Counterforce Lab Salon #3:
Dr. Ursula K. Heise, the Chair of the Department of English and professor at the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at UCLA, in conversation with Ellie Diamant, PhD Candidate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Associate Director of the Counterforce Lab.
Through her work, Dr. Heise advocates for multispecies justice in urban landscapes that create better environments for humans and our nonhuman counterparts. As part of an environmental storytelling partnership with the Laboratory for Environmental Narrative Strategies at UCLA, Dr. Heise explores how the Los Angeles city scape is a sanctuary for the endangered red-crowned parrot. Ultimately, Dr. Heise applies the importance of multispecies justice to her discussion of the “urban ark” of city ecologies in which we move past trying to reconstruct past ecologies in favor of creating more inclusive future ones.
Ellie Diamant studies how birds, specifically juncos, in Los Angeles adapt and shift in urban areas, determining if and how we can predict bird response to cities. Beyond urban juncos, she has explored the evolution of variation in male-like color traits in female hummingbirds, nesting behavior in cavity-nesting birds, and population response to multiple stressor interactions. She uses techniques from evolution and behavioral ecology to parse apart what drives birds to act and look like they do. Fostering interspecies friendships with birds drives her day-to-day work, which she hopes can help envision a shared future between humans and non-humans in an age of rapid global urbanization.
Monday, February 6, 2023. 12 noon / UCLA, Broad Art Center, EDA Room #1250.