LOUISVILLE, Ky. – From bees to birds to bats, species around the world are threatened at unprecedented rates. Many people feel powerless to help preserve local species because they think “real” nature can only be sustained in parks and reserves, but local urban park systems cannot do the job of maintaining native biodiversity alone.
About 120 square miles of plantable land in Jefferson County is residential property. However, much of this green space is planted in lawn, which is a food desert for many species of wildlife.
At the next Beer with a Scientist, Margaret Carreiro, Ph.D., will explain how residents in cities and suburbs can protect native species by weaving local nature into the very places where they live and work. She will describe Reconciliation Ecology, a concept in which habitats for wildlife are created within urban and suburban areas.
“I want people to know they can make a large difference in conservation of local species through their plantings at home,” Carreiro said. “They can use native plants to create food webs and friendly habitat for desired species, especially pollinators and birds. It’s about keeping our common species common.”
Carreiro is associate professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Louisville. Her work focuses on understanding how urban environments interact with natural components of cities and suburbs. This includes studying the effects of atmospheric nitrogen from fossil fuel combustion and other sources, invasive species, habitat fragmentation, restoration management and socio-cultural legacies in affecting plant and soil communities and ecosystem processes.
The event begins at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 16, at Against the Grain Brewery, 401 E. Main St. in Louisville. A 30-minute presentation will be followed by an informal Q&A session.
The Beer with a Scientist program began in 2014, the brainchild of UofL cancer researcher Levi Beverly, Ph.D., who hoped to make science accessible to the public in an informal setting. Once a month, the public is invited to enjoy exactly what the title promises: beer and science.
Admission is free. Purchase of beer, other beverages or menu items is not required but is encouraged.
Organizers add that they also encourage Beer with a Scientist patrons to drink responsibly.
For more information and to suggest future Beer with a Scientist topics, follow Louisville Underground Science on Facebook.