Category Archives: lecture

Wednesday, April 30, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – Walden Warming: Climate Change Comes to Thoreau’s Woods

In his meticulous notes on the natural history of Concord, Massachusetts, Henry David Thoreau records the first open flowers of highbush blueberry on May 11, 1853. If he were to look for the first blueberry flowers in Concord today, mid-May would be too late. In the 160 years since Thoreau’s writings, warming temperatures have pushed blueberry flowering three weeks earlier than in Thoreau’s time. The climate around Thoreau’s beloved Walden Pond is changing, with visible ecological consequences. In his new book, Walden Warming, Richard B. Primack, PhD, Professor of Biology, Boston University,  uses Thoreau and Walden, icons of the conservation movement, to track the effects of a warming climate on Concord’s plants and animals. Under the attentive eyes of Primack, the notes that Thoreau made years ago are transformed from charming observations into scientific data sets. Primack finds that many wildflower species that Thoreau observed have declined in abundance or have disappeared from Concord. Hear how warming temperatures have altered these and other aspects of Thoreau’s Concord, from the dates when ice departs from Walden Pond in late winter, to the arrival of birds in the spring, to the populations of fish, salamanders, and butterflies that live in the woodlands, river meadows, and ponds. The Arnold Arboretum program will take place Wednesday, April 30, from 7 – 8:30 in the Hunnewell Building of the Arboretum.  Free for Arboretum members, $5 for nonmembers.  Register online at www.my.arboretum.harvard.edu.

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Thursday, April 24, 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm – The Race for Spring: How Climate Change Alters Plant Communities

Climate change research indicates that “biological spring” has shifted earlier in most parts of the world, with plants leafing and flowering approximately one week earlier than a century ago. Such work uses plant phenology—the timing of life-history events—to track responses to warming. Plant phenology is strongly linked to climate, can be easily observed, and affects important ecosystem services, thus it is one of the most reported and critical indicators of climate change. However it is also one of the most variable—showing remarkable variation across species, habitats, and time. Elizabeth Wolkovich, PhD, Assistant Professor at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, (and talented photographer – see below) will speak about her research aimed at improved prediction of this variation and how temporal assembly and species attributes may interact with phenology to shape current and future plant communities. The program will be held in the Hunnewell Building of the Arboretum on Thursday, April 24, from 6:30 – 7:30. Free, but registration requested at www.my.arboretum.harvard.edu.

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Saturday, April 26 – Sunday, April 27, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm – Bay State African Violet Show and Sale

The Bay State African Violet Society puts on another spectacular show at Tower Hill Botanic Garden April 26 – 27 featuring America’s favorite houseplant, the African Violet (Saintpaulia sp.). All are welcome to enter their own plants and floral designs for judging to win ribbons and prizes. Participate in workshops on African Violet care. Start your own collection at the sale, where commercially grown plants and supplies are sold, along with plants grown by members.

Schedule of Events:

Saturday April 26, 2014

11:30am and 1:30pm
Lecture Demonstration
How to repot a violet: guidelines for when to repot, demonstration of how to repot, potting down a neck, removing old leaves and suckers. Propagation of African violets: how to leaf propagate, timetable for growth, and separating baby plantlets. This workshop will also include general care of African violets: identifying types, soil and fertilizer, watering, lights, schedule for repotting.

3pm – Guided Walk-through of the Show
Commentary on African violets, how they are judged, what denotes an award winning violet, discussion of the different sizes and types of violets; overview of the designs, including the hows and whys of flower design using African violets.

Sunday April 27, 2014

11:00am and 1:30pm
Lecture Demonstration
How to repot a violet: guidelines for when to repot, demonstration of how to repot, potting down a neck, removing old leaves and suckers. Propagation of African violets: how to leaf propagate, timetable for growth, and separating baby plantlets. This workshop will also include general care of African violets: identifying types, soil and fertilizer, watering, lights, schedule for repotting.

