Past Speakers

September 2018 – May 2019

Friday, September 28, 2018, 7:30 p.m.
Speaker: Dr. David Beresford
Topic: Ontario’s insect diversity near and far.
Description: Ontario’s insect diversity near and far (with particular reference to biting flies). Ontario is blessed with an abundance of biting flies, including mosquitoes, horse flies, deer flies, and stable flies. While most of our interactions with biting flies are unpleasant, they have important functions in our ecosystems and so have value in terms of conservation. This talk examines biting flies as pests of livestock and wildlife, as well as their possible conservation relevance.
Dr. David Beresford is Professor of Biology at Trent University and member of the Pest Management Advisory Council.

Friday, October 26, 2018, 7:30 p.m.
Speaker: Alison White
Topic: Fire as Friend or Foe?
Description: Exploring plant traits adapted to fire in Canadian ecosystems. Although fire is considered destructive to the environment, many plants are adapted to periodic wildfire; indeed fire is necessary for the rejuvenation and maintenance of some ecosystems in Canada. This talk will explore how different plants are adapted to fire and the traits that can provide a fitness advantage to plants in fire-prone environments. The talk will focus on Carolinian plants such as those found in black oak savannas as well as species of the northwestern boreal forest of Canada.
Alison White is a Forest Analyst Intern for the MNRF in Peterborough.

Friday, November 30, 2018, 7:30 p.m.
Speaker: Don Davis
Topic: Travels with the Monarch.
Description: Don Davis first tagged Monarchs in 1967, and has been a “citizen scientist” continuously since 1985. Don will describe how WBFN members were important early supporters of research into the Monarchs’ wintering grounds. He will summarize monarch biology, current issues, and how you can participate in monarch conservation and research.

Friday, January 25, 2019, 7:30 p.m.
Speaker: Tom Mason
Topic: Arachnids: an Introduction to Spiders of Ontario.
Description: Tom Mason a retired curator of birds and invertebrates at the Toronto Zoo has been involved or worked with wildlife since he was 9 years old. Over the years he developed a strong interest in Arachnids which really developed in the mid-80’s when he took on the role of curator at the Toronto Zoo. Tom discovered little work had been done with spiders in southern Ontario since the early 20th century. Since then, close to 100 new species have been found in Ontario of which many are new for Canada.

Friday, February. 22, 2019, 7:30 p.m. – Annual General Meeting – Doors open at 6:30, meeting starts at 7:30. Come early to enjoy a social time prior to the meeting and browse the offerings of the Silent Auction.
Speaker: Grant Elliott.
Topic: The Amazing Biodiversity of the Amazon
Join guest speaker Grant Elliott, a Cobourg educator and environmentalist, as he presents “The Amazing Biodiversity of the Amazon”. Discover many of the species in the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve and find out how local high school students joined researchers from Operation Wallacea to collect environmental data in the flooded forest of the western Amazon River basin.

Friday, March 29, 2019, 7:30 p.m.
Speaker: Ryan Norris
Topic: Living on the edge: The Ecology and Behaviour of Gray Jays in Algonquin Park
Although Canada Jays are common residents of our North American boreal forests, their natural history and ecology remains somewhat of a mystery, even to those that see them regularly. Using a combination of long-term data and recent experiments, I will discuss the year-round ecology of this fascinating and highly intelligent bird, including what factors influence their survival and reproductive success. I will also address why we have observed over a 50% decline of Gray Jays at the southern edge of their range and how this may be related to long-term changes in climate.

Friday, April 26, 2019, 7:30 p.m.
Speaker: Rory Quigley.
Topic: Cobourg’s Urban Forest.
Town of Cobourg’s Arborist will review the recently completed Urban Forest Management Plan and discuss how we can all help protect and enhance Cobourg’s Urban Forest Canopy.

Friday, May 31, 2019, 7:30 p.m.
Speakers: WBFN Members.
Topic: Member’s Night Presentations.
The traditional President’s Walk will move from the last monthly meeting time in May to June 2nd. On May 31st we will meet at the Cobourg Library for the inaugural evening of presentations by members of the Willow Beach Field Naturalists. It is no secret that WBFN members have a wealth of experience and knowledge in nature. The evening will be organized into six, 10 minute (or less) presentations. Topics will be varied and the evening should be very interesting. Come out and support your fellow WBFN members as they share their knowledge.

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