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SciSpark 2022 - Women in Science

White text in bold “SCI SPARK” with smaller gold text reading “2022” and “Women in science at Cedar Creek.” Images of 4 women working at Cedar Creek appear to the left in hexagons.

An evening of bio-inspired activities, short science talks and community.

Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve — a site famous for ecological research located just north of the Twin Cities — is fertile ground for scientists to study how ecosystems work and our impact on them. From examining microscopic life to deciphering images from NASA satellites, Cedar Creek researchers (about half of whom are women) study how nature is responding to a changing world. Many women scientists have shaped Cedar Creek’s groundbreaking research efforts. Join us for an evening of celebrating the contributions of women in science — past and present — with research ties to Cedar Creek.

REGISTER (the event is sold out)

Event Details

  • Doors open at 5 p.m.
  • Activities and food from 5-6:15 p.m.
  • 5-minute lightning talks from 6:30-7:30 p.m.

The event is family-friendly, great for kids and adults alike, and free!

  • Do mini-experiments with Market Science volunteers
  • Participate in hand-on activities with Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve staff
  • Explore the Bell Museum’s Seeing Birds exhibit
  • Enjoy light refreshments from Chowgirls

Science Speakers

All the speakers call the College of Biological Sciences at the University of Minnesota their research home. All have ties to Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, a field station affiliated with CBS.

Neha Mohan Babu

Neha is a postdoctoral researcher in the Reich, Hobbie and Isbell labs. She studies how how plants respond and adapt to the constantly changing world around them. Weather that means the threat of an herbivore or climate change. Her research integrates theoretical models with experimental and field research.

Elizabeth Borer stands with a tall grass prairie in the backgroundElizabeth Borer

Elizabeth Borer is a professor in the Ecology, Evolution and Behavior Department. Her research quantifies how global changes, including atmospheric pollution and species invasions and extinctions, change the composition, interactions, and function of ecosystems. She often works in grasslands, including at Cedar Creek, where she studies the impacts of global change on plant and soil biodiversity, herbivory, disease, and the identity and function of microbes inside individuals.  

Bea sits in the lab surrounded by equipment

Bea Baselga Cervera

Bea is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior. She is interested in understanding how microorganisms adapt and diversify. She studies with by looking at yeast and microalgae. By addressing these questions we can shed light on how life evolved, understand current microbial diversity, and help tackle problems caused by climate change. 

Karen stands wearing a hat and sunglasses with her research plot behind her.Karen Castillioni

Karen is working as a postdoctoral researcher in the department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior. She studies plant responses to global environmental change and habitat fragmentation. Karen is also using remote sensing images to scale-up biodiversity effects on ecosystem productivity at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve.

Hanan looks up at a tree canopy

Hanan Farah

Hanan is a second year PhD student. Her interests lie at the intersection of disturbance and restoration ecology. She is specifically interested in better understanding the underlying mechanisms that drive the recovery of biodiversity in grasslands. She also hopes to utilize soil microbial communities as a tool to facilitate recovery.

Maria works in a soil pit

Maria Park

Maria is a PhD student in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior. As part of the Cavender-Bares Lab, Maria studies how tree biodiversity affects ecological processes, both aboveground and belowground. She is working to fuse her interests in art, music, and science to build bridges between communities, and activate change in the spheres of environmental conservation and restoration.

About SciSpark

SciSpark is an annual event celebrating diversity in science and a public forum for conversations about how to best support equity and inclusion in science and work toward a future in which all people have opportunities to engage in science.

Organized by the College of Biological Sciences. Sponsored by the Bell Museum and Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve.


May, 2022