The Duke Wetland Center Distinguished Speaker Series

The Duke University Wetland Center sponsors a special lecture series covering a range of wetland issues. Each lecture features a speaker with internationally recognized expertise on an important current issue of wetlands ecology.


Fall 2017 Lecture, October 4, 2017

Jan Pokorny, RNDr.

Director, Scientific Technological Park and ENKI, o.p.s

Třeboň, Czech Republic

Direct thermodynamic effect of wetlands on climate:

Water & plants reduce gradients that drive wind & hurricanes


The lecture is available for replay.


Dr. Jan Pokorny was born in 1946 and graduated from Charles University Prague in 1969. He is Director of the Scientific Technological Park and ENKI, o.p.s., and an Assistant Professor at Charles University Prague Faculty of Sciences (Plant Ecophysiology) and at the University of Agriculture in Prague. Since the 1980s he has been a research scientist of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, involved in research projects on wetland ecology and landscape restoration. Dr. Pokorny is a principal researcher of the National Research Programme of the Czech Republic Development of methods for evaluation of solar energy fluxes in ecosystems. He is a member of international scientific committees and the author of approximately 200 scientific publications.


Past Speakers in the Distinguished Lecture Series

John R. White, Ph.D.

John and Catherine Day Professor of Oceanography & Coastal Science

Louisiana State University

"Can the Mississippi River Help Save Vanishing Louisiana Coastal Wetlands?"


Ryan King, Ph.D.

Professor of Biology

Baylor University

"Scenic Rivers, Nuisance Algae, and Interstate Politics: The Oklahoma-Arkansas Joint Phosphorus Study"


Kate Ballantine, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies

Mount Holyoke College

"Long-term Development and Ecosystem Functions of Restored Wetlands"


2015: The Duke University Wetland Center 25th Anniversary Year

Glenn R. Guntenspergen, Ph.D.

Research Ecologist

USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center

"Is Coastal Wetland Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise Overstated?"

Donald R. Cahoon, Ph.D.

Research Ecologist

USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center

"Assessing Coastal Wetland Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise"

Sandra Postel

Founder and Director

Global Water Policy Project

"From Duke to Now: Reflections on a Career in Water"


Jos T.A. Verhoeven , Ph.D.

Professor of Ecology and Biodiversity

Utrecht University

"Nitrogen Enrichment of Wetlands: Implications for Carbon Sequestration"


Edward Maltby, Ph.D.

Emeritus Professor of Wetland Science, Water and Ecosystem Management

University of Liverpool

"Challenges of Linking Wetland Science to Policy in Europe"


Patrick J. Mulholland , Ph.D.

Aquatic Ecologist, Carbon & Nutrient Biogeochemistry Grouop

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

"Streams as Nitrogen Filters in the Landscape"


Christopher Craft, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, School of Public and Environmental Affairs

Indiana University

"Challenges of Restoring Wetlands in Natural, Agricultural and Urban Landscapes"


Pat Megonigal, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

"Priming the Microbial Pump: Enhanced Soil Organic Matter Decomposition at Elevated CO2"


Nigel T. Roulet, Ph.D.

Director, McGill School of the Environment

James McGill Professor, Dept. of Geography

McGill University, Montreal

"Northern Peatlands, Carbon Cycling and Climate Change"


John W. Day, Jr., Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor, Department of Oceanography and Coastal Science

Louisana State University, Baton Rouge

"The Role of Wetlands in a Sustainable Human Society in a Post-Hurricane, Post-Modern World"


Peter M. Groffman, Ph.D.

Microbial Ecologists

Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Millbrook, NY

"Riparian Wetlands: A Crisis of Confidence and Connectance"


Jos T.A. Verhoeven, Ph.D.

Professor of Landscape Ecology

Utrecht University

"Wetlands and Water Quality: A Landscape Perspective"


Mark D. Bertness, Ph.D.

