methods for developing sustainable community-based ecotourism in Madagascar.
June 20: Buzz Pollination in Bees
Speaker: Avery L. Russell, Pittsburgh Ecology and Evolution, Postdoctoral fellow, University of Pittsburgh
Description: Dr. Russell will discuss his studies of pollinator behavior and its effects on the evolution of flowers, their rewards, and their microbes. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Arizona and is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Russell also enjoys long walks with the bees.
July 18: Sarracenia Population Genetics
Speaker: Jennifer Rhode Ward, Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Asheville, Associate Professor of Biology
Description: Dr. Ward’s research combines molecular, field, and statistical methods to examine several interrelated aspects of plant population biology.
August 15: American Eden
Speaker: Victoria Johnson, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Urban Policy and Planning, Hunter College, City University of New York
Description: Victoria Johnson is Associate Professor of Urban Policy and Planning at Hunter College in New York City. She earned her PhD in sociology from Columbia in 2002, writing a dissertation that was subsequently published as Backstage at the Revolution: How the Royal Paris Opera Survived the End of the Old Regime. She earned her undergraduate degree at Yale in philosophy in 1991, also studying music and art history there before moving to Berlin to spend a year studying music and sociology at the Humboldt-Universität. Her current research lies at the intersection of organizations, cultural history, and the natural environment.
September 19: Swarm Robotics – Lessons from Biology & How Robots Can Help With Environmental Monitoring
Speaker: Magnus Egerstedt, Professor and School Chair, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines, Georgia Institute of Technology
Description: Dr. Magnus Egerstedt is the Steve W. Chaddick School Chair and Professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He previously served as the Executive Director for the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines at Georgia Tech, overseeing one of the largest robotics institutes in the nation. He received the M.S. degree in Engineering Physics and the Ph.D. degree in Applied Mathematics from the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, the B.A. degree in Philosophy from Stockholm University, and was a Postdoctoral Scholar at Harvard University. Dr. Egerstedt conducts research in the areas of swarm robotics, with particular focus on distributed machine learning, decision making, and coordinated controls.
By drawing inspiration from social insects, flocking birds, or schooling fish, swarm robotics investigates how large teams of robots should be coordinated. This talk will describe how to make robot teams do useful things, including performing environmental monitoring and conservation tasks.
October 17: Alien Invaders of the Georgia Coast
Speaker: Anthony Martin, Professor of Pedagogy, Department of Environmental Sciences, Emory University
Description: This discussion will touch on conservation issues related to the ecological impact of invasive species on the Georgia barrier islands such as hogs, horses, cattle, cats and ambrosia beetles.