Faculty Research Lecture Event

Due to the 2020-21 COVID pandemic, the 2021 Faculty Research Lecture was postponed and is taking place on March 22, 2022. 

The 54th Annual Faculty Research Lecture will be given by Professor Terrie M. Williams,
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Sunday May 22, 2022

at the beautiful Cowell Ranch Hay Barn
Lecture 2:30-3:30 PM
Reception 3:30 - 4:30 PM

Event Flier  |  Event Program

Touching Extinction: A Wildlife Conservation Love Story

The lifelong journey of two wildlife biologists trying to save the kingdom of carnivorous mammals and ourselves

The pace of animal extinctions has accelerated in recent years, such that the calculated average rate of vertebrate species loss over the last century is 72-100 times greater than expected from natural causes. Big, fierce mammals have been especially impacted, with African lions, Alaskan sea otters, Greenlandic narwhals, Coastal killer whales, Hawaiian monk seals and many more disappearing before our eyes. Twenty-five year ago, my husband, Jim Estes, and I decided that we had to do something to stop the downward trajectory of wildlife. As field biologists working on opposite ends of the globe, we had independently witnessed the underlying forces driving a sixth mass extinction during our scientific lifetimes. The realization of what was about to be lost devastated us. We wondered, what would happen if we combined our scientific careers and expertise to try to save the kingdom of carnivorous mammals?

This lecture is our wildlife conservation story. It crosses the globe and scientific disciplines to explore how large carnivorous mammals are uniquely built, and how a rapidly changing world due to anthropogenic pressures now threatens the survival of the world’s most iconic species. Most importantly, our discoveries directly connect you to the wilderness, not just because our daily lives impact wild animals, but because wild animals hold the secret to our own survival.