Scientist Lecture

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

Lectures are $5 for members and $15 for nonmembers. All programs are held at 7pm.

Feb. 12, 2020

Dr. Michael Donovan, Cleveland Museum of Natural History

“Recovery of Plant-Insect Associations in the Wake of the Dinosaur Extinction”

The Chicxulub asteroid impact in Mexico during the Cretaceous/Palaeogene resulted in mass extinctions, bringing the golden age of dinosaurs to an abrupt end. But what was happening to all the other life forms on earth during this time? Dr. Donovan will discuss his work examining insect-feeding damage on thousands of fossil leaves from one of the most important fossil sites in in the world, Chubut, Patagonia, Argentina, located far south of the Chicxulub impact crater. Overall, this works demonstrates a rapid recovery of insect herbivores and their food webs, supporting the emerging idea of large-scale geographic differences in extinction and recovery from the end-Cretaceous catastrophe.

This lecture is being presented as part of the Bio-alliance, a collaboration between Holden Forests & Gardens, Case Western Reserve University, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. The Bio-alliance was formed in April 2019 to promote local opportunities and resources, to create transformative educational experiences, and to inspire inter-institutional research in biodiversity, ecology and evolutionary biology across the premier biological research institutes of Northeast Ohio.

March 18, 2020

Richard Ree, PhD, the Field Museum

“Plant Evolution in the Hengduan Mountains, a Temperate Biodiversity Hotspot”

The Hengduan Mountains region, situated at the southeastern edge of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, is a biodiversity hotspot. It harbors about one-third of China’s vascular plants, including many spectacular evolutionary radiations of groups both familiar (Rhododendron, Primula) and less so (Pedicularis, Rheum). When and how did these species accumulate? In Pedicularis (louseworts), the hundreds of native species are all bumblebee-pollinated and commonly flower at the same time in the same places. As a result, diverse floral shapes have evolved recurrently, likely a result of natural selection to reduce hybrids. More generally, studies of the tempo of species formation across many plant groups reveals the influence of mountain uplift and monsoon development in the complex geological history of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

June 17, 2020

Graduate Student Research in the Medeiros Lab at the Holden Arboretum

“Rhododendrons, Red Cedars and Urban Trees, Oh My!”

July 15, 2020

Rebecca Swab, The Wilds

“Prairie Puzzles: Plants, Pedosphere, Pollinators, Passerines”