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Biodiversity Conference

Biodiversity Conference

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FGCU Biodiversity Conference



 Tuesday, March 7th, 5:30-8:30 p.m., FGCU Campus, Cohen Center

5:30-7:00 p.m. Poster presentation & Reception with music and refreshments
7:00-7:15 p.m. Welcome and introduction
7:15-8:00 p.m. Opening plenary by Dr. Reed Noss, Provost's Distinguished Research Professor at the University of Central Florida and President of the Florida Institute for Conservation Science,
Florida: The Hottest Spot in an Unexpected Global Biodiversity Hotspot.
8:00-8:30 p.m. Discussion mixer with Dr. Noss, other biodiversity experts, and students

Discussion Mixer – FGCU Biodiversity Conference
Cohen Center Rm 214, Tuesday March 7th @ 8-8:30pm

We invite all students to gather for discussion immediately following Dr. Noss’ talk. The aims of this professional development activity are to: (1) interact with student colleagues and biodiversity “mentors” from the broader science community, (2) reflect on the themes of the plenary presentation, and (3) create a proactive idea of what you hope to gain from the subsequent two days of the conference. We hope that this will enrich your conference experience.

The “mixer” will involve a free-form, open discussion, with participants seated at round tables. To facilitate the interactive discussion, the group seated at each table will consist of community “mentors”, FGCU student “hosts”, and other student participants.    

Wednesday, March 8th, 8:00-5:00 p.m., FGCU Campus, Edwards Hall, Room 112

 8:00-8:45 a.m.  Registration and coffee
 8:45-9:00 a.m.  Welcome and Announcements

 Climate Change Session, 9 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

 9:00-9:30 a.m. Keynote Speaker: Thomas Lovejoy, Elected University Professor, George Mason University. Dr. Lovejoy is founder of the PBS series Nature, previous Chief Biodiversity Advisor and Lead Specialist for Environment for Latin America at the World Bank, and the Caribbean as well as Senior Advisor to the President of the United Nations Foundation. Thomas Lovejoy is an innovative and accomplished conservation biologist who edited Climate Change and Biodiversity and coined the term “biological diversity”. A Wild Solution for Climate Change.
 9:30-9:55 a.m. Christopher Baraloto, Director, International Center for Tropical Botany, Department of Biological Sciences, Florida International University. The singularity and vulnerability of South Florida’s rockland forests
 9:55-10:20 a.m. Stuart Pimm, Doris Duke Chair of Conservation Ecology at the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University. Climate disruption and Florida’s biodiversity.
 10:20-10:35 a.m.  Break with refreshments
 10:35-11:00 a.m. Jaclyn Lopez, Florida Director, Center For Biological Diversity. Biodiversity on the Brink: The Role of “Assisted Migration” in Managing Endangered Species Threatened with Rising Seas
 11:00-11:25 a.m. Robert Glazer, Associate Research Scientist, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Into the Anthropocene: How the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission adapts in a changing climate. 
 11:25-11:50 a.m. Francis E. Putz, Distinguished Professor of Biology, University of Florida. Coastal Ecosystem Shifts in North Florida: Drivers, Actors, Processes, and Biodiversity Consequences.
 11:50-12:15 p.m. Peter Frederick, Research Professor, Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, University of Florida. Restoring oyster reef chains and their ecosystem services in the Big Bend of Florida. 
 Complimentary Lunch, 12:15-1:15 p.m.


 Habitat Session, 1:30-4:45 p.m.

