This year for Wild Ideas, we are exploring the hidden aspects of our local ecosystems through short Zoom talks with experts on three Thursdays in March.
Explore the fascinating world of biocrusts, hidden in plain sight.
Biological soil crust (biocrusts) are the community of lichens, mosses, cyanobacteria, and more which bind together the soil surface in drylands. Often overlooked, biocrusts are an integral member of arid ecosystems and have complex influences on water infiltration, soil stability, nutrient cycling, and plant communities. This talk will cover their biology, ecological role, and the exciting new field of biocrust as a restoration tool.
Lydia Bailey is currently pursuing a PhD with Dr. Matt Bowker and Dr. Anita Antoninka at Northern Arizona University. Born in Alabama, she moved west to get her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science – Biology from Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA. "I found a new home in arid landscapes and have spent the last ten years living and working across the western US. Beginning as a botanist, I worked for The Nature Conservancy, National Park Service, and Bureau of Land Management before beginning graduate school in Flagstaff. My dissertation focuses on the use of soil organisms to improve restoration outcomes on highly disturbed areas of the Mojave Desert, in collaboration with the Bureau of Land Management."
We'll have a quick introduction, then a 15-20 minute talk (pre-recorded to reduce technical difficulties), followed by a Q&A with the speaker. So feel free to get comfy, grab a tasty beverage, and join us!