Speakers – Early Career Scientists Symposium



Steward T.A. Pickett :

Steward T.A. Pickett

Distinguished Senior Scientist and Plant Ecologist, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

Talk title: An ecology of segregation: what does race have to do with ecology? What does ecology have to do with race?

Brief bio: Dr. Steward Pickett is an expert in the ecology of plants, landscapes, and urban ecosystems. Recipient of the Ecological Society of America's 2021 Eminent Ecologist Award, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and the founding director of the Baltimore Ecosystem Study (1997-2016), Pickett also co-directed the Urban Sustainability Research Coordination Network. His research focuses on the ecological structure of urban areas and vegetation dynamics, with national and global applications. Among his research sites: vacant lots in urban Baltimore, primary forests in western Pennsylvania, post-agricultural fields in New Jersey, China’s rapidly urbanizing Yanqi Valley, and riparian woodlands and savannas in Kruger National Park, South Africa.


Image: Courtesy Cary Institute

Nicholas J. Reo :

Nicholas J. Reo

(Sault Ste Marie Ojibwe)

Associate Professor of Indigenous Environmental Studies, Dartmouth College

Dr. Reo will host the ECSS 2022 Anti-racism Panel Discussion

Brief bio: Dr. Nicholas Reo is an Associate Professor of Native American and Environmental Studies at Dartmouth College where he studies Indigenous knowledge and ecological stewardship on Indigenous lands. He blends ecological, anthropological and Indigenous methodologies in his work, often via tribal community-university partnerships.



Karen Bailey :

Karen Bailey

Assistant Professor, Environmental Studies, University of Colorado Boulder

Talk title: Centering our humanity in ecology and environmental studies to support inclusion, justice and equity

Brief bio: Dr. Karen Bailey is interested in human-environment interactions, climate change, and sustainable rural livelihoods. She is an interdisciplinary environmental social scientist and combines social science research with environmental and ecological data to understand feedbacks between communities and their environments, how we can build resilience to climate change, and how to support landscapes that meet human needs and sustainability goals. She also has an emphasis on justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in environmental fields and STEM more broadly and is committed to research that supports, amplifies and engages the most vulnerable among us. Her current projects focus on climate adaptation in southern Africa, human health and well-being in east Africa, barriers to entry in natural resource fields, just and equitable climate change research, and urban communities and environmental engagement.


Robin Michigiizhigookwe Clark :

Robin Michigiizhigookwe Clark

Postdoctoral Scholar, Michigan Technological University

Dr. Clark will participate in the Anti-racism Panel Discussion led by Dr. Nicholas Reo

Brief bio: Dr. Robin Clark completed her Ph.D. in 2021 from the Michigan Technical University. For her dissertation, she conducted collaborative research with the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians and Bay Mills Indian Community, using integrated social and ecological analyses to better understand Giizhik (Thuja occidentalis L.) forest communities in the Eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan and to assert good Anishinaabe relations with them.


Nicolas Gauthier :

Nicolas Gauthier

Assistant Curator, Artificial Intelligence for Biological/Cultural Diversity, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida

Talk title: Putting people in the Earth system

Brief bio: Dr. Nicolas Gauthier is an anthropologist, geographer, and Earth system scientist who uses methods and tools from the geosciences to study past and present human societies, specializing on building models of coupled natural-human systems, focusing on the feedbacks between population growth, food production, and climate change over the past 10,000 years. His most recent work demonstrates the influence of indigenous human societies on nature over the past 12,000 years. He received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from Arizona State University in 2019.


Fushcia-Ann Hoover :

Fushcia-Ann Hoover

Assistant Professor, Geography and Earth Sciences, University of North Carolina Charlotte

Talk title: Green infrastructure planning for justice; myth, mystery or the future?

Brief bio: Dr. Fushcia-Ann Hoover is an Assistant Professor in Green Infrastructure, Environmental Justice, Urban Planning, Socio-ecological Systems at the University of North Carolina Charlotte. She is an interdisciplinary researcher who explores social and environmental relationships within an urban setting with a focus on environmental justice and equity. She received her Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Ecological Sciences and Engineering from Purdue University.


Katie L. Kamelamela :

Katie L. Kamelamela

Postdoctoral Researcher, Akaka Foundation for Tropical Forests

Dr. Kamelamela will participate in the Anti-racism Panel Discussion led by Dr. Nicholas Reo

Brief bio: Dr. Katie Kamelamela is a postdoctoral research associate at the Akaka Foundation for Tropical Forests, an organization that seeks to safeguard and preserve tropical forests in Hawai‘i through incorporation of Indigenous land management practices. She obtained a Ph.D. in Botany and Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology at the University of Hawai‘i and is currently determining how historical and current knowledge can provide insight with regards to the onset and mitigation of drought in Hawai‘i.


Alex Moore :

Alex Moore

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Princeton University High Meadows Environmental Institute

Talk title: Holistic restoration: incorporating science and culture into conservation

Brief bio: Dr. Alex Moore is an Assistant Professor in Forest and Conservation Sciences and Botany at the University of British Columbia, where their research focuses on ecology and conservation that incorporates the values and needs of local communities. They obtained their Ph.D. in Forestry and Environmental Studies from Yale. They are also a graduate of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (M.S. and B.S.) at the University of Michigan.



Sabrina Shirazi :

Sabrina Shirazi

Postdoctoral Researcher, The University of Oklahoma and The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Talk title: Ecological research on stolen Indigenous land

Brief bio: Dr. Sabrina Shirazi is currently a postdoc with Dr. Courtney Hofman in the Laboratories of Molecular Anthropology and Microbiome Research (LMAMR). She started in October  2021 after finishing her Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she focused on the use of ancient and environmental DNA for conservation and developing our understanding of historical ecology. Throughout her graduate work, Shirazi was the lead- scientist at UCSC for CALeDNA, a state-wide research and outreach initiative aiming to bring community scientists and researchers from across the state together to learn, teach, and study the biodiversity of California. In her current postdoc, she is working in collaboration with the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, The Nature Conservancy, and the Santa Ynez tribal band of the Chumash Indians (SYBCI) on conservation and archaeological- focused projects. These projects use ancient and environmental DNA to answer many questions on the current and past ecosystem, and human-ecosystem interactions, on the Jack and Laura Dangermond Preserve, just north of Santa Barbara, Calif.


Lynette Renae Strickland :

Lynette Renae Strickland

NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Memphis

Talk title: The power of diverse perspectives in science: a personal account

Brief bio: Dr. Lynette Strickland is a NSF postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Biodiversity Research at the University of Memphis. Strickland is an evolutionary biologist, her current research focus on interactions between intraspecific variation in sequestration ability of herbivorous insects, larval survival, and adult palatability using transcriptomics, gene editing technologies and biological field assays. Strickland's Ph.D. work on color variation of tortoise beetles was inspired by her personal story which she details in the popular Dynamic Ecology Blogpost titled "A personal account of why science needs inclusion." Strickland has also coauthored articles about the importance of inclusion in the sciences in high-profile journals.


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