California Botanical Society

2021 Botany Speaker Series

The CalBotSoc botany speaker series aims to showcase and promote the work of early career botanists. If you are an early career botanist interested in giving a talk of general interest to our members, please email us at

IMG_0490 Brianne Palmer

OlliffYang_grassland Rachael L. Olliff-Yang

CM_bioblitz Maria Jesus

thumbnail_IMG_E8384 Jenna Ekwealor

SuePierre_large_DSC3435 Suzanne Pierre

thumbnail_IMG_4561 Natalie Love

Justin Luong Justin Luong

SF Conservatory (3) Adriana Hernandez

Lorena_Villanueva Lorena Villanueva-Almanza

Thursday, September 9, 2021 7-8pm PT
Brianne Palmer

"Why Should Botanists Care About Biological Soil Crusts?"

Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) are complex communities of microbes, lichens, and bryophytes living on the soil surface. However, they can be very cryptic and are thus often overlooked, even by botanists. This talk will provide an introduction to the key components within biocrusts and explain the roles they play in ecosystem functioning. Specifically, it will provide background on the complex interactions between biocrusts and plant communities. Finally, Brianne will explain her current research on how biocrusts in grasslands and the coastal sage scrub respond to fire and discuss strategies to conserve these unique communities.

Brianne Palmer is a PhD candidate in the joint doctoral ecology program at San Diego State University and the University of California, Davis. Prior to graduate school she earned a B.S. in conservation and restoration ecology from Utah State University and worked as a botany technician in Utah before being sucked into the complex and interesting world of soil microbial ecology and biological soil crusts. Her current research seeks to understand how biological soil crusts respond to fire through field observations and quantification of the microbial community. She is also the 2021-2022 Outreach Chair for the California Botanical Society.


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2021 Schedule of Talks

14-Jan: Lorena Villanueva-Almanza

11-Feb: Adriana Hernandez

11-Mar: Justin Luong

8-Apr: Natalie Love

13-May: Suzanne Pierre

10-Jun: Jenna Ekwealor

8-Jul: Maria Jesus, CBG & Claremont Graduate University

12-Aug: Rachael Olliff-Yang, UC Berkeley

9-Sep: Brianne Palmer, SDSU & UC Davis

14-Oct: Daniel Winkler, USGS

11-Nov: Sarah Jacobs, Cal Academy

9-Dec: Ryoko Oono, UC Santa Barbara

California Botanical Society
c/o Jepson Herbarium
1001 Valley Life Sciences Building
Berkeley, California 94720-2465