Seminars Academic Year 2017 – 2018

Experts in all areas of biological sciences are invited to campus to provide a research seminar, meet with faculty and students, and to tour our academic and research facilities.

BIO Seminars, Spring 2016

These seminars take place on Mondays from 3 pm until 4 pm in WC-130 at MMC Campus broadcasted from/to MSB-105, BBC Campus.

January 11

Dr. Sat Gavassa, FIU

Hybrid learning: blending the best of both worlds

January 11

Dr. Kristin Bishop and Dr. LigiaCollado-Vides, FIU

Active learning with stadium seating

January 18

No Seminar Scheduled.

Martin Luther King’s Day

January 25

Reserved for ICTB/PlantBiochemist search candidate


January 26

Dr. Jim Elser, Arizona State University

Glaser Seminar Week

Ecological Stoichiometry – Overview Lecture Part I

January 27

Dr. Jim Elser, Arizona State University

Glaser Seminar Week

Ecological Stoichiometry – Overview Lecture Part II

January 28

Dr. Jim Elser, Arizona State University

Glaser Seminar Week

Phosphorus, Food and Our Future

January 29

Dr. Jim Elser, Arizona State University

Glaser Seminar Week

Ecological Stoichiometry – Technical Workshop

February 1

Reserved for ICTB/PlantBiochemist search candidate


February 8

Dr. Susan Singer, NSF


February 15

Dr. Benjamin Beck, Smithsonian

Conservation of Small Populations of Nonhuman Primates

February 22

Dr. Chris Craft, Indiana University

Environmental Gradients, Ecosystem Services and Disturbance: The Life and Times of Coastal Wetlands

Host: UGSRC-BIO, Dr. Kominoski

February 29

Dr. Eben Goodale, Guangxi University, China

Challenges and opportunities for bird conservation in an Asia-dominated century

Host: FIU’s Tropical Conservation Institute (TCI) & International Center for Tropical Botany (ICTB), Dr. Baraloto

March 7

Dr. Todd LaJeunesse, Penn State University

The stability and functionality of coral-algal mutualisms in a time of climate change.


March 14

No Seminar

Spring Break

March 21

Dr. Ilka Feller, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

Consequences of Climate Change in Mangrove Ecosystems

Host: UGSRC-BIO, Dr. Troxler

March 28

Dr. Patrick Sullivan, Cornell University

Bayesian Hierarchical Modeling of Acoustic Uncertainty on Mysid Shrimp in the Great Lakes

Host: UGSRC-MARINE. Dr. Zhang

March 31 - Thursday

Dr. Keith Crandall, George Washington University

Computational Approaches to Biodiversity Informatics

Host: UGSRC-BIO, Dr. Bracken-Grissom

April 4

Dr. Tom Iliffe, Texas A&M University at Galveston

Biodiversity, biogeography and evolution of anchialinecave fauna

Host: UGSRC-MARINE, Dr. Bracken-Grissom

April 11

Dr. Marianne Holmer, Univ of Southern Denmark


Host: UGSRC-BIO, Dr. Fourqurean

April 18

Dr. David Podgorski, Florida State University

The Convergence of PhotosolubilizedCarbon with the Background DOC Pool


April 25

Biology Honors Talks


Host: Dr. Goldberg

May 2

Dr. David Kadko, FIU

The US Arctic GeotracesExpedition-North Pole and back!

2016 Glaser Distinguished Seminar Speaker Series

Ecological Stoichiometry, Phosphorus and Sustainability

Dr. James Elser – Regent’s and Parents Association Professor University of Arizona


James Elser tests the theory of biological stoichiometry (the balance of elements in nature), spanning scales from organisms to ecosystems. His research integrates global comparisons of various phenomena associated with biological stoichiometry, and he is truly a world leader and integrator of this field. Dr. Elser has expanded ecological stoichiometry by increasing our understanding of how organisms use elemental resource ratios and how resource supply relative to resource demand drives critical biological process ranging from cellular production of ATP to organismal growth rates to ecosystem net productivity. At the cellular level, he is investigating how tumor growth rates are linked to differences in carbon to nitrogen and carbon to phosphorus ratios within cells, and at the global level he is leading research that addresses the uncertainty associated with global declines in phosphorus and the consequences for human nutrition.