12:15pm
Guided Walk-through of the Show
Commentary on the African violets, how they are judged, what denotes an award winning violet, discussion of the different sizes and types of violets; overview of the designs, including the hows and whys of flower design using African violets.

Educational Display
A member will be available at the Educational Table to answer questions and give more informal demonstrations to smaller groups of people.

African Violet Basic Care Video will be played in the workshop/education room.

Cost: Included with admission to Tower Hill.  For more information visit www.towerhillbg.org.

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Tuesday, April 29, 5:00 pm – 44th Annual Meeting of the Friends of the Public Garden

You are cordially invited to the 44th Annual Meeting of the Friends of the Public Garden on Tuesday, April 29, at 5 pm, at First Church in Boston, 66 Marlborough Street, Boston.  The featured speaker will be Bill Walczak, Vice President of External Relations at Shawmut Design and Construction, and a member of the Friends Council.  His topic is Opportunities for Parks in Boston’s New Political Environment.  He is a long-time parks advocate and was a candidate for Mayor of Boston in 2013.  Reception to follow. Kindly respond by April 22 to 617-723-8144, or email info@friendsofthepublicgarden.org.

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Tuesday, April 22, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm – The Balance of Nature: Ecology’s Enduring Myth

The idea of a balance of nature has been a dominant part of Western philosophy since before Aristotle, and it persists in the public imagination and even among some ecologists today. In his lively and thought-provoking book, The Balance of Nature: Ecology’s Enduring Myth, John Kricher, Professor of Biology at Wheaton College demonstrates that nature in fact is not in balance, nor has it ever been at any stage in Earth’s history. John will explain how and why this notion of a natural world in balance has endured for so long, and show why, in these times of extraordinary human influence on the planet’s ecosystems, it is critical that we accept and understand that nature is constantly in flux, and, in effect, quite naturally out of balance.

This Arnold Arboretum lecture will take place Tuesday, April 22 at 6:30 pm in the Hunnewell Building of the Arboretum. Free for Arboretum members, $10 for nommembers. Register online at www.my.arboretum.harvard.edu.

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Tuesday, April 29, 10:00 am – Boston Committee Spring Lecture and Luncheon

The Boston Committee of the Garden Club of America will hold its Spring 2014 Lecture and Luncheon on Tuesday, April 29, at The Country Club, 191 Clyde Street, Brookline.  Guest speaker Catie Marron, co-chair of the board of directors of Friends of the High Line, and Vogue magazine editor, is the author of the recently released book City Parks: Public Places, Private Thoughts.  “We live in our parks, and our parks live in us.  Parks are where we make loose appointments with friends, where we smooth out our nerves, where we introduce our babies to the outside world.  Parks are of the earth, they are of the people, and they are first and foremost, free.”  Catie will escort us on a literary and photographic journey focused on the gift of Parks in our lives.

Registration and coffee will begin at 10:00 am, and the lecture begins at 10:30 am.  An optional luncheon will follow the lecture.  Garden Club of the Back Bay members will receive a written invitation and a car pool notice in the mail.  For others who wish to attend, email info@bostoncommittee.org.

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Wednesday, April 16, 6:00 pm – The Arnold Arboretum: An Urban Gem of Landscape and Diversity

William Friedman, PhD, Arnold Arboretum and Arnold Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, will speak on America’s oldest public arboretum and discuss new initiatives in collections development, botanical and horticultural research, and programs for the public. From mapping an urban wild with drones to climate change studies to Tree Mobs and sophisticated GIS-based collections management, come learn what old trees and new thinking are up to in the heart of Boston and the Emerald Necklace. Wednesday, April 16, 6:00pm refreshments; 6:30pm lecture at the Hunnewell Building of the Arnold Arboretum, the Arborway, Boston.Free for Arnold Arboretum and BSLA members, $10 nonmembers. Offered with the Boston Society of Landscape Architects.  Register on line at www.my.arboretum.harvard.edu.

