Dr. Wyatt Cross to lecture October 28 about the ecology of Western Rivers

Dr. Wyatt Cross

Montana State University ecology professor Wyatt Cross will discuss the ecology of rivers in the American West and the threats facing them at 6 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 28, at the Museum of the Rockies Hager Auditorium.

“Rivers of the American West: Embracing Biological Complexity for a Sustainable Future," is the next in the Ivan Doig Center for the Study of the Lands and Peoples of the North American West's Perspectives on the American West Lecture Series.  Cross’ lecture will be followed by a reception in the museum lobby. The lecture is free and open to the public. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

An associate professor in the MSU Department of Ecology and director of the Montana Water Center, Cross will discuss how the multiple uses of rivers may be undermining their delicate ecological balance.

“Rivers are the lifeblood of the American West,” Cross said. “We depend on them to provide water, power, protein, recreation and so much more. Yet, our increasing dependence on rivers has paradoxically changed them in ways that threaten their ability to sustain our own livelihoods.”

Cross will describe the basic physical and biological properties of rivers and how their ecosystems work. He will also discuss research that suggests that healthy rivers are physically complex, biologically diverse and thrive most when allowed to change naturally over time.

Cross’ research is focused on the ecology of river food webs and how biological communities respond to various human activities, such as land use, river regulation, climate warming and nutrient pollution. He teaches a variety of classes at MSU in the general areas of biology and freshwater ecology.

The Perspectives on the American West lecture series features experts from around the country discussing the history, literature and culture of the West; issues affecting the wildlife and fisheries of the region; and the West's geography, geology and resources. The series is co-sponsored by the College of Letters and Science and the Burton K. Wheeler Center and is a program of the Ivan Doig Center for the Study of the Lands and Peoples of the North American West, an interdisciplinary research center within the College of Letters and Science that is focused on the places and peoples of the Western United States and Canada. To learn more, go to: http://www.montana.edu/doig/speakers/2019.html.

Via MSU News Service


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