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Center for Biodiversity at East Carolina University


The Center for Biodiversity (CB) is a unit within the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences at East Carolina University which promotes and supports research, education, and outreach associated with global biodiversity. The CB serves the community of eastern North Carolina by providing educational programs designed to engage citizens in issues related to the conservation of biodiversity and its relevance to human health and quality of life.

Prior News



Our planet is currently in the midst of two very dramatic global changes; the loss of its biodiversity and a rapid change in its climate. This symposium aims to advance our general understanding of how biodiversity in the southeastern US will respond to climate change by bringing together scientists with intimate knowledge of how ecological systems in the southeast respond to climate change.


307 Science and Technology Building

Cost and registration:

Free! We encourage you to register your intended attendance for any of the public lectures by sending an email containing your name and number of individuals accompanying you to Though registration for the scientific poster session for the evening of March 14 is closed you can contact us at to inquire about any possible openings.

Symposium lecture schedule:

March 14

8:30 AM David Chalcraft (East Carolina University): Welcome!

8:45 AM Terry Root (Stanford University): Changing Climate: Changing Species.

9:30 AM Ryan Boyles (North Carolina State University): Future climates for the southeastern US.

10:15 AM Break

10:30 AM Jim Clark (Duke University): Forest response to climate change in the Southeast: perspectives on the Piedmont and southern Appalachians.

11:15 AM Ray Semlitsch (University of Missouri): Abundance, diversity, and disturbance relationships: examples from pond-breeding amphibians.

1:30 PM Bob Christian (East Carolina University), Dennis Allen (University of South Carolina), David Kimmel (East Carolina University), Anthony Overton (East Carolina University), and Enrique Reyes (East Carolina University): Potential future of the Pamlico Sound ecosystem: a space for time analysis.

2:15 PM Joel Kingsolver (University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill): Ecological and evolutionary responses of insects to climate changes: are means or extremes more important?

3: 00 PM Break

3:15 PM Allen Hurlbert (University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill): The consequences of climate change for avian biodiversity and migration.

4:00 PM Ellen Damschen (University of Wisconsin- Madison): How complex landscapes shape plant movement and persistence in a changing climate.

4:45 PM Brian Silliman (Duke University): Food webs, climate change and new theory in ecology.

7:30 PM Poster session (For individuals registered prior to Feb. 24)

March 15

8:30 AM Mike McCoy (East Carolina University): Recap of prior day.

8:45 AM Erik Sotka (College of Charleston): Adaptation to warming estuaries of the northwestern Atlantic: an evolutionary perspective.

9:30 AM Rob Dunn (North Carolina State University): Dead trees and stinging ants. The future of the South in a warming and less predictable world.

10:15 AM Break

10:30 AM Reed Noss (University of Central Florida) & Joshua Reece (Valdosta State University): Climate change and biodiversity in Florida: long-term and short-term concerns.

11:15 AM Marcelo Ardon (East Carolina University): Panel-Audience discussion

2012/13 Biodiversity Scholarship Winner Announced

ECU’s Center for Biodiversity is delighted to announce the winner of our first annual Biodiversity Scholarship competition for Pitt County high school students conducting research projects on local plant and animal biodiversity. Ms. Alina Suedbeck won the $1000 scholarship for her research entitled "Lepidoptera Caterpillar Spiracle Variation". Participating students were matched with an ECU mentor to assist them in project planning. Completed projects were presented at ECU’s annual Earth Day Expo on April 18th.