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Monday, April 14, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – Uncorking the Past: The Quest for Wine, Beer, and Extreme Fermented Beverages

Call 617-384-5277 and join the wait list for the Arnold Arboretum’s Director’s Lecture Series April 14 offering, Uncorking the Past: The Quest for Wine, Beer, and Extreme Fermented Beverages, presented by Patrick E. McGovern, PhD, Scientific Director, Biomolecular Archaeology Laboratory for Cuisine, Fermented Beverages, and Health at the University of Pennsylvania Museum.  The presentation begins at 7 at the Weld Hill building at the Arboretum.
Fermented beverages have probably been with the human race from its beginning in Africa. Following a tantalizing trail of archaeological, chemical, artistic, and textual clues, Patrick E. McGovern, the leading authority on ancient alcoholic beverages, will describe how enterprising our ancestors were in concocting a host of beverages from a vast array of natural products (honey, grape, barley, rice, sorghum, chocolate). As humans spread around the planet, this had profound effects on our cultural and biological development. Some of these beverages, including the earliest alcoholic beverage from China (Chateau Jiahu), the mixed drink served at the King Midas funerary feast (Midas Touch), and the chocolate beverage (Theobroma), have been re-created by Dogfish Head Brewery, shedding light on how our ancestors made them and providing a taste sensation and a means for us to travel back in time. The talk will be followed by a tasting of ancient beers recreated by Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales. Participants in the tasting must be 21 or older.  $10 Arboretum member, $20 nonmember

Read about an ancient Nordic grog, McGovern’s latest beverage discovery, and it re-creation. Fermented beverages have probably been with the human race from its beginning in Africa. Following a tantalizing trail of archaeological, chemical, artistic, and textual clues, Patrick E. McGovern, the leading authority on ancient alcoholic beverages, will describe how enterprising our ancestors were in concocting a host of beverages from a vast array of natural products (honey, grape, barley, rice, sorghum, chocolate). As humans spread around the planet, this had profound effects on our cultural and biological development. Some of these beverages, including the earliest alcoholic beverage from China (Chateau Jiahu), the mixed drink served at the King Midas funerary feast (Midas Touch), and the chocolate beverage (Theobroma), have been re-created by Dogfish Head Brewery, shedding light on how our ancestors made them and providing a taste sensation and a means for us to travel back in time. The talk will be followed by a tasting of ancient beers recreated by Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales. Participants in the tasting must be 21 or older.
$10 member, $20 nonmember

Read about an ancient Nordic grog, McGovern’s latest beverage discovery, and its re-creation, at http://www.penn.museum/press-releases/1031-patrick-mcgovern-nordic-grog.html.

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Wednesday, April 16, 1:00 pm – Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens: An Armchair Visit

Experience a photo tour of this fabulous plant paradise in Boothbay, Maine, with garden designer and Wellesley College Botanic Garden Friends docent Maureen Bovet on Wednesday, April 16, at 1 pm.  Maureen returns to this garden by the sea as often as possible.  Opened in 2007 after 16 years of planning, the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens offers visitors stunning beauty and intimate experiences as it enhances the botanical heritage and natural landscapes of its 250 acres in coastal Maine.  CMGB Director Bill Cullina describes it best with the subtitle of his book about the garden: “A People’s Garden.”  Friends of Wellesley College Botanic Gardens – free; nonmembers $10. Register by calling 781-283-3094, or email wcbgfriends@wellesley.edu. Image below from the Garden Club of the Back Bay’s favorite photographer Rich Pomerantz.

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Sunday, April 27 – Wednesday, April 30 – The 22nd Annual Newport Symposium: East Meets West, Centuries of Exchange

Join The Preservation Society of Newport County to celebrate the centennial of Alva Vanderbilt Belmont’s Chinese Tea House at Marble House through an exploration of the complex and varied responses to the Far East – real and imagined – in the visual arts of Western Europe and The United States. On Sunday, April 27 – Wednesday, April 30, leading scholars will discuss the exchange of objects and the myriad interpretations of “Chinoiserie” through the lens of European and American architecture, furniture, painting, ceramics, textiles, gardens and collections from the 18th through the 20th centuries.

