ON JUNE 30, 2009, THE BRI PROGRAM OFFICE WILL BE CLOSING DOWN TEMPORARILY. THE ACTING DIRECTOR OF BRI AND THE BRI EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE ARE WORKING TO REINSTATE STAFF AND WE HOPE TO BEGIN PROGRAM ACTIVITIES AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. WE DO NOT ANTICIPATE ANY CHANGES TO THE UPCOMING FALL 2009 BRI BIOLOGY AND CONSERVATION LECTURE SERIES OR TO THE 2010 NORTHEAST NATURAL HISTORY CONFERENCE, SO PLEASE PLAN ACCORDINGLY.
Archive of Past Lectures
The following page is an archive of a past lecture series.
For the current or upcoming lecture series please visit
Biology and Conservation Lecture Series.
Invaders Lecture Series
Overview: This series explores the effect of non-native organisms on the environment and economy of New York State.
Confronting Biological Invasions: A Growing Environmental Problem
Presenter: Dr. David Strayer, Institute for Ecosystem Studies
Date and Time: Wednesday, May 7, 2008 at 7:00 p.m.
Lecture Overview: Species introductions are now one of the most important ways that human activities affect the Earth's ecosystems. Species that are deliberately or accidentally introduced by humans cause billions of dollars in economic damages and endanger native species around the world. Here in New York, species such as the zebra mussel, the chestnut blight, the hemlock wooly adelgid, and carp have transformed most of our ecosystems, and more problematic species are on the way. This talk will review the history and impacts of a few prominent invaders, review the extent and causes of species introductions, and propose the elements of a solution to this large and growing environmental problem.
Biological Invasions: How Mild Species Go Wild
Presenter: Dr. George Robinson, Department of Biological Sciences at the State University of New York at Albany
Date and Time: Wednesday, May 14, 2008 at 7:00 p.m.
Lecture Overview: The majority of exotic plants and animals brought to New York are not threatening to natural or agricultural systems, because they are unable to establish wild populations that spread. Invasive species owe their aggressiveness and influence to a combination of inherent traits (like high reproduction and dispersal ability) and circumstances (like nutrient pollution or escape from natural enemies). Scientists have begun to develop guiding principles to predict the potential for a newly-introduced organism to become a problem species. These will be discussed using case studies that illustrate potential “rules” for reducing risky introductions. However, our ability to predict invasiveness remains limited, due to evolutionary “wild cards.” Exotic species evolve to take advantage of their new surroundings, and human cultures evolve in ways that open up new opportunities for invaders.
Worm Invasions: Predatory Planarians, Earthworms, and Novel Ecologies
Presenter: Dr. Peter K. Ducey, Department of Biological Sciences at the State University of New York at Cortland
Date and Time: Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 7:00 p.m.
Lecture Overview: Terrestrial planarians from Asia, as well as earthworms presumably from Asia and Europe, are now widely distributed in the United States, including many parts of New York State. These earthworms and predatory flatworms could have negative impacts on our backyards, agricultural fields, and natural ecosystems by altering physical and biological components of these habitats. The extent of the negative impact may depend on the ecological interactions among the invaders, in addition to the interactions between invasive and native species. Although some research has been completed on the biology of the invasive planarians, important gaps in our knowledge remain.
Detecting Invasive Species: The Primary Mission of the New York State Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey Program
Presenter: Kennoth L. Carnes, State Survey Coordinator with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets
Date and Time: Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 7:00 p.m.
Lecture Overview: Invasive species and the early detection of exotic/globally introduced species that could damage NYS agricultural crops is the primary mission of Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey (CAPS). NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets, Division of Plant Industry have teamed up with the USDA APHIS/PPQ to organize and implement the best survey technologies. Ken Carnes will address these technologies, trapping protocols, and provide handouts of the 2008 NY-CAPS targets. The “Invaders“ display in the NYS Museum feature CAPS specimens and our trapping strategies. Come and learn more about early detection of invasive species and how you can get involved.
The Invaders Lecture Series is sponsored by
the New York State Biodiversity Research Institute