Alina was motivated to participate in research last fall when she heard about the Biodiversity Scholarship competition. She conducted her research with guidance from Dr. Tom Fink, ECU Dept of Biology and Center for Biodiversity.  She also received some statistical advice from Dr. Tim Christensen, ECU Dept of Biology and Center for Biodiversity. Her research has now earned her other awards in addition to the Biodiversity scholarship. Alina won third place in her division at the state competition of the NC Student Academy of Sciences on March 15th at the NC School of Science and Mathematics in Durham. In addition, she won first place in her division at the state Science and Engineering Fair on March 16th at Meredith College in Raleigh, NC.  She caught the eye of a college recruiter who offered her a $10,000 scholarship to Meredith College.  She also was selected to be one of only 8 state representatives at the International Science and Engineering Fair (  Intel ISEF is the world's largest international pre-college science competition and will be held May 12-17, 2013 in Phoenix, AZ. Alina is the first from the northeastern NC region to be accepted into the ISEF.

Alina, the daughter of Dorothy and John Suedbeck, is home-schooled and lives in Greenville. She is a delightful young woman with a keen interest in entomology.  We all wish her the best at ISEF.


 Earth Day Expo

April 18th, 2013

4-6 pm

Howell Science Complex


Our Earth Day Expo will have interactive events for people of all ages. Various ECU researchers and local non-profit organizations will have displays and activities available on topics related to biodiversity. There will be live animals and plants, lab activities, natural history story times, and more! Participants from our Biodiversity Scholarship competition will also present posters on their research projects. Kids from various after school programs will be attending and the public is welcome! For more information, please contact Heather Vance-Chalcraft at or 252-328-9841.






This event has been selected to be one of featured events associated with the North Carolina Science Festival (





Public lecture: Dr. Tyrone Hayes
Developmental endocrinologist, University of California-Berkeley

From Silent Spring to Silent Night: A Tale of Toads and Men

April 18th, 2013
0C307 Science and Technology Bldg

As part of the Earth Day events for 2013, our guest speaker will be Dr. Tyrone Hayes, a world renowned biologist and professor of Integrative Biology at University of California, Berkeley. His research has involved the roles of steroidal hormones and environmental conditions on amphibian development. Dr. Hayes is particularly interested in the ability of a widely used herbicide named atrazine to alter sexual development and cause feminization in male frogs. This work has implications for the current population declines of amphibians, as well as human health as atrazine has been shown to alter testicular development and induce reproductive cancers in rodents. Dr. Tyrone Hayes has become an advocate for spreading awareness about the known detrimental effects of atrazine and its potential role in human reproductive health.

Immediately preceding this talk, the winner of the Biodiversity Scholarship will be announced. For more information, please contact Heather Vance-Chalcraft at or 252-328-9841.

This event is a North Carolina Science Festival event (





Biodiversity Scholarship for Pitt County High School Students

Participating students will complete a project on local plant or animal diversity and submit their results in a poster presentation in spring 2013.

Winning project and presentation will be awarded a $1000 prize.

All projects will be displayed at the CB Earth Day Celebration, April 18, 2013.

Project guidance and some supplies will be provided by ECU faculty and graduate students.

Students may work in pairs or alone.

To participate, please register by September 29, 2012. There is no fee for registration. You can register in one of two ways:

1. (Recommended) Attend an informational meeting to get started with your project planning and connect with ECU advisors. Meeting date: Saturday, September 29, 10am-12, Howell Science Building, ECU Main Campus

2.   Contact Carol Goodwillie by email (preferred) at or telephone 252-328-4225

For more information on the program, please contact:

Heather Vance-Chalcraft (, 328-9841)


Prior Events


Middle School / High School Student Research Workshop

 An informational meeting about conducting science research was held on Saturday, September 29th, 2012, at East Carolina University, Howell Science Complex, Room B103
 \\piratedrive\facultystaff\hargittaip\BiologyFiles\WEB\NCCB\2013\DisplayPlantBox   New displays on biodiversity in Howell Science Complex lobby

Earth Day 2012
An expo featuring events at Howell Science Complex, ECU’s West Research Campus, and A Time for Science, as well as a public lecture by Joe Roman.

North Carolina Center for Biodiversity Hosted
an exciting Earth Day Event
April 15th and 16th featuring
internationally renowned
author, Richard Louv.