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2017 Ohio Botanical Symposium


The ODNR Division of Natural Areas and Preserves,
The Cleveland Museum of Natural History,
The Nature Conservancy — Ohio Chapter
Ohio State University Herbarium

The flora of Great Lakes alvars; geology and flora of a meteorite crater in southwest Ohio; the status of our eastern deciduous forest; medicinal plants; lady-slipper orchids; lichens and best plant discoveries will be highlighted at the 2017 Ohio Botanical Symposium on Friday, March 24. The event also features a media show and displays from a number private and public conservation organizations, as well as vendors offering conservation-related items for purchase. More than 400 botanical enthusiasts attend this every-other year event. Registration will open in early January. We hope to see you in March!

Offering continuing education credits for ISA and SAF


March 24, 2017,
Villa Milano Banquet and Conference Center
8 a.m.-4 p.m.


Registration Begins 8:00 a.m.
Welcome 9:15 a.m.
Keynote Address: What are the Big Questions about Alvars
Paul Catling Ph.D., Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
9:30 a.m.
Network, visit exhibitor and vendor tables
10:30 a.m.
Best Plant Discoveries of 2015-16
Andrew Gibson, Ohio Division of Natural Areas and Preserves
11:00 a.m.
The Pollination Ecology and Conservation of North American Lady Slipper Orchids
Ryan Walsh Ph.D., The Toledo Zoo
11:30 a.m.
Lunch 12:00 p.m.
Keynote Address: The Lichens of Ohio: Regional Diversity in a Global Context
James Lendemer Ph.D., New York Botanical Gardens
1:15 p.m.
Break 2:15 p.m.
An Ent’s Point of View on Ohio Forest Health: Some Things are Fast, Some Things are Slow
Kim Landsbergen Ph.D., Antioch College
2:30 p.m.
Medicinal Plants of Ohio...Some Native Species Surprises
Erika Galentin, Herbal Academy
3:00 p.m.
The Sunken Mountain: Flora and Geology of a Meteorite Crater in Southwest Ohio
Martin McAllister, The Nature Conservancy-OH Chapter
3:30 p.m.
Wrap up 4:00 p.m.

Featured Speakers

Paul Catling PH.D.

Paul Catling Ph.D. was born in London, England. He grew up in east Toronto and received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Toronto in 1980. He works as a Research Scientist with Agriculture Canada. Paul’s leadership roles have included President of the Canadian Botanical Association, Editor of 3 scientific journals, and Adjunct Professor at the University of Ottawa for 18 years and head of the AAFC plant biodiversity research section for 6 years. He has produced 300 refereed publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals and several hundred other publications. He has contributed many book chapters and been a co-author of several books. He has also received the C.J. Bishop Award and the Macoun-Hill Award of the Canadian Society for Horticultural Science, the Elliot Award and Lawson Medal from the Canadian Botanical Association and the Fernald Award from the Harvard-based publishers of the plant systematics journal Rhodora. His research focuses on taxonomic and ecological approaches to biodiversity protection and landscape management and documentation of the flora of Canada in general. Paul is well known for his work in the areas of invasive alien plants, native crop germplasm, systematics of grasses and sedges, and systematics and ecology of Canadian terrestrial orchids. He has been influential as an editor and reviewer of hundreds of articles and documents each year. Paul has also made extensive contributions to protection and conservation of plants through his writing, his personal actions and service to organizations through work on influential committees such as the Canadian Council on Ecological Areas, the Canadian Expert Committee on Plant Genetic Resources, the Nature Conservancy of Canada and as a co-chair with the Committee On the Status of Endangered Wildlife In Canada which advises the federal Species at Risk Act. Paul has been the Curator of the AAFC Vascular Plant Herbarium since 1988. This world class collection of 1.5 million dried and pressed plant specimens, the largest in Canada, is used for plant identification and plant classification research. Paul has been relentless in advising the value of collections, urging their protection, and in securing support for the collection from upper management. Finally Paul has made a substantial contribution to teaching through work as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Ottawa. With his accomplishments as a researcher, a conservationist, a curator and a teacher, Paul has become a well-known Canadian botanist.

Although it is not relevant to his work as a botanist, it may be of interest that Paul has also pursued ornithology, herpetology, entomology and etc, in his spare time. He has collectively produced hundreds of articles in these fields. His favorite pastime is hiking and he is rarely without a net, field plant press, notebook, handlens, bottles and binoculars. Not surprisingly he is regarded as one of Canada’s leading field biologists.” Preceding from a nomination for the Canadian Botanical Association Lawson Medal.

Keynote Address: What are the Big Questions about Alvars?

Andrew Gibson

Andrew Gibson was born the son of an avid outdoorsman on the glaciated till plains of west-central Ohio, where he came to admire nature from a very young age. That early admiration has since blossomed into a calling to better understand and preserve our natural world. Gibson is a graduate of Hocking College where he studied wildlife management and biology before continuing his education in plant biology and ecology at Ohio University in Athens, after being bitten by the botany bug. He is currently a field botanist for the Ohio Division of Natural Areas and Preserves, where he monitors and surveys state listed plants and rare habitats. Wild orchids are his most passionate botanical interest and area of research. He has seen over 70 of eastern North America’s species and 46 of Ohio’s 47 indigenous taxa. Gibson is an ardent photographer and writer and publishes a popular nature blog, The Buckeye Botanist featuring his many botanical forays and travels. You can also frequently find him leading hikes or giving presentations to numerous naturalist groups and organizations throughout the state. Gibson’s hope is to be a catalyst for more people to appreciate and love our infinitely fascinating natural world.