Dr. Elser’s outstanding role as a professional mentor is perhaps best exemplified by his development of Woodstoich, an ecologist’s version of Woodstock, whereby rebellious youth expand beyond the confines of our current knowledge and understanding of, in this case, the theory of ecological stoichiometry. Woodstoich has attracted early-career scientists interested in synthesizing or exploring promising connections between ecological stoichiometry and nutritional geometry, or the connections between either of these and other major ecological or evolutionary theories. The workshops have been wildly successful, and fun, resulting each year in special issues in the journal Oikos. Many of the early-career participants make important discoveries and advancements to the field and establish international collaborations that they maintain throughout their careers.

Dr. Elser has over 215 publications in peer-reviewed journals, and currently has $11 million in grants from NSF and NASA. He is co-author of the book Ecological Stoichiometry: The Biology of Elements from Molecules to the Biosphere. He is past president of the Ecological Society of America, and current president of the Association of the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography.

2016 Lectures – Three Parts

Part 1. Academic lectures and workshop

All will be held 3-4 pm in WC130, MMC campus of Florida International University, simultaneously shown in MSB105 on the BBC campus.

Part 2. Presentation open to the general public followed by a wine and cheese reception

Phosphorus, Food, and Our Future

Thursday, January 28, 7 pm – The Kampong Tropical Botanical Garden – 4013 Douglas Rd, Coconut Grove.

In addition to Dr. Elser, the discussion panelists will include:

  • Dr. Evelyn Gaiser, Executive Director of the School of Environment, Arts & Society, Associate Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Lead-PI Florida Coastal Everglades Long Term Ecological Research Program, Florida International University
  • Ms. Sonia Succar Rodríguez, Director, Phosphorus Grand Challenge, Everglades Foundation. Ms. Succar Rodríguez oversees the Foundation’s first-ever science competition, a multimillion dollar prize aimed at finding an innovative solution to solving the global problem of excessive phosphorus entering water bodies.
  • Dr. Katrina Schwartz, Former Fellow at Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Dr. Schwartz is a qualitative social scientist working in the interdisciplinary field of political ecology.
  • Dr. Gail Hollander, Associate Professor, Department of Global and Sociocultural Studies, Florida International University. She is the author of “Raising Cane in the ‘Glades: The Global Sugar Trade and the Transformation of Florida”, “Securing Sugar: National Security Discourse and the Establishment of Florida’s Sugar-producing Region,” in Economic Geography, and “Agricultural Trade Liberalization, Multifunctionality, and Sugar in the South Florida Landscape” in Geoforum.
  • Dr. Sue Newman, Sr. Scientific Section Lead at South Florida Water Management District. Sue has extensive research on phosphorus biogeochemistry in sub-tropical ecosystems.

This evening is co-sponsored by FIU Department of Biological Sciences, the Southeast Environmental Research Center, and the Everglades Foundation.

Part 3. Exploration of the intersection of science and art

Dr. Elser will be a discussion panelist and show his video “The Long Alchemy of Becoming” as part of the art/science exhibition In Deep with Diatoms. Monday, February 1, 3-5 PM, starting in BBC campus room HL175 for the video and panel discussion, then moving to the Hubert Library ASK! Center for the art exhibition.

If you have any questions about these events please contact Jeffrey Wells at 305-348-1320 or

QBIC Confluence Seminars 2016

Like many universities, a large percentage of the biology majors at Florida International University are pre–medical students. As a department, we are committed to training them to the heights of their abilities.

However, in our biology department, we have identified a need for undergraduates to be exposed to subdisciplines in biology that they may not have seen during their K–12 years.

Confluence is a seminar series whose explicit aim is to introduce undergraduates to the lives and work of researchers in the field of biology. We aim not only to introduce students to the latest scientific questions being addressed in the field, but more importantly to talk about when, in the lives of these great men and women, did they decide to pursue the troubling questions of how this world works.

The seminar speakers talk about their work, what inspired them to pursue this work, and how they view a better mankind because of the questions they are trying to answer. Our guests give an hour–long seminar discussing their research to a largely undergraduate audience. Afterward, they give an interview where they talk more deeply about their life and their work. The QBIC program is proud to present these interviews for your viewing pleasure. View more.

Plant Talks 2016

For more information about the Plant Talks Seminars, please click here.

Graduate Defense Seminars 2016