October 4-6, 2013

Humboldt State University


Check back for updates...


Tyrone Hayes, PhD. (UC Berkeley)

Tyrone's research focuses on the role of steroid hormones in amphibian development, conducting both laboratory and field studies in the U.S. and Africa. His two main areas of interest are metamorphosis and sex differentiation, but he is also interested in growth (larval and adult) and hormonal regulation of aggressive behavior. His work addresses problems on several levels including ecological, organismal, and molecular. In 2002, Nature published research by Hayes and colleagues showing that "developing male frogs exhibited female characteristics after exposure to atrazine ... at exposure levels deemed safe by the US Environmental Protection Agency." More recently, Hayes has been a co-author on work that details atrazine inducing mammary and prostate cancer in laboratory rodents and highlights atrazine as a potential cause of reproductive cancers in humans.

Tyrone's presentation is on FRIDAY @ Noon .. which may not be the most convenient time for everyone .. for this reason, we are considering ways to screen the filming of his presentation at another time during the course of the weekend or in the very near future. - - We hope you can all still make it in person on Friday at Noon (when you can meet Tyrone and ask questions) and we apologize for any inconvenience.

At Bio Conf 2013, Tyrone will explore the challenges that scientists face in advocating for a position based on strong scientific findings and the importance of scientists being vocal.  He will emphasize his own career and the obstacles put before him as he builds a case for the important role of advocacy in the world of science despite advocacy having historically been considered a 'four letter word.'

Check out his talk from last year →


Nick Haddad, PhD. (North Carolina State University)

Dr. Nick Haddad is interested in the causes and consequences of biodiversity loss, and he studies strategies to protect biodiversity. Much of his research has focused on how to overcome the leading cause of species extinction, the loss and fragmentation of native habitats. His experiments have focused on the role of habitat corridors as the most prominent landscape-scale strategy to protect biodiversity. In practice, the use of corridors has increased over the past decade to mitigate the consequences of increasing habitat fragmentation, and of global warming as species’ ranges shift. Haddad’s outreach and ongoing research in experimental and natural landscapes will continue to guide the use of corridors in conservation planning.

Haddad is also interested in the restoration and recovery of critically endangered species. His research has focused on the restoration of plants and animals in the threatened longleaf pine ecoregion of the southeastern United States. He also studies the rarest butterflies in the United States, including the St. Francis' satyr, Miami blue, and Crystal Skipper.  In part through this work, he has become involved in consulting on federal policy related to the Endangered Species Act.

At Bio Conf 2013, Dr. Nick Haddad will talk about what the past two decades of research has shown us about how corridors increase dispersal and increase biodiversity.  He'll also discuss new work on the broader benefits corridors may have for people living in urban, agricultural, and forested landscapes. Conservation corridors are one of the most popular methods to conserve biodiversity in fragmented landscapes.  By connecting otherwise isolated habitats, they are suspected to provide superhighways for plants and animals.  But do they work?

Learn more about Conservation Corridors here.  - -  And in this video, Dr. Haddad talks about a paper that provides an effective guideline to conservation of plants based on their evolutionary relationships. - -  See Dr. Haddad's NCSU faculty page here.


Mourad Gabriel (Integral Ecology Research Center)

Mourad Gabriel is a wildlife disease ecologist whose research focus is to investigate and understand threats to wildlife of conservation concern from both infectious (bacterial, viral, macroparasites) and non-infectious (toxicants) agents.  He completed both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at Humboldt State University focusing on wildlife ecology and the diseases that affect wildlife populations.  After graduate school, he co-founded Integral Ecology Research Center, a non-profit scientific research organization where he is senior ecologist and president. In addition to leading several interdisciplinary national and international research projects through this organization, Mourad has also mentored undergraduate and graduate students working on various wildlife conservation projects in both the field and laboratory.  He is completing his Doctorate this fall in Comparative Pathology at the University of California Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine focusing on disease threats to California wildlife.  He resides in Northwestern California where he and his wife, also an ecologist, try to spend as much time as possible outdoors and enjoying our public lands.

Mourad's Bio Conf 2013 talk is entitled, "Is the Grass Really Green? Conservation perils from illegal marijuana cultivation in California: current knowledge and unanswered questions." ~ ~ ~ Discoveries of the vast impacts that marijuana cultivation has on California's natural resources and the biological communities they support have recently emerged. However, this is a novel impact with as yet undocumented far-reaching short and long term effects.  This talk will discuss the current knowledge we have generated on the subject as well as potential scenarios of impact on biodiversity and species of conservation concern.


Jonathan Evans, J.D. (Center for Biological Diversity)

Jonathan Evans is the Toxics and Endangered Species Campaign Director and a Staff Attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity.  Mr. Evans coordinates the Center’s work to reduce the harm of toxic contamination on wildlife and the environment.  Mr. Evans has litigat¬ed cases involving the Endangered Species Act, California Environmental Quality Act, Clean Water Act, and state Planning and Zoning Law.  He has also participated in the implementation of habitat conservation plans under the state and federal Endangered Species Acts. 

