Fall Forum: Not Just Bird Food with Donald Feener

Regular Events
Oct 10, 2023 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Please join us on Tuesday, October 10 at 7:00 PM at Westminster University, Gore Auditorium. Donald Feener, Professor Emeritus, School of Biological Sciences at the University of Utah, speaks about Not Just Bird Food: An Appreciation of Insects with a Comparison to Birds. Doors open at 6:00 pm for reception with refreshments and beverages.

Insects are the most diverse group of organisms on the planet, exceeding more than 50% of all described species of animals, plants, fungi and protists. They are abundant in virtually all ecosystems where they play essential roles as decomposers, pollinators, herbivores, predators and parasitoids, and as an important food source for birds and other vertebrates.

In his talk Dr. Feener compares the evolution, ecology and behavior of insects with that of birds. Topics he plans to address include how wings evolved in insects and birds, why adaptive radiation in insects and birds is tied to the diversification of mouthparts, and why insects and birds are so colorful. He also discusses evidence for the insect apocalypse, its causes and consequences, and what we can do to encourage healthy and diverse insect populations.

Professor Donald Feener is an insect ecologist whose research areas include the evolution and ecology of species interactions between ants and other insects, ant-plant mutualism, and the behavior and physiology of food collections in ants. He has taught the Entomology course at the University of Utah for 30 years, along with a variety of other courses, including Rain Forest Ecology and Conservation, and Evolution and Diversity of Life.

In the last two years he has become an avid birdwatcher