Special Address: Best Plant Discoveries of 2015-16

Ryan Walsh

Ryan Walsh Ph.D. has been employed at the Toledo Zoo since 2014 and currently serves as the Wild Toledo Coordinator.  He earned his Ph.D. in biology from Bowling Green State University in 2013 for his work on the evolution and conservation of native lady’s slipper orchids.  Dr. Walsh currently coordinates the butterfly conservation, rare plant conservation and urban prairie initiatives at the Toledo Zoo in addition to performing ecological research throughout Ohio and Michigan.  He has coordinated and managed captive rearing programs for both the federally endangered Mitchell’s satyr and Karner blue butterflies in Ohio.  Dr. Walsh’s research includes environmental factors affecting Karner blue butterfly occurrence, pollination ecology and conservation of native orchids, conservation rearing of endangered butterflies and effects of urban habitats on biodiversity.

Special Address: The Pollination Ecology and Conservation of North American Lady Slipper Orchids

James Lendemer

James Lendemer Ph.D. was born in Philadelphia and attended the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, where he earned his B.A. in 2006. He attended graduate school through a joint program of the City University of New York and The New York Botanical Garden, both in New York City where he received his M.Phil. in 2010 and his Ph.D. in 2012. His graduate work examined the evolutionary biology and taxonomy of sterile asexually reproducing crustose lichens. a highly specialized group of fungi long neglected by lichenologists. For nearly a decade before arriving at The New York Botanical Garden, he was associated with the Botany Department of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. There he studied historical botany, nomenclature, and paleobotany before developing an interest in lichens and beginning extensive floristic studies that continue today. His research focuses primarily on conducting large-scale, intensive inventories of lichen biodiversity and using the results of these studies to inform taxonomy, understand lichen biogeography and ecology, and ultimately develop and implement conservation management policy. 

Keynote Address: The Lichens of Ohio: Regional Diversity in a Global Context

Kim Landsbergen

Kim Landsbergen Ph.D. joined Antioch College as an Associate Professor in 2014.  Prof. Landsbergen is a forest ecologist who uses physiological and biogeochemical methods to study climate change, invasive plants, urban ecosystems, and land management. She holds an MS from the Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment and a PhD from the University of Washington's College of Forest Resources. Over the years she has co-authored articles in Forest Ecology and Management, Functional Ecology, Tree Physiology, Ecological Modeling, Oecologia, and The Canadian Journal of Forest Research.  At Antioch College, Prof. Landsbergen works on applied ecological problems with students and staff at the Antioch Farm, at the Glen Helen Nature Preserve, and in the Village of Yellow Springs. In addition, she collaborates with artists to improve science communication and engagement with the public.

Special Address: An Ent’s Point of View on Ohio Forest Health: Some Things are Fast, Some Things are Slow

Erika Galentin

Erika Galentin is a Clinical Herbalist with degree in Herbal Medicine from the University of Wales, Cardiff, UK and Scottish School of Herbal Medicine, Glasgow, UK.  She is a professional member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (UK) and Pi Alpha Xi National Honor Society in Horticulture (USA). Several years of clinical practice in Glasgow, Scotland provided the platform for a deep and influential understanding of the efficacy of medicinal plants within a clinical environment. Erika returned to the United States in 2008 to evolve her career as to also encompass a focus on horticulture and native medicinal plant conservation and ecology. Erika is also deeply passionate about the history of botanical medicine in the United States. With her dedication to medicinal plants native to Ohio and the Greater Appalachian region, Erika teaches, lectures and writes on native medicinal plant conservation and applied ecology, propagation, herbalism, and clinical efficacy. She is the Course Development Director for the Herbal Academy, visiting Faculty at Ohio Herb Education Center, Gahanna, Ohio, Guest Faculty at the Eclectic School of Herbal Medicine, Lowgap, NC, and Medicinal Plant Grower at Companion Plants, Athens, Ohio.

Special Address: Medicinal Plants of Ohio...Some Native Species Surprises

Martin McAllister

Martin McAllister currently works with The Nature Conservancy in Ohio as the Appalachian Forests Project Manager. In this capacity he oversees management of the 18,000 Edge of Appalachia Preserve as well as TNC’s efforts to improve forest management and protection in the greater Appalachian Plateau region of Ohio. Martin is a lifelong resident of southern Ohio and a retired public servant with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, having served for twenty-seven years as a naturalist, preserve manager and park manager. His position at time of retirement was as the Southwest District Manager for Ohio State Parks and State Nature Preserves. In addition to his work with TNC, Martin serves on the boards of two conservation organizations: The Friends of Scioto Brush Creek and the Ohio Prescribed Fire Council.

Special Address: The Sunken Mountain: Flora and Geology of a Meteorite Crater in Southwest Ohio