 1:30-2:00 p.m. Keynote Speaker: Thomas Hoctor, University of Florida. Dr. Hoctor has served as a co-principal investigator on a variety of regional-scale conservation analysis and planning projects including the Florida Ecological Greenways Network with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Southeastern Ecological framework, The Nature Conservancy’s Florida ecoregional planning process, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s South Florida Multi-Species and Ecosystem Recovery Plan, and the Department of Defense’s Sustainable Ranges initiative. Florida Fragmentation and Ecological Connectivity: Landscape-scale Efforts to Protect Biodiversity in a High Growth State 
 2:00-2:25 p.m. Nick Haddad, William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor, Department of Biology, North Carolina State University. The long-term, degrading effects of habitat loss and fragmentation, with the case of South Florida butterflies.
 2:25-2:50 p.m. Holly Ober, Associate Professor, University of Florida, North Florida Research and Education Center. Training for Natural Resource Professionals: Ensuring it is Relevant, Pragmatic, & Cost-effective.
 2:50-3:05 p.m. Break with refreshments
 3:05-3:30 p.m. Earl McCoy, Professor and Distinguished Scholar, Department of Integrative Biology, University of South Florida. Who You Are and What You Do For a Living Matter in a Fragmented Landscape.
 3:30-3:55 p.m. Reed Bowman, Associate Research Biologist, Archbold Biological Station. Genomic consequences of population decline, regional fragmentation, and habitat loss in the endangered Florida Scrub-Jay.
 3:55-4:20 p.m. Amber Crooks, Senior Environmental Policy Specialist, Conservancy of Southwest Florida. One Permit To Rule Them All: The Florida Panther and Habitat Fragmentation in Southwest Florida.
 4:20-4:45 p.m. Jerome A. Jackson, Professor Emeritus, Department of Marine and Ecological Sciences, Florida Gulf Coast University. Impacts of forest fragmentation and management on biodiversity and conservation of the Red-cockaded Woodpecker


Thursday, March 9th, 8:00-12:30 p.m., FGCU Edwards Hall, Room 112

 8:00-8:45 a.m. Registration and Coffee
 8:45-9:00 a.m. Welcome and Announcements


 Invasion Session, 9:00-12:15 p.m.

 9:00-9:30 a.m. Keynote Speaker: Daniel Simberloff, University of Tennessee. Dr. Simberloff is an eminent ecologist and member of the National Academy of Sciences. Daniel conducted many of the original studies of island biogeography. At the University of Tennessee he directs the Institute for Biological Invasions and recently authored Invasive Species: What Everyone Needs to Know (2013). Shoot first and ask questions later: Progress, problems, promise, and polemics in managing biological invasions.
 9:30-9:55 a.m. Joel Trexler, Professor of Biological Science and Director of Marine Science, Department of Biological Sciences, Florida International University. Non-native fish and Everglades restoration: An unexpected challenge to restoring an iconic ecosystem.
 9:55-10:20 a.m. Frank Mazzotti, Professor, University of Florida. Invasive Wildlife and the Conservation of Biological Diversity in Florida: How do we move from behind the eight ball to ahead of the curve?
 10:20-10:35 a.m.

Break with refreshments

 10:35-11:00 a.m. Doria Gordon, Lead Senior Scientist, Environmental Defense Fund & University of Florida. Risk assessment for prevention and management.
 11:00-11:25 a.m. Walter Meshaka, Senior Curator, Section of Zoology and Botany, State Museum of Pennsylvania. The Argentine Giant Tegu, Tupinanmbis merianae (Duméril and Bibron, 1839), in Florida: What Does its Success Tell Us?
 11:25-11:50 a.m. Don Schmitz, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (retired). Critical Keys to Success Learned from Florida’s Invasive Plant Management Program in Public Natural Areas.
 11:50-12:15 p.m. Loretta Battaglia, Associate Professor, Dept. of Plant Biology, Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Laurel wilt disease: an emerging threat to biodiversity and cultural resources in Florida.

Closing Remarks 12:15-12:30 p.m.


Session Sponsors:

Center for Biological Diversity, Climate Change Session
Wright Construction Group, Habitat Session
Florida Chapter of the Sierra Club, Habitat Session
Forestery Resources Ecological, Invasion Session
Forestry Resources Inc., Invasion Session
Anonymous Donor, Invasion Session

Speaker Sponsors:

Whole Foods 
Southwest Florida Watershed Council

Florida Wildlife Federation
Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program
Johnson Engineering
Florida Association of Enviornmental Professionals
Hans Wilson & Associates
Passarella & Associates
Roetzel & Andress
Calusa Waterkeeper


Florida Gulf Coast University
College of Arts and Sciences
Office of Undergraduate Scholarship,
Department of Biological Sciences
Department of Marine and Ecological Sciences