Newport has been a nationally significant repository for treasures from the Far East from its Golden Age in the eighteenth century to the Gilded Age. Boasting examples ranging from the rich collections of China trade objects at Hunter House (c. 1748), Kingscote (1841), and Chateau-sur-Mer (1852) to the incorporation of 18th century Chinese lacquer panels into the decoration of The Elms (1902), the Preservation Society’s properties provide a uniquely focused lens through which participants will see the interplay of Eastern and Western design influences on American design and decorative arts. Featured speakers include:

Sir Hugh Roberts
Former Director of the Royal Collection and Surveyor of the Queen’s Works of Art
United Kingdom

Joan de Jean
Trustee Professor of French, University of Pennsylvania

Lee Glazer
Curator of American Art, Freer-Sackler Galleries (Smithsonian)
Washington, D.C.

Carolyn Sargentson
Senior Research Fellow, Victoria and Albert Museum
London

Judy Bullington
Chair, Art Department, Belmont University
Nashville, TN

Ronald Fuchs
Curator, Reeves Collection, Washington & Lee University
Lexington, VA

Laurie Brewer
Assistant Curator of Costume and Designs, Rhode Island School of Design
Providence, RI

Maggie Lidz
Estate Historian, Winterthur Museum, Delaware

Noel Fahden Briceno
Category Manager, Vintage and Antiques, One King’s Lane

Admission is $500 for Preservation Society Members, $550 for nonmembers, which includes a one-year membership. Register now at http://www.newportmansions.org/events/newport-symposium or call 401-847-1000, ext. 154. There are special room rates at the Hotel Viking: log on to www.hotelviking.com, click on Reserve, click on Enter Group/Negotiated Code under the calendar, which will take you to the online booking portal, then enter online booking code 1JU603 under Special Codes.

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Thursday, April 17, 6:00 pm – How Natural Selection Shapes Contemporary Homo Sapiens

Stephen C. Stearns, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale University, will speak at the Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street, at the Harvard Museum of Natural History on Thursday, April 17, beginning at 6 pm, as part of the Evolution Matters Lecture Series. Have modern sanitation and medicine stopped human evolution, as some claim? Does the pressure for sexual selection of males constrain the evolution of females, and vice versa? Does having children shorten or extend life? Analyzing the data from the renowned Framingham Heart Study, a long-term study initiated in 1948 that continues to this day, evolutionary biologist Stephen Stearns will explore how natural selection has shaped women’s bodies and physical health, and how reproduction has affected women’s average lifespan.

The Evolution Matters Lecture Series is supported by a generous gift from Drs. Herman and Joan Suit. Free and open to the public, with free event parking at the 52 Oxford Street Garage.  For more information visit www.hmnh.harvard.edu.

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Friday, April 25 – New England Landscape Design & History Association Annual Reception

NELDHA’s Annual Reception and Lecture will take place on Friday, April 25, 2014 at the beautiful MIT Endicott House in Dedham, Massachusetts. The featured speaker will be Lucinda Brockway, Director for Cultural Resources for the The Trustees of Reservations, where she guides the wonderful restoration of the historic gardens at Castle Hill in Ipswich and Naumkeag in Stockbridge. She was an award-winning landscape designer and preservationist, serving a national clientele for twenty-five years before coming to the trustees.

Through her firm, Past Designs in Kennebunk, Maine, Lucinda’s work included such well-known projects as Fort Ticonderoga’s Jardin du Roi, Newport’s Bellevue Avenue estates, the Battle Green (Lexington, Massachusetts), Villa Finale in San Antonio ,Texas, the Camden Amphitheatre in Maine and several other projects for the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Her private residential designs won recognition throughout the country. She specialized in designing period-inspired landscapes and gardens featuring both historic and indigenous plants. She is the author of two books, A Favorite Place of Resort for Strangers and Gardens of the New Republic.

