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Black Ecologists – Shaping the Science of Ecology

ESA Water Cooler Chat February 26, 2021

In honor of Black History Month, ESA is pleased to host a conversation with three Black ecologists at different stages of their career. Learn about their research focus, how that developed and how it has shaped their careers. In what ways are they shaping the science of ecology? Bring your favorite beverage and be inspired.

Guest Speakers

Dr. Rashidah Farid, Research Assistant Professor, Wildlife Ecology, Ecosystem Sustainability and Ecological Resilience (ESER) Lab, Tuskegee University. Dr. Rashidah Farid, is a Wildlife Ecologist with a broad range of knowledge and research interests in population ecology, molecular genetics, wildlife management, sustainable agriculture and endangered species conservation. She joined the Tuskegee Faculty in 2019. Prior to that she has had an action-packed career including work for the US Army and the National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service. She is a recipient of the McKnight Doctoral Fellowship. At Tuskegee, she runs her own Ecosystem Sustainability and Ecological Resilience (ESER) Lab which focuses on conservation of southeastern biodiversity that contributes to ecosystem management, community resilience (of humans and wildlife) and promotes sustainable agriculture.

Dr. Amina Pollard, Researcher, Lead, National Lakes Assessment (NLA), US Environmental Protection Agency. Amina Pollard is a limnologist and ecologist at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Pollard leads the U.S. EPA National Lakes Assessment, which seeks to provide information on the health of lakes, ponds, and reservoirs across the United States. Research by Pollard and colleagues has advanced our understanding of how environmental change and the structure of landscapes influence freshwater communities and ecosystems. She currently serves on the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) board of directors (2018-2021), chairs ASLO’s annual awards committee, and is a scientific advisor to Canada’s Lake Pulse research program

Dr. Steward Pickett, first Black ESA President (2011-2012), Distinguished Senior Scientist, Plant Ecology, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. Dr. Pickett is an expert in the ecology of plants, landscapes, and urban ecosystems. The founding director of the Baltimore Ecosystem Study (1997-2016), he also co-directed the Urban Sustainability Research Coordination Network. This project established lasting, interdisciplinary connections between urban designers, policymakers, and managers; the National Science Foundation deemed the project a model for research coordination networks. Pickett’s research focuses on the ecological structure of urban areas and vegetation dynamics, with national and global applications.

Moderator: Teresa Mourad, Director, Education and Diversity Programs, ESA