Fall 2024 Friday Ecology Seminars

Native sunflowers and pitcher sage in bloom on prairie

Ecology Seminars hosted by the Kansas Biological Survey & Center for Ecological Research are held on most Fridays during the spring and fall semesters at 12:15 p.m. During the fall 2024 semester, talks will held in Room 152 of the Smissman Labs building, next to Takeru Higuchi Hall on KU's West Campus (KU parking permits are required; see parking information below).

Most talks will be hybrid and recorded for our YouTube channel. Schedule changes are sometimes made, and some seminars may move to Higuchi Hall; please check the schedule each week.

Seminar information is emailed weekly on Wednesdays to two lists:

  • The current "KBS" list (our research center's current and retired faculty scientists, researchers, staff and students); if you are on this list, you will receive an email reminder to your email ending in ku.edu.
  • A special mailing list created specifically to announce these seminars and open to the public; if you would like to join this mailing list for notifications and reminders of upcoming seminars, share your name and email address using our quick webform. Note: If you use Gmail and do not receive an email within a week of requesting to join, please check your Promotions tab and move any emails from us to your Primary tab.

Recordings of seminars will be posted on our YouTube channel during the week following each talk. (The first Friday of each month is set aside for graduate students and early-career ecologists in our labs only.)

Our seminars are hosted by Sara Baer, director of our research center and professor of ecology & evolutionary biology, and others at our research center. The host will coordinate introductions at the beginning of each talk as well as the question-and-answer session at the end of the talk. Other researchers may introduce speakers.

Seminars cover a wide range of topics related to ecology or conservation issues. Most presentations are research-oriented and given by KU researchers, staff and students, but some talks are presented by people at nearby colleges and universities and outside the region, as well as state agencies and environmental organizations.

The Friday Ecology Seminar series was created by Helen Alexander, KU professor emerita of ecology & evolutionary biology and a close associate of the KU Field Station, which is managed by our research center.

Parking information

Please consult the KU Parking online information and map regarding parking and the online transit information. If you need to park near the building and do not have a KU parking permit, you have a several online options for parking in nearby Yellow lots (224, 214, 215) and purchasing a one-day $3 permit:

  • Payment using your mobile phone — Come to campus and park in lot 224 (mobile zone 3922), 214 (mobile zone 3921) or 215 (mobile zone 3951) and use a parking app such as ParkMobile to give your license plate number and pay. You also may go to the ParkingApp.com websiteand enter the mobile zone of the lot where you have parked; the website then asks you to choose one of two mobile phone apps—ParkMobile or Passport Parking—to give your plate number and pay. Note that whichever app you choose must be installed on your phone and that you must create an account; it's recommended that you do this before coming to campus.
  • Payment using your desktop — Create a visitor parking account ahead of time using KU's online parking portal and buy a one-day Yellow parking pass for your chosen date.


Aug. 30 — Open date

Sept. 6 — Pizza lunch and discussion for graduate students and early career scientists

Sept. 13 — Nathaniel Weickert, Assistant Operations Manager, KU Field Station; and Caleb Morse, Collection Manager, R.L. McGregor Herbarium: Results of monitoring Prairie Park prairie post-spraying

Sept. 20 — Jude Kastens, Associate Research Professor: Topic to come

Sept. 27 — Sheena Parsons, Station Manager, KU Field Station: Interdisciplinary research projects at the KU Field Station

Oct. 4 — Pizza lunch and discussion for graduate students and early career scientists

Oct. 11 — No seminar: Day before fall break

Oct. 18 — Micah Unruh, doctoral student, Billings Lab: Fulbright semester research and experiences in Chile

Oct. 25 — Ryan Armbrust, Kansas Forest Service: History of Kansas forests

Nov. 1 — Pizza lunch and discussion for graduate students and early career scientists

Nov. 8 — Craig Freeman, Senior Scientist and Director, R.L. McGregor Herbarium: History of McGregor Herbarium and role of herbariums in research, with discussion of the Flora of North America

Nov. 15 — Chris Helzer, Nature Conservancy Nebraska: Topic to come

Nov. 22 — Rachel Keen, Postdoctoral Researcher, Billings Lab: Topic to come

Nov. 29 — No seminar: Thanksgiving break

Dec. 6 — Pizza lunch and discussion for graduate students and early career scientists