Distinguished Scientist Seminar Series

A number of distinguished scientists are invited to give lectures and meet with SES students each year. It is an opportunity for students to hear from some of the country’s top practitioners and to find out about their research and current concerns. During the visit of each of these scientists, the SES students are able to question them closely about everything from basic science to environmental problems to the availability of graduate programs.



2019 Speaker Bios

Michael Pace, University of Virginia
Professor and Chair, Dept. of Environmental Sciences
“Cross Boundary Fluxes, Trophic Cascades, and Ecosystem Stability Explored with Whole Lake Experiments”
September 13 — 3:00 PM, Speck Auditorium, Rowe Building

Serita Frey, University of New Hampshire
Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences
“Going Underground: Unearthing the Role of the Soil Microbiome in a Warmer, Fertilized World”
September 27 — 3:00 PM, Loeb G70 Auditorium

A.J. Pershing, Gulf of Maine Research Institute
Chief Scientific Officer
“Survival Skills for the Anthropocene: What Marine Heatwaves and other Ocean Surprises Can Teach Us About Living in a Warming World”
October 11 — 3:00 PM, Lillie Auditorium

Jennifer Jenkins, ENVIVA LP
Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer
“Modern Bioenergy’s Role in the Global Energy Transition”
October 25th — 3:00 PM, Loeb G70 Auditorium



2018 Speaker Bios

Sarah Das, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Associate Scientist, Dept. of Geology and Geophysics
“Meltdown! Polar Ice Sheets in a Warming World”
September 14 — 3:00 PM, Speck Auditorium

James Fourqurean, Florida International University
Director, Center for Coastal Oceans Research
Professor, Marine Sciences Program
“Seagrasses are disappearing in Bermuda: Is pollution or sea turtle conservation to blame?”
September 21 — 3:00 PM, Speck Auditorium

Pat Glibert, University of Maryland
Center for Environmental Science, Horn Point
“Eutrophication and harmful algal blooms: the complexities of changing nutrients”
October 19 — 3:00 PM, Loeb G70 Auditorium

Dr. Eric Seabloom, University of Minnesota
Dept. Ecology, Evolution & Behavior
“Grassland ecosystems and global change: Insights from NutNet, a globally-replicated experiment”
November 9th — 3:00 PM Speck Auditorium



2017 Speaker Bios

Heidi Sosik, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI)
Senior Scientist, Biology Department
Life in the Plankton, Stories from Automated Submersible Microscopy and Flow Cytometry
September 15th — 3:00 pm, Lillie Auditorium, MBL

Shahid Naeem, Columbia University
Professor of Ecology and Chair, Dept. of Ecology, Evolution, & Environmental Biology
Director, Earth Institute Center for Environmental Sustainability
The Multiple Dimensions of Biodiversity Loss: Examples from a Temperate Forest, Alaskan Tundra, and the Avifauna of the Solomon Islands
September 29th — 3:00 pm, Speck Auditorium, MBL

Daniel H. Buckley, Cornell University
Professor, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, School of Integrative Plant Science
The Secret Lives of Soil Microbes
October 20th — 3:00 pm, Loeb Laboratory G70, MBL

Galen McKinley, Columbia University / Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory
Professor, Dept. of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Understanding the Ocean’s Role in the Global Carbon Cycle
October 27th — 3:00 pm, Speck Auditorium, MBL


2016 Speaker Bios

Tony D’Amato
Associate Professor, Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, University of Vermont
Sustaining Forest Ecosystems in the Face of Global Change
September 16th — 3:00 PM, Lillie Auditorium

Tim Essington
Associate Director and Professor, School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington
Balancing Tradeoffs in Ecosystem Services: Forage Fish, Marine Fisheries, and Food Webs
September 23rd— 3:00 PM, Lillie Auditorium

Donald Canfield
Director Nordic Center for Earth Evolution (NordCEE) & Professor of Ecology, University of Southern Denmark
Breathing Easy at Night: Atmospheric Oxygen and Biological Evolution
October 14th — 3:00 PM, Lillie Auditorium

Susan Kidwell
William Rainey Harper Professor, Dept. of the Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago
Dead Shells Do Tell Tales: Evaluating Human Impacts Using the Youngest Fossil Record
October 28th— 3:00 PM, Lillie Auditorium

2015 Speaker Bios

Mercedes Pascual
Professor, Dept. of Ecology & Evolution, University of Chicago
Infectious Disease Dynamics under a Changing Climate
September 18th — 2:30 PM, Lillie Auditorium

Nancy Grimm
Professor, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University
The Future of Cities: Addressing Challenges from the Collision of Urbanization and Climate Change
October 23th — 3:00 PM, Lillie Auditorium

Cheryl Palm
Director of Research & Senior Research Scientist, Agriculture and Food Security Center
Earth Institute, Columbia University
Agricultural Intensification in Africa: Implications for the Environment and Livelihoods
October 30th — 3:00 PM, Lillie Auditorium

James Famiglietti
Senior Water Cycle Scientist, Leader, NASA, Jet Propulsion Laboratory Water Initiative
Professor Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine
Water Cycle Change and Global Groundwater Depletion as Viewed from Space
November 13th — 3:00 PM, Lillie Auditorium

2014 Speaker Bios

Cathy Pfister
Professor, Dept. of Ecology & Evolution, University of Chicago
Productivity on rocky shores: from microbes to animals
September 12th, 3:00 PM, Speck Auditorium

John Blair
University Distinguished Professor, Edwin G. and Lillian J. Brychta Professor of Biology, Kansas State University
Assessing Multiple Controls of Primary Productivity in Tallgrass Prairie: The Konza Prairie LTER Program
September 19th, 3:00 PM – Speck Auditorium

