Fall 2023 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. This fall seminar will be in Room 152 of the Smissman Labs building, next to Takeru Higuchi Hall on KU's West Campus (please note that KU parking permits are required). During the fall 2023 semester, talks will usually be hybrid, and some will be recorded for our YouTube channel. Some seminars may move to Higuchi Hall; please check the schedule each week.

Seminar information is emailed weekly on Wednesdays (this is also the way to receive Zoom access if and when we use Zoom, which is to be determined) 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.

In cases when Zoom is used, we will use the same Zoom link and passcode throughout the semester:

Meeting ID: 938 5198 1215
Passcode: 312506

Please do NOT share the link and passcode on social media or elsewhere.

Recordings of some seminars will be posted on our YouTube channel during the following week. (During the following dates, Friday events will be for graduate students in our labs only: Sept. 1, Oct. 6, Oct. 27, Dec. 1.)

Our seminars are hosted by Ben Sikes, KU associate professor of ecology & evolutionary biology (EEB) and associate scientist at our research center; Sara Baer, director of our research center and professor of EEB; and other researchers. 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 that broadly relate to ecology and/or conservation issues. Often presentations are given by KU faculty, staff or students, but we also have talks by people at nearby colleges and universities and outside the region, as well as state agencies and environmental organizations. Most talks are research-oriented, but this seminar series also has proven to be a good forum for sharing information about nonprofits and government agencies. We interpret "talks" broadly; some are polished presentations, while others are opportunities to discuss ideas or a tentative plan for a project.

The Friday Ecology Seminar series was created by Helen Alexander, KU professor emerita of ecology & evolutionary biology and a very close associate of the KU Field Station.

Parking information

Please consult the KU Parking information and map and the transit information online. If you do not have a KU parking pass and need to purchase a one-time pass for parking on west campus, please use the Event Parking Request Form from KU Parking. 

Working schedule

Friday, Aug. 25

Internal discussion on digitization of Kansas Natural Heritage Inventory data

Friday, Sept. 1

Graduate student pizza lunch

Friday, Sept. 8

New student/employee orientation

Friday, Sept. 15

Ted Harris, assistant research professor: Advances in Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) monitoring and control (152 Smissman)

Friday, Sept. 22

Jan Johnson, local naturalist: Biodiversity and Ritchie Cemetery Project

Friday, Sept. 29

Celia Llopis-Jepsen, Kansas News Service/KCUR 89.3 reporter: Working with the media to get your story out

Friday, Oct. 6

Graduate student pizza lunch: Writing workshop

Friday, Oct. 13

No seminar (Friday before Fall Break)

Friday, Oct. 20

Gail Wilson, Oklahoma State University

Friday, Oct. 27

No seminar scheduled

Friday, Nov. 3

Graduate student pizza lunch

Friday, Nov. 10

Brian Obermeyer, director of land protection & stewardship for The Nature Conservancy Kansas: the Flint Hills, the Anderson County Prairie Preserve and beyond

Friday, Nov. 17

Susan Ziegler, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada

Friday, Nov. 24

No seminar (Thanksgiving break)

Friday, Dec. 1

Eric Duell, postdoctoral researcher, Kansas Biological Survey & Center for Ecological Research: Above- and below-ground drivers of ecosystem services in the tallgrass prairie

Friday, Dec. 8

Jim Thorp, retiring senior scientist and professor of ecology & evolutionary biology — also annual cookie share