Chesapeake Conservancy and the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center invite you to attend our Conservation Futures Speakers Series

Climate, Biodiversity and the Future of Conservation

3-4:30pm followed by a Hosted Reception

Schmidt Conference Center

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

647 Contees Wharf Rd, Edgewater, MD 



The intensification of global warming and the continued conversion of natural areas into human-dominated landscapes poses a critical challenge for biodiversity and our future. Leading researchers are improving our understanding of how climate change will shape the survival of biodiversity and how ecosystems will evolve in future conditions. 

3:00 Opening Remarks – Joel Dunn, President, Chesapeake Conservancy and 

Tuck Hines, Director, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

3:10 The Impacts of Climate Change on Species and Ecosystems and the Essential

  Role of Nature in Climate Resilient Development – Dr. Camille Parmesan

4:00 Artificial Intelligence for Conservation – Dr. Kumar Mainali

4:30-5pm Hosted Reception

Speaker Bios

Camille Parmesan‘s research has focused on population biology, the ecology, evolution and behaviors of insect-plant interactions, and for the past 25 years, also on the impacts of climate change on wildlife. Her work on impacts of climate change on wild species globally has been highlighted in Science, Science News, New York Times, London Times, National Public Radio, and the BBC film series “State of the Planet” with David Attenborough. Parmesan has given seminars on the interface of science and policy for the White House, government agencies, and NGOs and been an author for the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) for >25 years, serving as a  Coordinating Lead Author for the Sixth Assessment Report of the IPCC and sharing in the Nobel Prize (2007) and Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity (2022) awarded to IPCC. Parmesan is currently a Professor at CNRS and a French Make Our Planet Great Again Laureate. 


Kumar Mainali, Data Science Lead for Chesapeake Conservancy, holds a Ph.D. in ecology and M.S. in statistics, both from the University of Texas at Austin. He then joined the University of Maryland’s department of biology as a postdoctoral associate. His research career includes about four dozen research projects in conservation biology, ecology, biogeography, climate change, human microbiome, animal behavior, and remote sensing. His current focus is in application of mathematical statistics for solving century-old problems in ecological methods and beta diversity, as well as the application of machine learning and AI for predicting complex systems including mapping wetlands, land-cover and species distribution. Collectively, Kumar’s focus at Chesapeake Conservancy is centered around accelerating the science behind our precision conservation data.

Mike Evans, Senior Data Scientist at the Chesapeake Conservancy holds a Ph.D. in natural resources from the University of Connecticut and an M.S. in ecology from the University at Buffalo. His research focused on the space use and movement patterns of wildlife in relation to human-modified landscapes. Before joining the CIC, Mike was the senior data scientist at Defenders of Wildlife where he led projects designed to improve the implementation of federal conservation policy. At the Chesapeake Conservancy, his work uses remote sensing data with AI to map and understand patterns of land cover change.

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