Science Café

The Science Café series features expert speakers and discussions on exciting conservation topics on select Thursdays, 7 p.m., in Mershon Hall.

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June 28: Eri Saikawa

Plants, Air Pollution, and Climate Change
Eri Saikawa, Emory

Eri Saikawa is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Environmental Sciences at Emory University. She received a Bachelor of Engineering in chemistry and biotechnology at the University of Tokyo, Master of Public Affairs with a concentration in environmental policy and natural resource management at Indiana University, Bloomington, and a Ph.D. from the Science, Technology and Environmental Policy program at Princeton University. Her research is focused on analyzing sources and magnitude of emissions linked to air pollution, ozone depletion, and climate change, as well as the impacts of these emissions on humans and society.

July 12: Genoveva Ocampo

Sacred Maya Spaces, the Nahil Kab, houses of the Melipona beecheii in the Madrid Codex
Genoveva Ocampo
Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico

I was born in México City, México, where I live. I studied Biology, and I have my History Master and PhD in Mesoamerican Studies, in the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). I hold a position as professor both in the Undergraduate and Graduate Colleges in the Facultad de Filosofía y Letras of the UNAM, with the subjects Health, Sickness and Epidemics in the Mesoamerican Cultures, and Historical Geography. My investigations are on History of Mesoamerican traditional medicines and the activity of medical specialists, in the prehispanic and colonial times, and the importance of these knowledges and practices for the contemporary indigenous cultures; the epidemics of prehispanic and colonial times in America and its consequences on the native peoples; the Melipona native stingless bees in Mesoamerica, history, biology, use of the honey, wax and other products in the past and present by the Mexican peoples, and the medicinal applications of Melipona honey. I am also part of the University Project on “Sacred Plants of the Maya People”. I have published articles and book chapters on these themes.

July 26: Huw Davies

Molecular Chemistry
Huw Davies, Emory University

August 30: David Steen

Reptile Conservation
David Steen, Georgia Sea Turtle Center

David received his B.S. in Zoology from the University of New Hampshire and his M.S. in Ecology and Conservation Biology from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. While at SUNY-ESF, David initiated a long-term and ongoing collaboration with his advisor to determine how North American freshwater turtle populations have been negatively impacted by road mortality. After three years studying amphibian and reptile ecology and habitat relationships as Lead Research Technician in the Herpetology lab of the Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center at Ichauway, David left to obtain his Ph.D at Auburn University. His dissertation described the long-term response of wildlife to varied forest management strategies and resulted in recommendations regarding how to restore wildlife assemblages in the imperiled longleaf-pine ecosystem. After completing a postdoctoral position at Virginia Tech studying the ecotoxicology of freshwater turtles, David returned to Auburn University first as a Research Fellow and then as an Assistant Research Professor. His focus at Auburn was reintroducing the federally-threatened Eastern Indigo Snake to Alabama and the Florida panhandle and was particularly interested in studying the ecological impacts of these ongoing reintroductions. However, he also developed a research program to better understand the ecology and physiology of large invasive reptiles. David has published dozens of scientific papers on the ecology of conservation biology of wildlife and is an award-winning science communicator known for his wide-ranging outreach efforts. He is also the Executive Director of The Alongside Wildlife Foundation, a non-profit he founded to promote science-based solutions to living alongside wildlife in perpetuity. David relocated to the Golden Isles in 2018 and is responsible for managing the research program of the Georgia Sea Turtle Center.

September 27: Aaron M. Ellison

Ethnobotany and the Relationship between People and Plants: Conservation of Forests and Culture
Aaron M. Ellison, Harvard Forest

Aaron M. Ellison is the Senior Research Fellow in Ecology in Harvard’s Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, a Senior Ecologist at the Harvard Forest, and a semi-professional photographer and writer. He works with forests, wetlands, ants, and carnivorous plant communities to study the disintegration and reassembly of ecosystems following natural and anthropogenic disturbances; thinks about the relationship between the Dao and the Intermediate Disturbance Hypothesis; reflects on the critical and reactionary stance of Ecology relative to Modernism, blogs as The Unbalanced Ecologist, and tweets as @AMaxEll17. Aaron is the author of A Primer of Ecological Statistics (2004/2012), A Field Guide to the Ants of New England (2012; recipient of the 2013 USA Book News International Book Award in General Science, and the 2013 award for Specialty Title in Science and Nature from The New England Society in New York City), Stepping in the Same River Twice: Replication in Biological Research (2017), Carnivorous Plants: Physiology, Ecology, and Evolution(2018), and Vanishing Point (2017), a collection of photographs and poetry from the Pacific Northwest. On weekends, he works wood.

October 25: Maria Fadiman

Ethnobotany and the Relationship between People and Plants: Conservation of Forests and Culture
Maria Fadiman, Florida Atlantic University