Saturday, April 19, 10:20 AM - 6:00 PM, at the Field Museum


The annual Chicago Plant Science Symposium highlights cutting edge research in plant biology, evolution, ecology, and conservation. Our goal is to bring together the plant science community of the greater Chicago area for a day of interesting lectures and discussion. This spring we will host the fourth annual symposium with a one-day event on Saturday, April 19, 2014 consisting of seven invited speakers. The program will include lunch and a post-conference mixer. Best of all, registration is, as always, free!

The theme of the symposium this year is “Symbioses.” We have invited a diverse set of speakers who are investigating many different aspects of symbiosis, involving plants, fungi, algae, and animals (including people). The talks will span plant biology, evolution, and ecology and include perspectives from molecular, morphological, and functional data.


Charles Davis, Harvard University
The big, the bad, and the beautiful: plant parasitism and the origin of the world’s largest flowers
Romina Gazis, Clark University
Fungal endophytism and cryptic symbiosis
Peter Kennedy, University of Minnesota
Ecotmycorrhizal specificity and functioning in a global tri-partite symbiosis
Matthew Nelsen, University of Chicago/Field Museum
Exploring the diversity and evolution of lichen associations
Nyree Zerega, Northwestern University/Chicago Botanic Garden
Plants and people: origins, diversity, and conservation of under-utilized crops in the genus Artocarpus (Moraceae)
Krissa Skogen, Chicago Botanic Garden
Pollinators, parasites and floral diversity – assessing the role of mutualism in plant diversity in Onagraceae
Elizabeth Pringle, University of Michigan
Drivers and mechanisms of positive feedback in a plant-ant-hemipteran symbiosis