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Summer Lecture Series

The annual Summer Lecture Series at the University of Michigan Biological Station explores scientific topics and celebrates notable achievements. Our lecture series is free and open to the public, allowing interested community members to learn more about the natural world, and the Biological Station.

We are located at: 9133 Biological Rd., Pellston, MI 49769.

Our series features All-Camp Lectures and Research Seminars. Speakers from all over the country and the UMBS Community are invited to participate and share their work. We encorage everyone, including our students, faculty, researchers, and the public, to attend.

All events start at 7:30 pm in the Marian P. and David M. Gates Lecture Hall Auditorium (All-Camp Lectures) or Alumni Room (Research Seminars). Please join us!

ANNOUNCING: The 2019 Summer Lecture Series

Olin Sewall Pettingill (left) and colleagues.

Our endowed lectures honor former instructors at UMBS:

  • Ralph E. Bennett Lecture in Mycology and Plant Biology
  • Harry Hann Lecture in Ornithology
  • Olin Sewall Pettingill Lecture in Natural History

This year's endowed lecturers are:

  • Dr. Gail Patricelli, University of California, Davis, Hann Lecturer
  • Dr. George Bullerjahn, Bowling Green State University, Bennett Lecturer

The 2019 Summer Lecture Series will also feature climate change talks from UMBS Director Knute Nadelhoffer and long-time General Ecology instructor David Karowe.

June 6: Confronting our Emerging Global Climate Crisis in Northern Michigan

Thursday, June 6, 7:30pm

Dr. Knute Nadelhoffer, Director, University of Michigan Biological Station

All-Camp Lecture, Gates Lecture Hall

Climate change is upon us and its impacts on our health, economic well-being, and security are rapidly accelerating, at both the global scale and within our Great Lakes region. It is also threatening the integrity of the ecological systems that purify our water, cleanse our atmosphere, and provide us with other environmental and economic benefits. This talk will describe the causes of and evidence for climate change, and will compare the predicted effects of alternative climate change mitigation actions on our region. It will conclude with recommendations for effective policies aimed at minimizing and eventually reducing the most severe consequences of our unfolding climate crisis. 

June 30: Two Possible Climate Futures in the Great Lakes Region

Sunday, June 30, 7:30 p.m.

Dr. Dave Karowe, Western Michigan University

All-Camp Lecture, Gates Lecture Hall

Climate change is likely to be the most serious environmental challenge in history, with profound implications for species and ecosystems worldwide. This talk will address past and future climate change in in the Great Lakes Region, and predicted effects on our aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, including forests, lakes, and streams. Impacts on human health and effective technologies and personal behaviors for minimizing the adverse effects of climate change in the Great Lakes Region will also be discussed.

July 9: Robots, Telemetry, & the Sex Lives of Wild Birds: Using technology to study courtship and conservation

Tuesday, July 9, 7:30 p.m.

Dr. Gail Patricelli, University of California, Davis

All-Camp Lecture, Gates Lecture Hall

Dr. Gail Patricelli, professor in the department of Evolution & Ecology and chair of the Animal Behavior Graduate Group at UC Davis, is giving the Hann Endowed Lecture in Ornithology at the U-M Biological Station. The lecture is open to students, faculty, researchers, and the public.

Dr. Patricelli's research interests include behavioral ecology, bioacoustics, and conservation in birds, with a focus on understanding the diversity and complexity in animals signals. Current projects address breeding behaviors, sexual selection, acoustic communication, and the effects of noise pollution on sage-grouse and other wildlife.

Per her UC Davis lab website:

"The signals used by animals to communicate are among the most beautiful features of the natural world, including a dizzying array of sounds, smells, colors, dances, electrical fields and seismic vibrations. Research in the Patricelli Lab addresses the function of these signals and why they take on such diverse and complex forms. Our approach has been integrative, examining functional, environmental and mechanistic influences on signal content and design. One of the central goals of research in the lab is to understand how signals are influenced by the social and environmental contexts in which they are used. To accomplish this, we have pioneered new techniques and technologies for the detailed observation and experimental manipulation of both visual and acoustic signals in the field, including biomimetic robots and microphone arrays."

July 10: Courtship behavior in a changing world: basic science in the conservation of sage-grouse

Wednesday, July 10, 7:30 p.m.

Dr. Gail Patricelli, University of California, Davis

Research Seminar, Alumni Room (2nd Floor Gates Lecture Hall)

Dr. Gail Patricelli will give a focused research seminar extrapolating on her all-camp lecture, including sage-grouse courtship behavior, research techniques, the importance of basic science, and implications for species conservation.

July 23: Our Health and the Health of the Great Lakes

Tuesday, July 23, 7:30 p.m.

Dr. George Bullerjahn, Bowling Green State University

All-Camp Lecture, Gates Lecture Hall

Dr. George Bullerjahn, distinguished research professor at Bowling Green State University, will give the Bennett Endowed Lecture at UMBS.

Dr. Bullerjahn's research focuses on enumeration and the physiological performance of phototrophs and ecologically important chemolithotrophs in aquatic systems. He and his lab examine the composition and dynamics of cyanobacterial and nitrifying communities in freshwater environments, focusing primarily on the N and P cycles in the Laurentian Great Lakes. These studies assist in the assessment of factors contributing to toxic cyanobacterial bloom events in freshwaters.

July 24: Planktothrix and Microcystis - the toxic twins of Lake Erie

Wednesday, July 24, 7:30 p.m.

Dr. George Bullerjahn, Bowling Green State University

Research Seminar, Alumni Room

In this focused research seminar, Dr. Bullerjahn will dig into the factors behind the infamous harmful algal blooms afflicting Lake Erie.

August 1: Treaty Rights, Climate Change, and Bio-Cultural Sovereignty

Thursday, August 1, 7:30 p.m.

Dr. Nicholas J. Reo, Dartmouth College

All-Camp Lecture, Gates Lecture Hall

Dr. Nicholas J. Reo, Associate Professor of Native American and Environmental Studies at Dartmouth College, will give the Pettingill Endowed Lecture in Natural History at UMBS.

Dr. Reo is a citizen of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. At Dartmouth, hestudies Indigenous knowledge and ecological stewardship on Indigenous lands. Dr. Reo blends ecological, anthropological and Indigenous methodologies in his work, often via tribal community-university partnerships.