Program and Agenda

Keynote Address and Plenary Sessions

Keynote Address

Sunday 18 May 2014

Randy Olson, Scientist & Filmmaker

Randy Olson, is the writer/director of the feature films, “Flock of Dodos: The Evolution-Intelligent Design Circus,” (Tribeca ’06, Showtime ’07), “Sizzle: A Global Warming Comedy” (Outfest ’08), and author of “Don’t Be Such a Scientist: Talking Substance in an Age of Style” (Island Press ’09). His work focuses on the challenges involved in communicating science to the general public, and the current attacks on mainstream science in fields such as evolution and climate science. He is a former marine biologist (Ph.D. Harvard University) who achieved tenure at the University of New Hampshire before changing careers to filmmaking by obtaining an M.F.A. in Cinema from the University of Southern California. In addition to writing and directing his own feature films about major issues in science, he has worked with a variety of clients to assist them with the use of visual media in communicating science to the general public. Through his writings he has both related his journey, and continues his exploration into the role of storytelling in the mass communication of science.

Plenary Lectures and Presentations

Monday, 19 May 2014

Stuart Bunn, Griffith University – Australian Rivers Institute

The Global Water Crisis: is freshwater ecology effectively informing the debate?

Professor Bunn is the Director of the Australian Rivers Institute at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia.  His major research interests are in the ecology of river and wetland systems with a particular focus on the science to underpin river management, and he has published widely in this field.   Stuart has extensive experience working with international and Australian government agencies on water resource management issues.   From 2008-2012, he was appointed as an Australian National Water Commissioner and has previously served as Chair of the Scientific Advisory Panel for the Lake Eyre Basin Ministerial Forum and as a Director of Land and Water Australia. He is currently Chair of the Executive Scientific Expert Panel for the Southeast Queensland Healthy Waterways Partnership and a member of the Advisory Committee for Social, Economic and Environment Science for the Murray-Darling Basin Authority.  He is also a member of the Scientific Steering Committee for the Global Water System Project.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Laurel Larsen, University of California – Berkeley

Pattern from Process and Process from Pattern: Simple strategies for understanding complex dynamics in aquatic landscapes

Laurel Larsen is an Assistant Professor in the Geography Department at the University of California, Berkeley. Her work focuses primarily on how flowing water structures the form and function of landscapes, with emphases on the Florida Everglades, wet meadows across the US, and intermittent streams in coastal California. Larsen’s Environmental Systems Dynamics Laboratory takes a complex-systems approach to environmental problems, seeking to understand the set of interactions and feedbacks that produce emergent phenomena. The lab’s approach to problems integrates field work and numerical modeling to identify the most critical drivers of landscape-scale change and generate predictions about how landscapes will respond to climate change or changes in management.

Larsen attributes many of her current research interests to a childhood spent exploring the wetlands and forests of Florida. Her educational background is broad, with an undergraduate degree in Systems Science and Mathematics and Masters in Earth and Planetary Science from Washington University in St. Louis, and a PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Subsequently, she was employed as a Research Ecologist in the National Research Program of the USGS in Reston, Virginia before moving to Berkeley in January 2013.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Ginger Armbrust, University of Washington

Genomic insights In Microbial Ecosystems

Dr. Armbrust earned her Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; in Biological Oceanography, and her B.A., Stanford University, in Human Biology. Dr. Armbrust is currently the Director, of the School of Oceanography, at University of Washington. She is also is a Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Marine Microbiology Investigator 2012-2017. She was elected a member of the Washington State Academy of Science in 2012 and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2012 as well.

Phytoplankton are the main focus of the Armbrust Lab’s research. These organisms are responsible for about 50% of the total amount of photosynthesis that occurs on our planet. They play a critical role in the global carbon cycle and ultimately in global climate. Because much of the organic carbon generated by phytoplankton is used by bacteria and archaea, we also study phytoplankton interactions with other microbes.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Patricia Soranno, Michigan State University

Landscape limnology: Understanding freshwaters at regional to continental scales

Dr. Patricia A. Soranno is a professor at Michigan State University in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife. She is a freshwater ecologist who conducts both basic and applied research that integrates freshwater ecosystems into a landscape perspective. She has spent the last 20 years conducting collaborative research on lakes to build a more formal conceptualization of landscape limnology based on a foundation of landscape ecology and limnology. She has also conducted work for several state and tribal natural resource agencies to apply these principles to problems facing freshwater ecosystems, including nutrient criteria and ground-water withdrawal. She is currently leading an interdisciplinary NSF-funded project to integrate lake nutrient datasets from 17 US states into a multi-scaled geospatial database to further develop the conceptual foundation of landscape limnology that can ultimately be applied to freshwater policy and management at local to continental scales.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Julian Olden, University of Washington - School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences

Fish out of water: Will freshwater fishes keep pace with climate change?

Julian Olden is an Associate Professor at the University of Washington and spends his time studying invasive species, ecohydrology, biogeography, and food web ecology of freshwater ecosystems. Growing up on a sailboat on the waters of Lake Ontario, Julian conducted his undergraduate studies in the Department of Zoology at the University of Toronto. It was during this time that his passion for freshwater conservation was first sparked; specifically while hauling nets choked with squirming white suckers. Next, Julian received his Master’s Degree in Zoology at the University of Toronto, his doctorate in the Ecology Program at Colorado State University, and then was awarded a David H. Smith Conservation Post-doctoral Fellowship to work in the Center for Limnology at the University of Wisconsin. Nowadays, Julian and his students are working hard to save the world, one fish at a time.