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The KBS Eminent Ecologists Series brings well-known ecologists and evolutionary biologists to KBS each summer to interact with KBS faculty, students and staff for week-long visits. The program began in Spring/Summer 1983 and has welcomed more than eighty distinguished speakers from around the globe to KBS (EE Speakers 1983-2015 ).

Each speaker gives one or more informal evening lectures, open to the public, and presented in conjunction with a graduate seminar, 'Current Topics in Ecology & Evolution' [ZOL/PLB/CSS 891]. Undergraduate and graduate students may enroll in the course for either 1 or 2 credits; students who plan to  fully participate in the course and attend multiple seminars are encouraged to enroll for 2 credits. Enrollment is not required to attend seminars (but encouraged).

Students enrolled in the course participate in group discussions, individual meetings and field trips with the speakers where they can discuss their research interests and future plans. While the program is designed as a graduate seminar for students in residence at KBS, undergraduate or graduate students from MSU's main campus or from other institutions are encouraged to enroll and can take the course for 1 or 2 credits depending on their interest and involvement in course activities.

Eminent Ecologists include scientists who work on a variety of important topics in ecology and evolutionary biology (see below). For more information about the course, how to enroll or to schedule a meeting with a speaker, please contact the Graduate Teaching Assistant, Melissa Kjelvik (kjelvikm@msu.edu) or the instructor, Dr. Kay Gross (kgross@kbs.msu.edu).



Seminars are held in the auditorium in the Academic Building of KBS and begin at 7:30 p.m.

The 2015 Eminent Ecologists will be:


May 18-22, 2015

Dr. Peter Adler Utah State University



Seminar 1: May 18, 2015

Really, really stable coexistence in plant communities: Evidence and implications

Reading 1: Adler et al. 2010. Coexistence of perennial plants: an embarassment of niches.

Reading 2: Adler et al. 2012. Forecasting plant community impacts ofclimate variability and change: when do competitive interactions matter. Associated corrections


Seminar 2: May 20, 2015

A constructive critique of the ecological forecasting program

Reading 1: Adler et al. 2013. Can the past predict the future? Experimental tests of historically based population models.

Reading 2: Blog Post and discussion on Dynamic Ecology: Ecological forecasting: why I'm a hypocrite and you may be one too


June 8-12, 2015

Dr. Nancy Grimm, Arizona State University


Seminar 1: June 8, 2015

The future of cities: addressing challenges from the collision of urbanization and climate change

Reading 1: Grimm et al. 2008Global change and the ecology of cities. Supplemental Materials

Seminar 2: June 10, 2015

The only certainty is change: reflections on a stream, a city, and a public university

Reading 1: Grimm et al. 2013 . Viewing the urban socio-ecological system through a sustainability lens: lessons and prospects from the Central Arizona–Phoenix LTER programme.

Reading 2: Harms and Grimm 2008Hot spots and hot moments of carbon and nitrogen dynamics in a semi-arid riparian zone.

Reading 3: Roach and Grimm 2011 . Denitrification mitigates N flux through the stream–floodplain complex of a desert city.

Supplemental Information: Arizona State University Charter



July 13-17, 2015

Dr. Nelson Hairston Jr., Cornell University


Seminar 1: July 13, 2015

Taking it easy in the fast lane: Prolonged dormancy meets rapid evolution in the plankton

Reading 1: Fussmann_et_al._2005 Ecological and evolutionary dynamics of experimental plankton communities

Reading 2: Yoshida et al. 2003 Rapid evolution drives ecological dynamics in a predator-prey system

Seminar 2: July 15, 2015

Eco-evolutionary dynamics in models, bottles & nature

Reading 1: Becks et al. 2012 The functional genomics of an eco-evolutionary feedback loop: linking gene expression, trait evolution, and community dynamics

Reading 2: Hairston et al. 2005 Rapid evolution and the convergence of ecological and evolutionary time



Former speakers:

Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 September 2015 18:17