Mr. Evans has lectured extensively on global warming and endangered species issues before representatives from government agencies, industry, and environmental groups.  He has also authored several journal articles on the subject of natural resource use, land use, and legislative reform of endangered species protection.  Mr. Evans received his J.D. from the University of Oregon School of Law where he was Editor-In-Chief of the Western Environmental Law Update.  He graduated with Honors from the University of California at Berkeley where he received a B.S. in Conservation and Resource Studies.
At Bio Conf 2013, Mr. Evans will discuss the Endangered Species Act as it relates to modern uses of pesticides. 

Check out CBD's website here.  They do amazing work through a variety of campaigns and we're not just saying so since they're one of this years Bio Conf sponsors!! :)

Learn more about CBD's rodenticide campaign here ...
and for FREE endangered species ringtones check out www.rareearthtones.org


Tom Stokely (California Water Impact Network)

Tom Stokely is water policy analyst and director with the California Water Impact Network .  He retired as Principal Planner with the Natural Resources Division of Trinity County in 2008.  He graduated from UC Santa Cruz in 1979 with a B.A. Degree in Biology and Environmental Studies, with honors in Biology.  He worked for Trinity County for over 23 years as a natural resources planner in various capacities, but worked on Trinity River and Central Valley Project and salmon and steelhead issues for Trinity County for most of his 23 years there.  Mr. Stokely has been a member of the California Advisory Committee on Salmon and Steelhead Trout since 1990, and is a past chairman and vice-chairman. He lives and works in Mt. Shasta, Siskiyou County, California, but prior to November 2008 he was a Trinity County resident for over 27 years.

At Bio Conf 2013, Mr. Stokely will give a presentation entitled, "Twin (Peripheral) Tunnel impacts on the Trinity and Klamath Rivers."  The topics covered will include Twin Tunnels, Central Valley Project, Trinity River Division of the CVP, lower Klamath augmentation flows, carryover storage in Trinity Lake, Sacramento-San Joaquin and the  San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary. 


Joseph Szewczak, PhD (HSU)

Dr. Joe Szewczak's research has investigated the physiological capabilities of bats and other small mammals from cold torpor in hibernation to the intense demands of flight and high altitude, and the physiological ecology of bats. His teaching includes “The Biology of the Chiroptera” at HSU, “The Ecology and Conservation of CA Bats” through San Francisco State Univ., and he has also taught bay acoustic monitoring workshops for the UniV. of CA, Bat Conservation International, and for other groups throughout the US and abroad. He began collecting recordings of bats 20 years ago with the notion that they may someday prove useful for identifying bats, and dissatisfied with available acoustic software, he developed SonoBat to facilitate the specialized tasks of viewing, analyzing, and comparing bat echolocation calls and sequences for non-invasive species recognition. He is also developing and testing methods to deter bats from approaching wind turbines with the Bats and Wind Energy Cooperative, Bat Conservation International, and the Electric Power Research Institute. - View his HSU faculty page here.

Dr. Szewczak will give a presentation entitled, "Bats in peril: Why it matters and what we can do," on Saturday at Noon in the JVD. ~ ~ Unique among mammals for their ability to fly, bats account for nearly one out of every four mammals on our planet. These eco-essential animals support vital ecosystems but because they operate mostly unheard and unseen remain underappreciated for the vital and economically valuable eco-services they provide. However, more than half the extant bat species face serious threats. This talk will explain some of their peculiar natural history and how these and other matters lead to the conservation issues that threaten bats throughout the world, and here in our own North Coast, and how we can address them.


Susan Edinger Marshall, PhD (HSU)

Susan is a soil scientist and rangeland management epxert at HSU, where she is a full professor in the Dept. of Forestry and Wildland Resources.

How has molecular genetics and ecology revolutionized soil science?
How is soil ecology different from classic "macro" ecology?
Why are soils so important for habitat, food production, waste disposal, etc?
How do humans interact with soils?

See Susan's HSU faculty page here.


Jeffrey Kane, PhD (HSU Wildland Fire Labratory)

Jeff is a fire ecologist and an HSU alumnus. 
He will also be leading fire ecology demonstrations on Saturday at Bio Conf 2013 (see schedule of events).

His talk is entitled, "No Fire, Bad Fire, Good Fire: The complexities of managing fire for biodiversity in an era of rapid change."  ~ ~ A century of fire suppression and the mounting challenges of climate change are having profound and unprecedented impacts on fire-prone ecosystems.  These novel conditions are posing numerous challenges to mangers interested in protecting natural resources and biodiversity.  Using some of the latest research and examples from northern California, this talk will discuss the importance of fire to ecosystems, the current issues that threaten many species, and possible solutions to help reduce the impacts of past management and continued climate change.

