Rogalski Center Ballroom
Holly Menninger, PhD, Director of Public Science for Your Wild Life based at North Carolina State University, will give the Hauber Lecture, "The Biodiversity in Our Daily Lives: Partnering With the Public to Study the Species Living on Us, in Us, and Around Us."
Typically, the term biodiversity conjures up images of far off places, exotic locales like the lush rainforests of the Amazon or the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. It's probably safe to say that no one thinks immediately of the belly button. But for Menninger and a team of researchers and science communicators affiliated with the Your Wild Life Program at North Carolina State University, it's exactly the place they think of, the more personal and familiar the better. Menninger and her team study the biodiversity associated with our daily lives - they want to understand the ecology and evolution of the species living on us, in us and around us - in our belly buttons, on our faces, in our living rooms, in our basements, in our backyards and neighborhoods. More unique, perhaps, than the habitats they study, are the collaborators Menninger and team seek in this research: YOU. They are pushing the frontiers of citizen science, where scientists and the public partner in real scientific research.
Holly Menninger, PhD, is the Director of Public Science for Your Wild Life. She earned a BS in biology from Denison University (2000) and a PhD in ecology from the University of Maryland (2007). Her research interests lie at the intersection of science and society. She has investigated the consequences of human activities on ecological communities and processes - from the effects of cleaning habits on the bacterial diversity in our homes to the consequences of land-use change on stream ecosystem function. She's passionate about engaging the public in the process of science and moving the outcomes of research into the hands of people who need it. Prior to her time at North Carolina State, Menninger worked in science policy at the American Institute of Biological Sciences (2007-2008) and in extension and natural resource management at Cornell University (2008-2011). She's authored a number of peer-reviewed scientific publications, policy articles, and popular science articles. From 2009-2011, she co-hosted and produced a popular local radio program and podcast called Science Cabaret on Air (91.7 FM, WICB, Ithaca, NY).