Saturday's Featured Speaker
Susan Finkbeiner, Ph.D.
Susan is an entomologist and evolutionary biologist whose research focuses on butterfly diversity, ecology, and evolution. Her previous research has used Heliconius butterflies to examine how natural and sexual selection work together to favor the evolution of butterfly wing patterns, how wing signals may drive the evolution of social behavior in the context of visual ecology, and how butterfly visual systems coevolve with specialized visual cues. Her current research aims to understand the ecological and evolutionary processes that shape temporal and spatial patterns of Adelpha butterfly biodiversity. Susan received her B.Sc. in Entomology from Cornell University while receiving her Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Irvine. She is currently a postdoctoral research associate at Boston University.
Sunday's Featured Speaker
Larry is a celebrated nature photographer and sought-after instructor who has been observing and documenting wildlife activity for over 4 decades…full time for 17 years. His butterfly, bird, wildlife and landscape photos appear regularly in Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine, Birds & Blooms, and Texas Highways. Ditto is a previous winner of the prestigious Valley Land Fund Wildlife Photo Contest with his good friend Greg Lasley. His work may be seen in the Valley Land Fund's books as well as the coffee table books, Texas Wildlife Portfolio andTexas: A Photographic Journey.
Ditto's outdoor career began with training as a wildlife biologist (BS degree from Texas A&M University in Wildlife Science). After that, he was a refuge manager in the National Wildlife Refuge System for 29 years. Today, he stays connected to the outdoors by leading nature photography safaris, workshops and instructional photo tours when he is not judging photography contests and advising landowners on how to establish their own wildlife photography ranch. Take a look at his web site, www.larryditto.com, to see galleries with thousands of photos and his available workshop schedule.
Monday's Keynote Speaker
Gerard Talavera, Ph. D.
Gerard is a postdoctoral researcher at the Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ), Harvard University. Originally from Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain), he spent a large part of his childhood in the Pyrenees mountains, where he developed an early passion for exploring nature. Gerard's research navigates among ecology, evolution, genomics and the link between biodiversity and biogeography and has had an impact in diverse fields. He has committed to understanding the evolution of several groups of butterflies, particularly the Lycaenid blues. His most recent research focuses on the evolution of migratory strategies in butterflies, and he currently leads a challenging project: unraveling the worldwide migratory routes of Painted Ladies. To track these migrations he has led more than 20 scientific expeditions in five continents. On a more personal note, he spends his free time climbing mountains, a passion for exploration shared with the study of biodiversity.