Check out Jeff's HSU faculty page here, and check out the HSU Wildland Fire Lab's page here.

Check out his talk from last year →


Micaela Szykman Gunther, PhD (HSU)

Micaela Szykman Gunther is an associate professor at HSU and chair of the Department of Wildlife.  She has been teaching in the Department of Wildlife at Humboldt State University for 8 years, and has been studying the behavior of carnivores (both African and American) for 20 years.  Prior to her arrival at HSU, she was a research fellow with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and directed a program on the reintroduction and management of African wild dogs in South Africa.  She is currently working with graduate students on species a bit closer to home, including river otters, fisher and marten.  See her faculty page here.

Conserving, protecting and managing wildlife require a great variety of biological, economic, social and scientific tools.  Modern technology has promoted the development and improvement of numerous non-invasive methods to investigate broad as well as some very detailed aspects of free-ranging wildlife populations.  In her talk at Bio Conf 2013, entitled
"The strength of non-invasive methods to study wildlife populations," she will present information on the use of non-invasive methods to conserve, protect and manage endangered African wild dogs in South Africa and North American river otters around Humboldt Bay, California.


Andrew Kinziger, PhD (HSU fisheries biologist)

Andrew P. Kinziger is an associate professor in the Department of Fisheries Biology at HSU and curator of the HSU Fish Collection (50,000 specimens and 1200 species).  He teaches Ichthyology and Conservation Genetics and his current research interests include application of genetic techniques to conservation of fish and wildlife.  Dr. Kinziger and his students are actively investigating the conservation genetics of endangered tidewater goby and the effect artificial habitat fragmentation by Klamath River dams on genetic diversity of speckled dace.  His research page is here.

At the Biodiversity Conference, Dr. Kinziger will give a presentation titled “Fishes: the most diverse vertebrate group in the world!”  The presentation will highlight fish biodiversity and contrast fishes with other major vertebrate groups (ie, birds, reptiles, mammals and amphibians).  His presentation will also describe the imperiled status of our North American freshwater fishes.
View Dr. Kinziger's HSU faculty page here.


Phillip van Mantgem, PhD (USGS)

Gov't Shutdowns affect us all ...
Phil can't join us since he works for USGS .... talk CANCELLED :/

Phil van Mantgem is a Research Ecologist with the US Geological Survey, stationed in Arcata, California. Dr. van Mantgem’s research interests include forest dynamics (with an emphasis on climate change impacts), fire ecology and the management of forested ecosystems. He received his doctorate in Ecology from the University of California, Davis. He has been studying (and enjoying) forests since 1995.  His research page can be found here.

His talk at Bio Conf 2013 is entitled, "For whom the bell tolls: processes, patterns and consequences of tree mortality." - - Tree mortality is a key demographic process that shapes forest populations.  Yet our understanding of this process is poor despite its important influences on ecosystem services such as forest productivity, wildlife habitat and carbon sequestration.  In this this lecture the audience will learn about the latest research on the mechanisms of tree mortality and how larger-scale patterns of tree mortality are changing in an era of global warming.


Kim McFarland (HSU)

Kim is working on biology M.S. in the lab of Dr. Michael Mesler at HSU. 
The primary focus of Kim's research is the mating behavior and nesting biology of native bees. She is a proud graduate of the Smithsonian Institute National Museum of Natural History Bee Course. Currently, she is a graduate student in Biological Sciences at Humboldt State University where she has been studying the life history of the beautiful dune silver bee, Habropoda miserabilis. (Don't bee fooled by the name - they are actually quite lighthearted).  She will be discussing mating strategies and nesting biology of local native bees and her approach to studying the behavior of the dune silver bee, in a talk entitled, "A birds and the bees story...of a bee: the mating and nesting strategy of the dune silver bee."


Rob DiPerna (Environmental Information Protection Center)

Rob DiPerna is an Industrial Forestry Reform Advocate at the Arcata-based Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC) .  Rob has reviewed literally hundreds of private industrial logging plans for EPIC, focusing on protection of public trust resources including threatened and endangered species, water quality, and the forests they depend on.  Rob has also supported EPIC litigation efforts through review of private industrial logging plans, and related forest practice issues.  Rob’s work provides critical monitoring and advocacy for public trust resources threatened by logging on private industrial lands in Northwest California.

At Bio Conf 2013, he will give a presentation entitled "Citizen’s advocacy in defense of biodiversity: Regulating private lands logging in California."  This presentation will discuss the laws and regulations governing timber harvest on private forestlands in California.  Rob's discussion will explore the role of citizen’s advocacy and litigation in shaping forest practice laws, regulations and policies.  It will also explore market-based approaches to regulation of environmental quality and timber production through market certification schemes.