Loyola University Chicago

Institute of Environmental Sustainability

Research Seminar Series

Upcoming Research Seminar Speakers

Each semester, IES partners with faculty, staff, and environmentally-minded individuals to bring community members and students together over a wide range of environmental topics. Seminar Speakers will share their research and knowledge on a variety of current environmental issues in today’s world.



NOV 17

3:45 p.m. -5:00 p.m.

 IES 124

Dr. Anping Chen

Forests play critical roles in providing ecological and economic services. Maintaining sustainable forest ecosystems is important for the welfare of human society. Climate change and invasive species are among the major threats to forest ecosystems across the United States, resulting in significant ecosystem degradation and an annual economic loss of billions. Moreover, the interaction between climate change and the success of invasive species can cause ecosystem consequences that are more than the sum of either factor alone. However, we still know little about mechanisms contributing to the emergence of macroscale invasion patterns across the U.S. forests and how climate change may influence the invasion paths, patterns, and consequences. Dr. Chen will present work that addresses both the biological and climatic factors that allow invasive species to take a foothold in american forests.

Climate Change, Invasive Species,
and the Sustainability of U.S. Forests

Chen Flyer


OCT 20

3:45 p.m.-
5:00 p.m.

IES 111

Corey Jager

There are multiple dimensions of fisheries and wildlife management—the resource dimension, the institutional dimension, and the human dimension. Successful fisheries and wildlife management requires understanding and integrating each of these dimensions. This presentation will describe the human side of fisheries and wildlife management, and share examples of how the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation has used human dimensions research to inform decision-making. Jager will discuss cases of introduced wildlife legislation and the strategies employed to lobby for the interests of a state wildlife agency and its stakeholders, as well as the overarching implications these legislative initiatives have on wildlife management in Oklahoma.

The People and Politics of Wildlife Management in Oklahoma

Jager Flyer


3:45 PM - 5:00 PM 

IES 111

Dr. Ray Dybzinski

Our culture is awash in ideas that are contradicted by the well-established theory of natural selection. For example: “Everything in nature is in balance (until humans get involved).” Or: “(Except for humans) the natural community works together for the betterment of all.” In his seminar, Dr. Dybzinski will explore these myths, and replace them with something that is (1) grounded in science and (2) ultimately more hopeful for the planet’s future. The myth of the balance of nature - OR - If a species is trashing the planet, why humans are the best-case scenario

Dybzinski Flyer


3:45 PM - 5:00 PM

IES 123


Dr. Max Melstrom

In the US, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) protects vulnerable wildlife and prohibits habitat destruction of these sensitive areas. This inevitably burdens natural resource industries with land use restrictions. However, voluntary conservation agreements with assurances (VCAAs) can incentivize habitat conservation while avoiding the need to protect a species under the ESA. In his presentation, Dr. Melstrom will explore the behavior of oil and gas companies operating in the habitat of the lesser prairie chicken, a candidate for listing under the ESA. Petroleum companies can participate in conservation by enrolling wells in VCAAs or avoiding habitat sites. Agreements such as these can lead to the protection of endangered species, such as the lesser prairie chicken, and reduce the reliance upon the ESA and its protective services.

Will the petroleum industry participate in habitat conservation for imperiled species?

Melstrom Flyer

  Mariyana Spyropoulos


Mariyana Spyropoulos, President of the Board of Commissioners of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, will join IES for our Research Seminar Series to discuss her work in public service and how she has been a champion for water and environmental issues.