Jill Baron
US Geological Survey, Co-Director, John Wesley Powell Center for Earth System Science
Senior Scientist, Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, Colorado State University
Double whammy: both reactive nitrogen in deposition and climate change influence in high elevation Rocky Mountain ecosystems
October 10th, 3:00 PM
Speck Auditorium, Rowe Building

Daniel Conley
Professor in Biogeochemistry, Department of Geology
Lund University, Sweden
Is “geo-engineering” an acceptable solution for Baltic Sea eutrophication?
October 24th , 3:00 PM – Lillie Auditorium

2013 Speaker Bios

Jonathan Patz
University of Wisconsin
Dept. of Population Health Sciences, Director of the Global Health Institute
The Global Climate Emergency: Turning a crisis into an opportunity for public health
September 13 — 3:00 PM, Speck Auditorium, Rowe Building, MBL

Mary Power
University of California, Berkeley, Department of Integrative Biology
Food webs in warming rivers
September 20 — 3:00 PM, Speck Auditorium, Rowe Building, MBL

Charles Vorosmarty
City College of New York
Department of Civil Engineering and Distinguished Scientist
NOAA-Cooperative Remote Sensing Science and Technology Center
Twenty-first Century Water Systems and the Hippocratic Oath
October 25 — 3:00 PM, Speck Auditorium, Rowe Building, MBL

Raymond Pierrehumbert
University of Chicago
Louis Block Professor of Geosciences
Much ado (much too much ado) about methane and other short lived climate forcing agents
November 1 — 3:00 PM, Lillie Auditorium

2012 Speaker Bios

Mark Kurz
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Noble gases from the deep Earth, cosmogenic nuclides and landscape evolution (Why biologists should care)
September 14, 3 PM, Speck Auditorium

Christy Goodale
Cornell University
Nitrogen-deposition effects on forest carbon sequestration
September 21, 3 PM, Speck Auditorium

Russell Schmidt
UC Santa Barbara
Abrupt state change and resilience in marine ecosystems: What coral reefs are telling us
October 5th, 3 PM, Loeb G70, MBL

Sarah Hobbie
University of Minnesota
Biogeochemical fluxes through neighborhoods and households in the Twin Cities, Minnesota
October 25th, 3 PM, Loeb G70

2011 Speaker Bios

Scott Doney
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Rising atmospheric CO2 and ocean acidification
September 16, 3 PM, Speck Auditorium

Edward DeLong
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Exploring marine microbial diversity, from genomes to biomes
September 30, 3 PM, Speck Auditorium

Bridget Emmett
Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Environment Centre, Wales.
How are soils changing and what are the impacts for ecosystem services?
October 14, 3 PM, Redfield Auditorium, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Kevin McCann
University of Guelph
Lake food web expansion and contraction: Nature flexes its muscles.
October 28, 3 PM, Speck Auditorium, MBL

Robert Twilley
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Risks, Reorganization and Restoration of Deltaic Coasts as Landscapes on the Edge: Perspectives from the Mississippi River Delta
November 18, 3 PM, Speck Auditorium, MBL

2010 Speaker Bios

Carlos Duarte
Spanish Research Council
Facing the global loss of seagrass meadows: Trends, causes, outlook and opportunities
September 17

Ken Buesseler
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Understanding the ocean’s biological pump
September 24

Christopher Reddy
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Searching for Subsurface plumes in the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon accident
October 15

Thompson Webb III
Brown University
Climate warming and vegetation changes in North America since the ‘Last Ice Age’ 21,000 years ago
October 29

Monice Turner
University of Wisconsin
Landscape heterogeneity, disturbance and ecosystem function
November 5

2009 Speaker Bios

Mark Serreze
Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado
Environmental impacts of a shrinking Arctic sea ice cover
September 18

Peter Groffman
Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
Exotic earthworm invasion and soil carbon in forests
September 25

George Kling
University of Michigan
Using ecosystems science to solve problems: The case of killer lakes in Africa
October 23

Cabell Davis
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
The effects of local to climate scale physical forcing on the Northwest Atlantic fishery ecosystem: Will climate change cause a collapse?
October 30

Bess Ward
Princeton University
Biogeochemistry and molecular ecology of the marine nitrogen cycle
November 6

2008 Speaker Bios

Peter Ward, University of Washington
Is past global warming in deep time a clue to the near future on Earth?
September 12

Steward Pickett, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
Urban ecology: Approach and insights as illustrated by the Baltimore Ecosystems Study Long-Term Ecological Research project
September 26

Ivette Perfecto, Dept. of Natural Resources and Environment
University of Michigan
Special ecology in a coffee agroecosystem: Implications for biological control of pests and diseases
October 24

Ruth DeFries, Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory
Columbia University
Land use transitions in the tropics
October 31

2007 Speaker Bios

Mike Behrenfeld, Oregon State University
New insights into global ocean primary production
September 14

Tim Fahey, Cornell University
Energy supply for the below-ground community
September 28

Kristina Sundback
Göteborg University, Sweden
Role of benthic microalgae in nutrient cycling and resilience in shallow water sediment systems
November 2

Ian Bowles
Secretary of the Environment and Energy, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Science, public policy and economics of clean energy in the Commonwealth
November 16

2006 Speaker Bios

Paul Mayewski, University of Maine
Naturally and humanly forced climate change – an ice core perspective
September 15

Margaret Palmer
University of Maryland Chesapeake Biological Laboratory
What happens to terrestrial carbon when it enters aquatic ecosystems?
September 29

Barbara Bond
Oregon State University
Size matters: Impacts of big trees and big mountains on water fluxes
October 20

James Cloern
U. S. Geological Survey
The altered states of San Francisco Bay: Surprises from three decades of observation
October 27

John Holdren
Woods Hole Research Center
Meeting the climate change challenge
November 17