Evenings With Experts

A Public Lecture Series at the Cambridge Public Library

 


Our 2020 Programs

Jesse Bellemare.

Climate Change, Conservation, and the Role of Native Plant Horticulture

Jesse Bellemare, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences, Smith College

  • March 4 | 7:00 - 8:30pm

Where: Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway

As our world warms, the distributions of many native plant species are shifting with the climate. But not all species will keep pace with modern climate change, and some could face extinction. This poses a dilemma— what role should we take in helping native plant populations migrate? How do we balance our instinct for preservation with the risk of a relocated plant species disrupting the ecology of its new region? Jesse Bellemare will explore these questions in the context of the constant evolution of plant ranges over time, and the current insights we can gain from native plant horticulture.

Jesse Bellemare’s research focuses on the ecology and biogeography of forest plants in the eastern United States. He has authored numerous scientific articles about the impacts of climate change, invasive insects, and land-use history on plant populations. In addition to his research and teaching at Smith College, he is currently the president of the New England Botanical Club.

Dan Jaffe.

Designing with Plant Communities

Dan Jaffe, Horticulturist, Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary

  • April 1 | 7:00 - 8:30pm

Where: Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway

All too often, during the design process, we think of plants on an individual or species basis. Yet in the landscape, plants are constantly interacting with one another in intricate ways. What happens if we create planting plans focused on complete systems rather than collections of individuals? Join us to learn how to create healthy, resilient plant communities that are beautiful and ecologically vibrant. Dan Jaffe will discuss how to select and combine the right species for specific site conditions, and how this community-oriented approach can be applied to plantings of all sizes.

Dan Jaffe is passionate about ecological horticulture, and enhancing the wildlife value of every landscape. Prior to joining Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary, he was the senior plant propagator at Garden in the Woods. He is the co-author of Native Plants for New England Gardens, which features his captivating photographs.

Heather Holm

Native Bees: Our Pollination Powerhouses

Heather Holm, Author, Bees: An Identification and Native Plant Forage Guide

  • May 6 | 7:00 - 8:30pm

Where: Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway

Native bees are the most important and effective pollinators for our flowering plants. Although they play a crucial role in sustaining biodiversity, they are poorly understood and under threat from human activity. Heather Holm will teach us how to recognize common bee genera, and enlighten us about their fascinating life cycles, nesting habitat, and foraging needs. Come learn more about the mutualistic relationships that they have with native plants— a powerful reminder that the salvation of one is inextricably linked to the proper stewardship of the other.

Heather Holm is an expert on pollinators whose first book, Pollinators of Native Plants, brought her national attention. She is a sought-after speaker who is passionate about educating audiences. Her recent book, Bees: An Identification and Native Plant Forage Guide, won the 2018 American Horticultural Society Book Award.