The WVU community is invited to attend the Nature Connection Series with talks at WVU Core Arboretum’s Woodland Amphitheater each Tuesday at 6 p.m. through August.
Tomorrow’s speaker is Zach Fowler, director of the WVU Core Arboretum and service associate professor with the WVU Department of Biology. His talk, titled “There is no place like home? The Eastern Asian-Eastern North American floristic disjunction,” will focus on the interesting fact that there are several plant species that are native only to Eastern North America with closest “relatives” that are native only to Eastern Asia. These closely related yet distantly located plants often look nearly identical, and parts of China, Russia and Japan strangely look just like West Virginia.
We will talk about some of these plants, discuss how this may have come to be and learn some of the implications of this floristic disjunction. The value of ginseng and mayapple in various parts of the world, invasive plant species with Asian names, and introduced pathogens and herbivores are all part of the story.
Fowler earned a bachelor’s in science in biology and physics from West Virginia Wesleyan College and a Ph.D. in biology from WVU. In addition to being responsible for maintenance, programming and coordinating volunteers at the Arboretum, he teaches plant ecology and flora of West Virginia in the Department of Biology. Fowler also teaches classes and leads walks on natural history and ecology at WVU Core Arboretum and for local groups such as WV Master Naturalists, the WV Wildflower Pilgrimage, nature clubs and others.
Nature Connection Series is a series of public talks by local and regional experts on a variety of nature-related subjects at WVU Core Arboretum. This summer, talks will cover topics such as birds, elk, butterflies as well as trees, geology and other topics.
The talks are free and open to the public, and no registration is required. All the talks are outdoors, so dress for the weather. Talks will be canceled and rescheduled if the weather is inclement. Free parking is available at the Arboretum Parking Lot and the adjacent WVU Coliseum Parking Lot.
The 2022 WVU Core Arboretum Nature Connection Series is supported by the WVU Department of Biology, the WVU Core Arboretum Endowment and donations from the public. All speakers are volunteers. WVU Core Arboretum is Morgantown’s place for nature connection.