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Wings Over the Rockies 2018

Webs & Roots: Talk About Networking!

May 7th to 13th, 2018

Special Guest & Keynote Presenter

Dr. Suzanne Simard

This year's Wings Over the Rockies Festival explores the theme Webs & Roots: Talk About Networking! in recognition of Ecologist Dr. Suzanne Simard who while researching her doctoral thesis discovered that trees use a network of soil fungi to communicate their needs and send each other nutrients through a network of roots and web-type fungi buried in the soil.

Suzanne Simard, Ph.D., a Professor of Forest Ecology in the Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences at the University of British Columbia, is a groundbreaking researcher who studies the astonishing complexity and symbiotic relationships in forest and other ecosystems, especially the underground fungal networks that connect trees and permit them to share nutrients and information. She has shown that forests are in fact communities with highly complex and adaptive networks centered around what she calls “hub” or “mother” trees. Suzanne’s work has far-reaching implications about how to be wise stewards not only of forests, but wetlands, tundra, grasslands and alpine ecosystems as well. In revealing how these networks look a lot like human neural and social networks, her discoveries show us that if our species intends to survive, we had best seek to learn about how to live in balance in the biosphere from the webs of plant and fungal life that have been here far, far longer than we have and know far more than we do about resilience for the long haul.