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The Harris World Ecology Center’s long-term vision is to reverse the trend of biodiversity loss through community education, research, and the training of students who then take on decision-making positions in regions and countries where biodiversity is threatened. As one of the premiere institutions for graduate studies in ecology and biodiversity conservation in the United States, the Harris Center is training the next generation of global conservation and ecology professionals. The Jane and Whitney Harris Lecture Series enables the Harris Center to bring in experts across the nation to share their knowledge and experiences with our students and our community. This event is free to the public and is held in partnership with the Saint Louis Zoo, Missouri Botanical Garden, and the St. Louis Academy of Sciences. 

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Most Recent Event (May 2023)

Dr. Richard Primack

Walden Warming: Climate Change Comes to Thoreau’s Woods

The Whitney R. Harris World Ecology Center at the University of Missouri–St. Louis in partnership with the Saint Louis Zoo is pleased to bring back the Jane and Whitney Harris Lecture Series. Our guest lecturer for this event was Dr. Richard Primack.

A graduate of Duke University, Dr. Primack currently is a professor at Boston University. The geographic focus of his research is primarily based in Concord, Massachusetts thanks to expansive records kept by Henry David Thoreau in the 1850's. In Dr. Primack's words, "We are also using Concord as a living laboratory to determine which species are the most sensitive indicators of climate change, how invasive species are affecting plant communities, the possibility of ecological mismatches between groups of species, and the population dynamics of native plant species. With many colleagues, we are currently investigating the implications of an ecological mismatch between trees and wildflowers due to the greater sensitivity of trees to a warming spring."

Dr. Primack's lecture focused on his current research and findings that led to the publication of his book Walden Warming: Climate Change Comes to Thoreau's Woods