Robert P. Brown Professor of Biology

Brown University

"Why Experimental Community Ecology Matters to Conservation Biology"


Joy B. Zedler, Ph.D.

Professor of Botany and Aldo Leopold Chair in Restoration Ecology

University of Wisconsin, Madison

"Forecasting the Future of Wetland Diversity and Function"


Edward Maltby, Ph.D.

Director, Royal Holloway Institute for Environmental Research

University of London, England

"Wetland Ecosystem Management - an International Perspective"

David Schindler, Ph.D.

 Killam Memorial Professor of Ecology, University of Alberta, Edmonton

"The Cumulative Effects of Climate Warming and Other Human Stresses

on Freshwaters in the New Millenium"


James T. Morris, Ph.D.

Department of Biological Sciences, University of South Carolina

"The Homeostatic Response of Coastal Wetlands to Rising Sea Level"

Douglas Wilcox, Ph.D.

Coastal and Wetland Ecology Branch, USGS Great Lakes Science Center

"Predicting the Response of Great Lakes Wetlands to Future Climate Changes"


Hans Brix, Ph.D.

Department of Plant Ecology, University of Aarhus

"Plant Adaptations to Growth in Wetland Soils:

Gas Exchange, Root Aeration and Oxygen Release"

Ed Maltby, Ph.D.

Royal Halloway Institute for Environmental Research, University of London

"The Trans-boundary Challenges in Wetland Science and Management"


Arnold van der Valk, Ph.D.

Department of Botany, Iowa State University

"How Well Can We Predict Vegetation Change in Wetlands?"


Scott D. Bridgham, Ph.D.

Dept. of Biological Sciences, The University of Notre Dame

"Climate Change Effects on Northern Peatlands"


William G. Crumpton, Ph.D.

Department of Botany, Iowa State University

"Dynamics of Nitrate Loss in Emergent Wetlands:

Wetlands as Sinks for Non-Point Source Nitrate Loads"

R.S. Clymo, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor

School of Biological Sciences, Queen Mary and Westfield College

"Carbon and Methane Dynamics of Peatlands"


Bert Drake, Ph.D. 

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

"Effects of Elevated CO2 on Plants and Ecosystem Processes in a

Chesapeake Bay Wetland and Florida Scrub-Oak"


Eville Gorham, Ph.D., Regent's Professor of Ecology and Botany

Department of Ecology, The University of Minnesota

"The Role of Northern Peatlands in the Global Carbon Cycle,

and Likely Responses to Global Warming"


Robert G. Wetzel, Ph.D., Bishop Professor of Biology

Department of Biological Sciences, The University of Alabama

"Coupling of Ozone Reductions to Regulation of Nutrient Cycling

and Productivity of Freshwater Ecosystems"



Jeffrey C. Cornwell, Ph.D.

The University of Maryland CEES

"Applications of Radioisotopes and Stable Isotopes in Marsh Biogeochemistry"


Charles T. Driscoll, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Syracuse University

"Are You MAD as a Hatter: The Environmental Chemistry of Mercury"


Paul Glaser, Ph.D.

Limnological Research Center, Geology Department, The University of Minnesota

"Hydrologic Drivers for Carbon Dynamics in Large Boreal Peatlands"


K. Ramesh Reddy, Ph.D.

Soil and Water Sciences Department, The University of Florida

"Biogeochemical Indicators to Evaluate Nutrient Impacts in Wetlands"



Mark Brinson, Ph.D.

Department of Biology, East Carolina University

"Functional Assessments of Wetlands Using Hydrogeomorphic Principles"

Donald Siegel, Ph.D.

Department of Earth Science, Syracuse University

"The Hydrology of Wetlands: Paradigm Lost"

R. Kelman Wieder, Ph.D.

Biology Department, Villanova University

"Peatland Ecosystems, Carbon Cycling and Climate Change:

Insights from Comparative Studies along a Latitudinal Gradient"

The Duke University Wetland Center

Distinguished Lecture Series: 

Perspectives in Wetlands Research