R.W. Moriarty Science Seminars
Interested in learning about scientific discoveries directly from scientists? Carnegie Museum of Natural History scientific research staff and invited speakers discuss their latest findings on a wide variety of scientific topics at the free R.W. Moriarty Science Seminar Series. Seminars are free and no registration is required. Each seminar begins at noon in Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s Earth Theater and lasts about an hour. Visitors attending solely for the seminar are asked to check in at the front desk.
Speaker: Emily Meineke
“Novel methods for untangling the history of species interactions”
Insects have been eating plants for nearly 400 million years, and these interactions have given rise to much of macroscopic diversity. Over the past 12,000 years or so, humans have altered these relationships by domesticating plants and moving them beyond their natural ranges, spraying pesticides, building cities, and changing the global climate. Long-term effects of global change on plant-herbivore interactions are of critical importance to ecosystem functioning and the provision of ecosystem services. However, effects of global change on these and other species interactions are understudied because longitudinal data spanning the period of anthropogenic environmental change are sparse. Here, Dr. Emily Meineke details two novel methods for determining how interactions between plants and insect herbivores have shifted with global change: citywide urban warming experiments and insect damage preserved within historical plant specimens. Together, these methods reveal that insect herbivore abundance and damage are likely to increase with continued climate warming and urbanization. However, urbanization has complex effects on herbivores that vary across feeding guilds. These results have clear implications for improving the management of urban forests to increase greenness, biodiversity, and carbon sequestration.
About Richard Moriarty
Dr. Richard Moriarty is a retired pediatrician and a former associate clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. For more than 40 years, Dr. Moriarty has been a vibrant member of Pittsburgh’s medical community. He has advanced knowledge in the fields of pediatrics and toxicology, contributing more than 20 journal articles with the fundamental goal of reducing childhood fatalities due to poisoning.
Moriarty founded the Pittsburgh Poison Center—nationally known for the development of the Mr. Yuk poison warning symbol—and the National Poison Center Network, organizations that both fostered the development of and supported existing poison centers nationally. He has been involved with a number of professional organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, Pennsylvania Chapter as the Chairperson of the Poison and Accident Prevention Committee, and Pittsburgh Toxicology Club. In addition to volunteering his talents for a significant number of civic, community, and governmental organizations, he has served as a reviewer for the Journal of Pediatrics and the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine.
Currently, Moriarty is President of the Carnegie Discoverers, a volunteer group that supports Carnegie Museum of Natural History in promoting its cultural, scientific, and educational missions and in developing new audiences for the institution.
The R. W. Moriarty Science Seminars program began in March 2010.