Darwin Day 2022 - Southwestern Illinois College

Biodiversity and Conservation

The Biology Department at SWIC has been celebrating Darwin Day for 24 years.

Each year we pick a day on or near the anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birthday (February 12) to
celebrate science and evolutionary biology by hosting science presentations.

This year we had planned an in-person event, however, the Covid 19 pandemic and the
weather forced us to hold our second “virtual Darwin Day”.

We chose a theme for Darwin Day 2022: of Biodiversity and Conservation.

“What zoos do to conserve animals in the wild:
a voyage around the globe with the Saint Louis Zoo WildCare Institute.”
by Dr. Lisa Kelley, St. Louis Zoo WildCare Institute

Lisa is the Executive Director of the Saint Louis Zoo WildCare Institute, which supports the Zoo’s local and global wildlife conservation efforts. Lisa’s academic background is in anthropology and primatology, with a research focus on lemurs in Madagascar.

“Better conservation through DNA: Using conservation genetics to
increase the effectiveness of plant conservation efforts.”
by Dr. Christine Edwards, Missouri Botanical Garden

Dr. Christine Edwards is the Stephen and Camilla Brauer Conservation Geneticist at the Missouri Botanical Garden, an honorary Adjunct Professor at Washington University in St. Louis, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Dr. Edwards’ primary role is to lead the Conservation Genetics research program at the Missouri Botanical Garden.

Her research focuses on using population genetics, quantitative genetics, molecular systematics, and DNA metabarcoding to help understand the ecology and evolutionary biology of endangered species and to aid in applied in-situ and ex-situ conservation efforts.

“Amphibian and Reptile Conservation in Illinois.”
Dr. John Crawford, National Great Rivers Research & Education Center.

A passcode is required for this link. The Passcode: D4+78Mh^

Dr. John Crawford earned his B.S. from the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign), his M.S. from Illinois State University, and his Ph.D. from the University of Missouri (Columbia).

He completed a two year postdoctoral research appointment at Indiana University and then spent five years as an Assistant Professor of Biology at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri.

He is now a Senior Scientist with a research program in Wildlife Ecology at the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center in East Alton, IL.

A primary goal of his research is to conduct projects that answer important contemporary questions related to the conservation and management of lower vertebrates. He prefers to conduct research that bridges disciplines and combines current thinking and needs in multiple areas to approach and answer these questions.

His primary research interests have been and continue to be on the effects of habitat alteration, habitat degradation, and global climate change on amphibian and reptile populations.

“Biodiversity and Conservation of Caves in the SWIC District.”
by Bob Weck, SWIC Biology Professor