Discover CALS

See how our current work and research is bringing new thinking and new solutions to some of today's biggest challenges.

  • Diversity & Inclusion
  • Inclusive Excellence Seminar

This event is supported by the CALS Office for Diversity and Inclusion and is part of the CALS Dean’s Inclusive Excellence Seminar Series, which highlights academic excellence through inclusive science and creates a platform for extended discussions on how our science can and should be transformative in leading to best practices and policies that support social, economic, environmental and climate justice.

The CALS Dean’s Inclusive Excellence Seminar Series and the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment present: A conversation with Chase Mendenhall, Ph.D.

Talk Abstract:

Science is a powerful tool for guiding attitudes and policies, including beliefs about sexual minorities and the efficacy of small-scale conservation activities in human-dominated landscapes. This talk will introduce the stakeholders and science of Queer Biology and Countryside Biogeography, exploring their roles in building an LGBTQ+ inclusive evolutionary narrative and guiding conservation investments in rural Latinx communities. First, we will examine a natural history museum's efforts to unpack the nuances of biological sex and social reproductive behaviors to confront scientific assumptions that marginalize LGBTQ+ people, including new evolutionary theories developed in light of the evidence that queer identities are natural. Second, we will compare 50 tropical and subtropical species-area relationships based on 1,016 forest remnants and 1,963 bird species to quantify how matrix effects slow biodiversity loss compared to other landscape characteristics (e.g., habitat fragmentation, extinction debt, and biogeography). Additionally, we will discuss the human dimensions of deforested tropical landscapes and the potential for agriculture to protect and nurture biodiversity where habitat loss has already occurred.

Speaker Bio:

Chase D. Mendenhall, Ph.D., is Assistant Curator of Birds at Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Mendenhall is an applied ecologist and evolutionary biologist with degrees from the University of Wyoming and Stanford University. He studies the capacity of working lands to conserve natural resources, emphasizing population ecology, spatial ecology, and land-use change in Latin America. As a postdoctoral fellow at The Nature Conservancy, Mendenhall quantified the collective contributions of rural community-based conservation to guide restoration and decision-making outside of Latin American protected areas, where people live and work.

Mendenhall also teaches and researches Queer Biology, a developing field that provides science-based solutions to damaging assumptions of sexual conflict and heterosexuality in the life sciences. For example, he led the development of a museum exhibition that explores new ideas that consider the widespread evidence of sexual diversity in humans and other socially reproductive organisms.

Zoom info:

Meeting ID: 918 3618 0629

Passcode: 448919

Date & Time

March 8, 2022
3:30 pm - 4:30 pm


Chase Mendenhall headshot

More information about this event.

Contact Information

Shannon Hovencamp

  • slm56 [at]


Natural Resources and the Environment

Related Events