Conserving Biodiversity

November 2, 2022 Webinar at 6 p.m. Register here now!

The clock is ticking as we try to save the world’s biodiversity from climate change and other stressors. Projections have calculated that by the end of 2100 up to one and every six species will become extinct. Such drastic events will have significant impacts on biodiversity patterns and ecosystem functioning. Scientists are urgently working to understand historical and contemporary responses to increasingly stressful environments, conserve species and their habitats, and make meaningful projections. There is exciting research being done to help document, monitor, and conserve species. The use of herbarium records, genomics methods, and trait-based ecology are all being used to understand the mechanisms that influence species distributions and their responses to climate change. This talk will take you on a world tour from South Africa to Pennsylvania. We will stop along the way to understand species responses to climate change, how genomics methods are being used to conserve rare species, and even highlight the discovery of a new species.

Tanisha M. Williams’ masters work used population genetic methods to study the hybridization patterns of three Populus species found throughout California and Nevada. Her dissertation work took her to South Africa to examine the impacts of climate change on Pelargonium plants. She was awarded a U.S. Fulbright grant to conduct her dissertation research at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, South Africa. Dr. Williams is currently working on several projects with Dr. Chris Martine as the Burpee Postdoctoral Fellow in Botany at Bucknell University.

Also the founder of Black Botanists Week, an online campaign to promote and highlight Black people from around the world that love plants, Dr. Williams holds degrees from the Pennsylvania State University (BS), California State University Los Angeles (MS), and the University of Connecticut (PhD).