Acclaimed plant ecologist to headline virtual lectureship

In the world of plant ecology and conservation, Robin Wall Kimmerer is considered a rock star.  

She is also the featured speaker of the 2021 Marcia Monroe Conery Lectureship Series sponsored by the Tulane University Department Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

Kimmerer, a world-renowned professor, speaker and author of acclaimed books on humanity’s relationship to nature, will speak via Zoom Friday, Feb. 26 from 11 a.m. to noon. Her talk is titled “What Does the Earth Ask of Us.” To register, click here.

Kimmerer is a Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology at SUNY and the founder and director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment, which creates sustainability programs that draw on the wisdom of indigenous and scientific knowledge.

An enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she is the author of such books as “Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teaching of Plant” and “Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses,” which was awarded the John Burroughs Medal for outstanding nature writing. She is also the author of numerous scientific papers on plant ecology, bryophyte ecology, traditional knowledge and restoration ecology.

“Dr. Kimmerer uses an interdisciplinary approach to share with us about the traditions and practices of the indigenous people, inspire us as teachers to see the students as we share knowledge in every learning space,”  said D. Jelagat Cheruiyot,  a Professor of the Practice in the Department of  Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and organizer of the lecture.

“More importantly, she reminds us of our deeper connection with every living organism and therefore we should respect and protect the space we share with one another.”

Nathan Jessee, a visiting assistant professor in the Environmental Studies Program of the School of Liberal Arts, another sponsor, agreed on the significance of Kimmerer’s lecture.

“Dr. Kimmerer's work offers so much to us in this region, where ongoing Indigenous-led struggles to protect the land, steward traditional ecological knowledge, sustain lifeways, and assert rights to self-determination are often dismissed by researchers and state officials.”

The lectureship is named for Marcia Monroe Conery (1938-1993), an early and ardent conservationist and a founder of the Audubon Louisiana Nature Center. When she died at age 55, a group of friends and family members established an annual conservation lecture in her name.

Co-sponsors of Kimmerer's lecture include the School of Science and Engineering, the Center for Scholars in the Tulane University School of Liberal Arts, the Provost, the Tulane Center for the Gulf South, Newcomb-Tulane College & the Tulane University Mellon Graduate Program in Community-Engaged Scholarship.