Human-Animal Studies Speaker Series

Each year the HAST program brings faculty, students, and community members together for a lecture series featuring world-renowned animal scholars and activists. These lectures (usually three per year) draw a mixed and lively audience of from fifty to one hundred fifty people. Past themes of the Series have included the mental lives of farmed animals, shared human-animal experiences at the margins of society, and living at the wildlife-urban interface. The lectures are followed by Q and A time and informal conversations.

Students are given the opportunity to make personal connections with our lecturers at dinners and beyond. Past speakers have included marine biologist Lori Marino, animal ethologist Marc Bekoff, Farm Sanctuary founder Gene Baur, and ecofeminist author Carol J. Adams.

Upcoming Speakers

Oceans, Whales, Climate Change and Citizen Science 09_28_23.png

Guest Speakers:  Ted Cheeseman
Topic: Oceans, Whales, Climate Change and Citizen Science: What’s happening in the North Pacific Ocean?
Date/Time: Thursday, September 28th at 7:00
Location: Gregory 161

Join Ted Cheeseman as he explores the dynamic between whale populations recovering from whaling and now responding to climate change-warming oceans using new data coming out of the research collaboration and citizen science efforts of Happywhale. The talk will share new research built on machine learning computer vision AI that has enabled a scale shift in data science for whales, gathering the largest photo-ID dataset ever built for a marine mammal species. 

 Ted Cheeseman grew up whale watching in California's Monterrey Bay. In 1980 his parents both naturalists and educators founded Cheesemans' Ecology Safaris. In 1994 Ted joined the company as a leader of ecology-based wildlife safaris working on all seven continents. After earning a Masters of Science in Conservation Biology from Duke University, Ted returned to the company to lead polar expeditions. With over three decades of experience in eco-tourism, much of it in Antarctica, Ted experienced first-hand the impacts of humans on marine ecosystems. While some current trends are encouraging – the recovery of many great whale populations for example – many trends highlight the challenges facing marine wildlife. In 2015 Ted stepped down from his role with Cheesemans’ Ecology Safaris to build the AI enabled web platform Happywhale to focus on whale science and marine conservation. Ted is now completing a PhD in whale science seeking to use innovative citizen science to better understand and protect ocean ecosystems.



Previous HAST Speakers