Conservation Seminar Series

Our Conservation Seminar Series features monthly presentations on topics of bird research and conservation, perceptions about the environment, and the fascinating people who are working on these topics. In 2020 and 2021 we will also include conversations about important environmental issues in southern California and beyond.

During this pandemic, we will be delivering the talks virtually via Zoom webinars. Pre-Registration is required, and capacity is limited. Tickets can be purchased on our Eventbrite page

Early Notice of all upcoming webinars – as well as other events, classes, and seminars – are emailed to each Member. Please consider becoming a Member to support us! Thank you!


 Upcoming Webinars:

Daniel Hanley

Please join us for an evening of information and research with Professor Daniel Hanley.

Dr. Daniel Hanley is Assistant Professor of Biology at George Mason University. Hanley studies the function and evolution of natural colors, and specializes on the coloration of birds’ eggs.
His research has contributed to our understanding of how phenotypes are shaped by environmental and ecological pressures.

In this talk Hanley will share how he has used objective color measurements of eggs preserved in natural history collections to study trait diversity, interspecific interactions, and how climate shapes eggshell colors around the globe. Specifically, his research has uncovered that the (limited) diversity of colors found in birds’ eggs can be explained by relatively few eggshell pigments, including two newly discovered eggshell pigments.

This variation in coloration is vital for how hosts of avian brood parasites can recognize and remove a parasite’s egg. He will share how he has used these data from the natural history collections to explore such interspecific dynamics, and how the next generation of students and citizen scientists can use natural history collections to discover how host communities shape the phenotypes of their parasites.
Finally, he will share how these pressures interface with environmental conditions, such as temperature and ultraviolet radiation, to shape the eggshell phenotypes we find in avian communities around the world.

Buy your ticket here

Past webinars:

Science Education Coordinator Paul Grindrod's Talk for Cal Lutheran University's Fifty and Better Mid Summer Lecture (Jun 30,2021):  "The Bald Eagle: Finding Inspiration in an Execrable Tyrant of Bad Moral Character," a look at the bald eagle through art and literature from the early American colonial period to today. 

The Evolution of Nest Design in the Family of Old World Weaver,
given by Jackie Childers (29 January 2021)

Jackie spoke on recent analysis of data collected at museums around the world, including at the Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology, to assess the evolutionary history and phylogenetic patterns of nest design. 

The Journey of René Corado (30 October 2020)

René Corado, the Collections Manager of WFVZ, shared his amazing and inspiring life's journey from shoeshine boy, to biologist, to recipient of the Ambassador of Peace award for the country of Guatemala.


Culture Vultures, given by WFVZ Science Education Coordinator Paul Grindrod 
(25 September 2020)

WFVZ Science Education Coordinator Paul Grindrod presented on the subject of Vultures--particularly on Turkey Vultures—as portrayed through western art and literature. Drawing both from environmental humanities and from the ecology and life histories of these often reviled scavengers, Paul explored how Vultures have been perceived and conceived through historical and contemporary natural history literature, poetry, personal essays, and six centuries of avian illustration.