March 11, 2021
Dr. Lawrence Niles, MS, PhD, wildlife biologist, discusses how horseshoe crabs are the lynchpin in a hemisphere-wide migration of shorebirds. These crabs play a vital role in the productivity for both birds and fish in the Delaware Bay estuary and most estuaries along the Atlantic Coast. Dr. Niles surveys the conservation efforts to stop the wasteful killing of horseshoe crabs, like using them for bait, or for their blood to make the LAL, a biochemical used to detect contamination in all medical products for which a synthetic is now available. See related resources below.
October 8, 2020
Scott McArt, assistant professor of pollinator health at Cornell University, discusses the stressors resulting in pollinator declines. These include loss of habitat, pesticides, parasites/pathogens, climate change, and inadequately managed bees. McArt addresses what YOU can do to help. See related resources below.
September 8, 2020
Dr. Shelley Rankin of PennVet discusses COVID-19 in animals and presents the most recent scientific evidence (at the date of this recording). See related resources below.
November 14, 2018 6:00pm Life Sciences Auditorium, Co-Sponsored by the Heritage Conservancy.
In the past two decades, the scientific community has documented hundreds of species of amphibian whose conservation is impacted by emergent infectious disease. While the fungal and viral pathogens associated with these diseases do not infect humans, our activities can influence their spread and impact in amphibian communities. The potential threat of one such pathogen, the “salamander devouring fungus,” is so great that over 200 species of amphibian are banned from import into North America.
This seminar will address the global impacts of amphibian diseases on conservation, how human activities and disturbances to the environment can influence disease, and how researchers, agencies, and citizens can take action to monitor and prevent the spread of amphibian pathogens.
Dr. Jim Julian is an assistant professor of biology at Penn State Altoona, where his research focuses on the fungal and viral pathogens that cause disease in amphibian communities. He has partnered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Northeast Fisheries Center to compare disease prevalence between natural and human-constructed wetlands, and he is currently evaluating methods to detect amphibian pathogen DNA in water samples from ponds. He enjoys engaging the public through tours of amphibian breeding ponds, and he participates in national and regional task teams on herpetological diseases through the organization Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation.
March 6th, 2018
Peter Marra, Ph.D., discusses his highly-controversial book, Cat Wars: The Devastating Consequences of a Cuddly Killer (2016), tracing the history of cats, their domestication, and their implication on wildlife today and in the future. Marra is the Senior Scientist Emeritus at the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center.