Times and ticketing information will be available at www.neldha.org.

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Friday, April 11, 10:00 am – 2:30 pm – Merging Conservation and Agriculture in New England

A series of lectures entitled Merging Conservation and Agriculture in New England will take place in the Harvard Forest Seminar Room, Harvard Forest, 324 N. Main Street, Petersham, on Friday, April 11 from 10 – 2:30. The day’s schedule is as follows:

10:00 a.m. New England Food Vision with Brian Donahue of Brandeis University

Find out more about the New England Food Vision: http://foodsolutionsne.org/new-england-food-vision. This vision is, in part, an extension of the Wildlands and Woodlands vision for New England: http://www.wildlandsandwoodlands.org/home.

11:00 a.m. Exploring the Interactions between Nature and Farming

Conrad Vispo, Claudia Knab-Vispo, Anna Duho, Kyle Bradford – Hawthorne Valley Farmscape Ecology Program http://farmscapeecology.org/

Looking for feedback we will outline our rationale and draft methods for an upcoming pilot project in the Hudson Valley to explore: 1) what nature can provide to farming (in terms of animal-mediated ecological ‘services’), 2) what farming can provide to nature (in terms of habitats for native plants and animals), and 3), what information is most useful for farmers and land trusts working with agricultural lands. See http://hawthornevalleyfarm.org/fep/
12:00 p.m. Lunch and Discussion. Please bring your own lunch
1:00 p.m. Walk Exploring Agriculture & Conservation Management with David Foster – Director, Harvard Forest
This walk will meet in the Harvard Forest Common Room and carpool to the former Petersham Country Club and Bryant Farm, which have been purchased by the Harvard Forest and are one-half mile from Shaler Hall. Joined by ecologists Glenn Motzkin, Professor Martha Hoopes from Mount Holyoke College, the speakers, Harvard Forest staff including John Wisnewski and Audrey Barker Plotkin, and others we will walk the landscape to discuss Harvard Forest plans to graze the land with an objective of developing a series of conservation grasslands while studying and documenting the process.

For additional information call David R. Foster, 978-724-3302.

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Saturday, April 12, 12:30 pm – Orchids That Grow With Carnivorous Plants

The April meeting of the New England Carnivorous Plant Society will take place Saturday, April 12 beginning at 12:30 pm at Roger Williams Park Botanical Center in Providence, Rhode Island.  Frank Meglio will give a presentation entitled Orchids That Grow With Carnivorous Plants, sure to inform both carnivorous plant and orchid enthusiasts.  For directions and information visit www.necps.org.

Photo of yellow fringed orchid with hooded pitcher plant from www.fs.fed.us.

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Sunday, April 6, 2:00 pm – The Salisbury Gardens and Greenhouses

Today, the 1772 Salisbury Mansion and the 1838 Salisbury House in Worcester are surrounded by a large parking lot. This was not always the case. Gardens and greenhouses once graced the grounds of Stephen Salisbury III’s house. James A. Welu, Director Emeritus of the Worcester Art Museum, will give us a glimpse of the house and his many unusual plants with an illustrated talk based on photographs taken by Salisbury’s gardener around 1900. The talk will take place on Sunday, April 6 beginning at 2 pm at Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive, Boylston, Massachusetts. Free with admission. Sponsored by the Worcester Garden Club, Preservation Worcester, and Tower Hill Botanic Garden as part of the Lost Gardens of Worcester County project. You may register in advance at www.towerhillbg.org.

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Tuesday, April 8, 7:30 pm – The American Natural History Tradition

The April meeting of the Cambridge Entomological Club will be held Tuesday, April 8 at 7:30 pm in Room 101 of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Oxford Street, Cambridge. Professor William Leach will present a talk about the American Natural History Tradition.

