NCEAS Winter/Spring 2021 Seminar Series - Wealth, Race, and Wildlife

Wednesday, March 3 at 11:00am to 12:00pm

Join us for the second seminar in the NCEAS Winter/Spring 2021 Seminar Series, titled "Wealth, Race, and Wildlife: The Impacts of Structural Inequality on Urban Wildlife".


Urban ecosystems are intrinsically heterogenous, characterized by dynamic biotic and abiotic interactions that are not witnessed in non-urban environments. Urban flora and fauna experience a suite of novel disturbances and stressors that have led to remarkable phenotypic strategies and adaptations to cope with urban living. Despite recent groundbreaking discoveries and innovation in the fields of urban ecology and evolution, the drivers of urban heterogeneity that induce biological change are seldom articulated. The spatiotemporal distributions of urban organisms are directly affected by the uneven distribution of resources (e.g., refugia, food, water) across cities, all of which are connected to societal function and governance. Hence, to build a comprehensive understanding of urban systems and wildlife adaptation, we must integrate and reconcile how structural inequality – especially racism and classism – shape urban environmental mosaics.


In this seminar talk, Dr. Chris Schell will discuss how structural and systemic inequalities, especially economic and racial inequality, shape ecological and evolutionary outcomes of wildlife. In doing so, we will discuss how leading with an environmental justice and activism framework in the natural sciences can promote conversation, sustainability, and resilience in a human-dominated world.




This seminar series was motivated by recent conversations about how we at NCEAS can foster diversity and inclusion within our scientific community, while also designing research questions and approaches to promote environmental justice and equity across our broader community. The speakers will share their research approaches and findings as they relate to the intersections of ecology, environmental data science, equity, and environmental justice.


Visit to download the full event flyer and learn more about each individual event below.


Wednesday, March 3, 2021, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm PST

Christopher Schell, 'Wealth, Race, and Wildlife: The Impacts of Structural Inequality on Urban Wildlife'

Join the Zoom webinar:


Wednesday, April 7, 2021, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm PDT

Lydia Jennings, 'Indigenous Data Sovereignty: How Scientists and Researchers can Empower Data Governance'

Join the Zoom webinar:


This seminar series is free and open to the public—we hope you can join! 


Live auto-captioning using Zoom-enabled AI will be available for all talks in this series.


For questions regarding this event, please contact Courtney Scarborough at