Environmental Lecture Set for Nov. 18

11/4/10 ASHLAND, OH -- Ashland University's 2010-2011 Environmental Lecture Series on "Invasive Species" will continue on Nov. 18 when Dr. Mary Gardiner, assistant professor of entomology at the Ohio State University - Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster, will speak on "Invasive plants, aphids, and lady beetles: an exotic food web impacting Ohio's agricultural landscapes."

The lecture will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the Hawkins-Conard Student Center Auditorium and is free and open to the public.

Gardiner's research takes a landscape approach to understanding and managing the effects of these invasive species. She will discuss what she has learned about how landscape structure influences the distribution of the soybean aphid in soybean fields and will introduce a new program aimed at understanding the link between the distribution of common buckthorn and soybean aphid infestations across the north central states.

Gardiner received a bachelor of science in resource ecology and management from the University of Michigan, a master of science in entomology from the University of Idaho, and a Ph.D. in entomology from Michigan State University.

Her lab is directed at understanding beneficial insect communities and their services, as well as the impact of invasive species on agriculture. Dr. Gardiner's current research is funded by grants that total more than $1 million from the USDA, OARDC-SEEDS program, and the NRCS-CIG Program. She has received numerous honors and awards for her research and scholarly presentations, and to date has published 15 papers in scientific journals.  She also oversees the Buckeye Lady Beetle Blitz (www.ladybeetles.osu.edu<http://www.ladybeetles.osu.edu>), an Ohio-wide citizen science outreach program that consists of a network of volunteers who contribute data towards understanding the influence of landscape on native and exotic lady beetle populations.

The Environmental Lecture Series was established at Ashland University when the Environmental Science Program was implemented in 1991-92. The lecture series is designed to support the Environmental Science Program by allowing students, faculty and members of north central Ohio communities to interact with leaders in the environmental field.  Previous lectures are archived at http://www.ashland.edu/programs/environmental-science/lecture-series .

Ashland University (www.ashland.edu<http://www.ashland.edu>) is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.