Speaker: Jesse Miller, PhD
Lichens are all around us and they have fascinating stories to tell. Although most people do not notice them, lichens cover about 7% of the earth’s surface, and they contribute substantially to California’s biodiversity. In fact, the San Francisco Bay Area is a global hotspot for lichen diversity. Lichens are also sensitive environmental indicators, and can be used to monitor air quality, fire histories, habitat conservation value, and more. In this presentation, Jesse Miller will discuss California’s beautiful and diverse lichen communities and some of the threats they face. He will also discuss recent research examining lichens as environmental indicators. If your spirits are low in these challenging times (and whose aren’t?), getting to know your local lichens a bit better may be just what you need.
Jesse Miller has worked as a botanist and lichenologist across California and the Pacific Northwest for many years. He is currently a lecturer at Stanford, where he teaches several ecology classes. Jesse’s research interests include the effects of global change factors such as altered fire regimes on lichen and plant communities.