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Evolutionary Studies hosts National Academy Member Sharon Strauss for Earth Day

Posted by on Tuesday, April 2, 2024 in Uncategorized.

By Danielle Bowden, Evolutionary Studies administrative specialist

Evolutionary Studies at Vanderbilt is thrilled to announce Sharon Strauss as our keynote speaker for our Earth Day seminar. This seminar, titled, “Evolution and plasticity of the niche, with implications for species coexistence,” will be held in Buttrick 102 on April 17 at 3:30pm.

Strauss, Distinguished Professor Emerita at the University of California, Davis, has made great contributions to the fields of community ecology and evolutionary ecology. Her research explores the relationship between species within ecosystems, shedding light on the mechanisms that shape ecosystem dynamics. She is interested in how the role of coevolution, demonstrating how species evolve in response to each other, influences ecological relationships.

Some of her work focuses on plant-insect interactions and the evolution of plant defenses. Strauss’s studies have provided valuable insights into how plants develop defenses against herbivores, showcasing the dynamic and adaptive nature of these ecological relationships.

Strauss earned her Ph.D. at Florida State University where she received the Murray F. Buell Award for Excellence in Ecology from the Ecological Society of America. In 2013 she was recognized with a UC Davis Distinguished Teaching Award. She was elected to the American Association for the Advancement of Science and recently to the National Academy of Sciences.

In one of her most recent interviews, she speaks about the challenges of being a woman Scientist and her struggle to make her way into academia. Earth Day recognizes that environmental challenges affect not only ecosystems but also human health and well-being. The celebration of Earth Day expresses the appreciation we have for our planet.

The Evolutionary Studies Initiative at Vanderbilt University fosters collaboration amongst scholars from diverse disciplines with a shared passion for evolution-related fields. Please join us on April 17 to be part of our Earth Day seminar with Sharon Strauss.


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