Dwayne Estes, expert botanist and visionary for the preservation of the grasslands in the Southeastern U.S. will present a talk about modern-day plant exploration and conservation.

The talk will be at 6 p.m. Thursday, October 17, in the Felmley Hall of Science in the Annex Auditorium, room 133. It will be preceded at 5 p.m. by an open house of ISU’s Vasey Herbarium in room 132, which boasts pressed plant specimens dating back to the 1860s from such noted explorers as John Wesley Powell and George S. Vasey. Sponsored by the Illinois State University Horticulture Center, the talk is part of the Illinois State University Speaker Series, and is free and open to the public.

Estes serves as executive director at the Southeastern Grasslands Initiative. He is a full professor of biology, director of the Austin Peay State University Herbarium, and principal investigator for the Center of Excellence for Field Biology. Estes’ research interests include the flora, ecology, history, biodiversity, and biogeography of the Southeastern U.S. with emphasis on grasslands.

His work has been widely published in over 20 periodicals, and he is co-author of the Guide to the Vascular Plants of Tennessee. He is active in building diverse support for Southeastern U.S. grasslands conservation, including bringing together philanthropists, government agencies, nonprofits, corporate and small-business partners, private landowners and ranchers, historians, educators, and citizen scientists.

The Illinois State University Speaker Series seeks to bring innovative and enlightening speakers to the campus with the aim of providing the community with a platform to foster dialogue, cultivate enriching ideas, and continue an appreciation of learning as an active and lifelong process. All talks are free and open to the public.