August 30, 2023

Forest Ecology Professor and Author Suzanne Simard to Speak at West Chester UniversitySuzanne Simard

“Pioneer of Plant Communication” to Speak on Thursday, September 28, at 6:30 p.m.

Professor of Forest Ecology and Author of Finding the Mother Tree SUZANNE SIMARD will speak at West Chester University on Thursday, September 28, at 6:30p.m.  The event is FREE and open to the public, but registration is required here. The lecture will be held in West Chester University’s Sciences and Engineering Center and the Commons (SECC), 155 University Avenue, West Chester. Simard is being programmed by West Chester University’s Office of Sustainability and the West Chester Green Team as part of the University’s 50th Anniversary celebration for the Robert B. Gordon Natural Area for Environmental Studies (Gordon Natural Area).

Director of West Chester University’s Office of Sustainability Bradley Flamm says, “We are thrilled to partner with the West Chester Green Team to welcome Dr. Simard to West Chester University. Simard’s work has changed the way we understand the functioning of forests and how trees are connected to communities of organisms through subterranean fungal networks. She is the perfect speaker to help us recognize the importance and the impact that the Gordon Natural Area has had on our community for the last 50 years.”Established as a protected area in 1971, the Gordon Natural Area is 126-acres of protected land along the southeast corner of West Chester University’s campus that has served as a refuge for local wildlife and native plants, and as a multi-use setting for researchers, nature lovers, dog walkers, and people looking to reconnect with the natural world. Additional 50th Anniversary events found here.

Suzanne Simard is a Professor of Forest Ecology at the University of British Columbia and the author of several books including Finding the Mother Tree. A pioneer in plant communication and intelligence, Simard has been hailed as a scientist “who conveys complex, technical ideas in a way that is dazzling and profound.” Simard’s work has influenced filmmakers (the Tree of Souls in James Cameron’s Avatar) and her TED talks have been viewed by more than 10 million people worldwide. Simard is known for her work on how trees interact and communicate using below-ground fungal networks, which has led to the recognition that forests have hub trees, or “Mother Trees,” which are large, highly connected trees that play an important role in the flow of information and resources in a forest. Her current research investigates how these complex relationships contribute to forest resiliency, adaptability and recovery and has far-reaching implications for how to manage and heal forests from human impacts, including climate change. Simard has published over 200 peer-reviewed articles and presented at conferences around the world. She has communicated her work to a wide audience through books, interviews, documentary films, and TED talks.



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