Ashland University Environmental Lecture Series to Focus on Invasive Species

3/8/11 ASHLAND, OH -- Ashland University's 2010-2011 Environmental Lecture Series on "Invasive Species" will continue on March 24 when Dr. Teresa Culley, associate professor of biology at the University of Cincinnati, will speak at 7:30 p.m. in the Hawkins-Conard Student Center Auditorium.

This is the third lecture of the series and is free and open to the public.

Culley will speak on "How plants behave badly: the ecology of invasive pears, buckthorn and grasses." Her lecture will deal with how plants can be "well-behaved members of their ecosystem," but can become invasive and have negative effects on surrounding plant life.

The presentation will focus on this paradox to learn why some species become invasive and also to examine how people can effectively prevent future invasions. She also will discuss the ecological theory behind invasiveness and then focus on case studies of species at different stages of invasion, from the newly invasive Callery pear and various grasses to large infestations of buckthorn.

Dr. Theresa Culley received her bachelor of science degree in 1994 from the University of California, Irvine, where she did undergraduate research specialized in breeding system studies of rare Hawaiian plant species. She then earned her Ph.D. in 2000 at The Ohio State University while continuing to focus on breeding system evolution and population genetics in native violets.

After a post-doctorate at University of California, Irvine, for two years, she was hired as a plant ecologist at the University of Cincinnati where she now is an associate professor. She has spent the last several years focusing on the evolution of invasiveness, specializing in ornamental plant species. She has 34 published papers to date.

She currently serves as the president of the Ohio Invasive Plants Council, is an editor with the American Journal of Botany and is chair of the Genetics Section of the Botanical Society of America.

The Environmental Lecture Series is sponsored by a grant from the Lubrizol Foundation. Previous lectures in the series are archived and can be viewed at

Ashland University (<>) 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.


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