If we want to understand why Americans started to collect and study butterflies in the 19th century, we must first understand the evolution of natural history itself. Originating in Europe and England, natural history acted as a language of interpretation and as a way of understanding nature that opened it up. It revealed to Americans what butterflies were all about and why they mattered and were worthy of study and reflection. By the 1870s a brilliant group of American butterfly men had emerged, their ideas forged within the heart of this tradition. They made a profound contribution to natural history, bringing to it a radical Darwinian analysis and a passion for life histories perhaps unrivaled by any of their contemporaries. This talk will examine the character of natural history in America between 1865 and 1885 and the way men such as William Henry Edwards, Benjamin Walsh, (former CEC president) Samuel Scudder, Herman Strecker, Augustus Radcliffe Grote (pictured below,) and William Doherty transformed and enriched it.

The meeting is free and open to the public. Snacks will be provided and you are also welcome to join us at 6:00 PM for an informal pre-meeting dinner at the Cambridge Common.

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Saturday, April 12, 10:00 am – 12:00 noon – Northeast Wildflowers to Brighten Your Spring Garden

Learn about the importance of native wildflowers and how to bring them into the garden setting, on Saturday, April 12 from 10 – noon at the Berkshire Botanical Garden, at a talk and book signing with author Carol Gracie. Wildflowers brighten the New England woodlands in spring and are more than just a delight for the eye and a lift for the winter-weary spirit. Each has a role in the environment and often has interesting interactions with pollinators and seed dispersers. Learn about the fascinating life histories of some favorite spring wildflowers. Topics include adaptations for early blooming, medicinal and other uses, the origin of wildflower names, pollination and seed dispersal. A book sale and signing of Carol’s beautiful newly published Spring Wildflowers of the Northeast: A Natural History will follow the talk.

Carol Gracie is a naturalist and photographer with a degree in plant studies from Lehman College of the City University of New York. She is retired from The New York Botanical Garden, where she headed the Children’s Education Program and the Foreign Tour program and taught in the Continuing Education Program. In 2006 she co-authored (with Steve Clemants) Wildflowers in the Field and Forest: A Field Guide to the Northeastern United States. Her latest book, Spring Wildflowers of the Northeast: A Natural History, was published in March of 2012.

$25 for BBG members, $30 for non-members.  Sign up at www.berkshirebotanical.org or call 413-298-3926, x 15.

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Wednesday, April 9, 7:00 pm – Container Gardening with Herbs

Betsy Williams, a renowned gardener and herb grower, will demonstrate how to use container gardening with herbs and flowers to enhance your daily life. In this Pepperell Garden Club event on Wednesday, April 9, beginning at 7 pm at the Pepperell Senior Center, 37 Nashua Road in Pepperell, she will show us how herbs and flowers can be used in cooking, potpourri, and floral arrangements to add beauty, flavor, meaning and fragrance to seasonal celebrations. $5 fee. For more information call Club president Lisa Moran at 978-433-3672.  Photo from www.gardenlandscapeideas.org.

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Wednesday, April 9, 6:30 pm – Hostas: The Funkia the Better

Apologies to everyone out there who is groaning.  On Wednesday, April 9, the Aptucxet Garden Club will sponsor a free program at the Bourne United Methodist Church with Sue Dubrava, co-owner of Cochato Nursery.  Sue will give a presentation entitled Hostas: The Funkia the Better, on creating a shade garden by combining multiple hostas with other shade plants.  For more information visit www.aptucxetgardenclub.com. Image from www.houzz.com.

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Friday, April 4, 4:00 pm – Forty Years of Evolution on the Galapagos

A special free talk has been underwritten by Sinauer Associates, Inc at UMASS-Amherst. The talk is Forty Years of Evolution on the Galapagos by Rosemary and Peter Grant, Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University. The talk will be April 4th, 2014 starting at 4:00 pm in the Isenberg School of Management room 137 (see UMASS-Amherst home page for map). (Refreshments served at 3:45pm). Seating on first come basis (and this room only seats about 200).

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