Join alumni, parents and friends for a lecture highlighting the most recent field research performed by Dr. Ness and his student collaborators from Skidmore. We don’t usually associate Skidmore with the desert. However, Dr. Ness describes a decade of scientific research that explores the functioning of plant and animal communities in the Sonoran Desert of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. The work includes a study site that has been occupied for over 2000 years with climates in excess of 130°F, centuries-old cacti that rely on ants for protection, neighbors whose interactions drift between mutual facilitation and competition, and an evolving landscape of plants, animals and urban pavement that will determine what the near future will look like. After the lecture you will have an opportunity to connect with Professor Ness and other members of the Rochester Skidmore community.
Ness has been a member of the Skidmore faculty since 2005 and teaches Biology and Environmental Science courses regarding landscape use, biological invasions, and plant-animal interactions. He has a shared appointment to the Biology Department and the Environmental Studies Program and currently also acts as Civic Engagement Fellow at the College. Skidmore students and he have co-authored four articles published in international journals based on scientific research performed in the College’s North Woods. More recently, he and student collaborators have performed field research in the Sonoran Desert.