UF Thompson Earth Systems Institute participates in the 5th Life Discovery Conference (LDC) on March 21-23rd. This conference is hosted by the Ecological Society of America with partnerships with iDigBio, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Florida Museum, and the the UF Biodiversity Institute. The conference theme this year is Microbiomes to Ecosystems: Evolution and Biodiversity across Scale, Space, and Time.

Big questions to be addressed during the event include:

    • (1) How do we teach students about biodiversity at different scales and contexts with these new data, tools, and resources?


    (2) How do we best enable and develop the next generation of 21st century scientists and create data-driven educational programs aligned to national initiatives such as Next Generations Science Standards and Vision and Change for Undergraduate Biology Education?


Thompson Earth Systems Institute postdoctoral associate, Jen Bauer, is participating as an invited speaker and will also host a networking table. There are seven different networking topics that have a goal of discussing issues, resources, and asking questions to help foster productive chats about how to navigate classroom issues and better serve students. Please see a full list of networking sessions by clicking here. The networking topic that Jen is leading concerns Teaching Evolution through the Fossil Record. The second day of the conference these networking groups will reconvene to share their discussions with the larger conference so that everyone is able to learn from these smaller breakout groups.

Jen is also participating in a panel discussion that will highlight the diversity of research questions that can be addressed using biodiversity to inspire educators about where biodiversity science is headed in the next decade. She will provide a lightning or elevator talk explaining how her research goals relate to large questions about biodiversity and then partake in a discussion with the audience. Click here to read more about other keynote speakers at the event.