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Spring At Miami Is In Full Swing With These Two Events

by: MJ Watkins

The birds are chirping, the grass is finally green, and temperatures are climbing higher every day: spring is truly here at Miami. Revel in it on April 26 with these two events, perfect for casual and serious nature lovers alike.

Walt Whitman in an engraving from 1845. Photo cr. Wikipedia

Miami University's Literature Program will host its annual marathon poetry reading beginning at 8 a.m. in the Ernst Nature Theatre, located at 686 Western College Drive. 

This year's reading is Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass. 

Leaves of Grass was originally published in 1855 as a collection of poems about the philosophy of life and the human connection to nature. 

The collection of poems will be read aloud by Miami University students throughout the day until its conclusion at 8 p.m. 

Any student can sign up for five minute time slots to read from the collection. With each entry comes a chance to win a Lego typewriter, worth about $250. Smaller prizes such as tote bags will also be given out to some of the lucky readers. 

The event is open to the public and all students are encouraged to attend. Snacks and games will also be available for students to engage with alongside the reading for a fun, relaxing event just before finals. 

ZeroWaste Oxford will also be in attendance to conduct their annual book swap with students looking for new reads for the summer months. Audience members are welcome to bring a book or two for trading.

The Biology Department's poster for this year's Wilson Lecture in Botany.

Also on April 26, the Department of Biology will host its annual Roger E. Wilson Lecture in Botany in 128 Pearson Hall, at 7 p.m. This year’s lecture is titled How disease begets diversity: plant-pathogen interactions in tropical forests.

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Speaking on the topic will be Dr. Liza Comita, professor of tropical forest ecology at Yale University. Comita has done research in both pristine and altered rainforests, and will draw on her experiences in both for the talk.

According to the Miami Events calendar, Comita’s research “combines extensive field studies of forest dynamics and ecological interactions with cutting-edge statistical techniques to produce novel insights into the processes driving tropical forest regeneration, diversity, and species distributions.”

The event is free and open to the public. Following the lecture, there will be a reception in Pearson for students to ask questions and connect with Comita about her research.

Comita will also give a second lecture the next day at 4:15 p.m. in 218 Pearson Hall, on how drought can affect tropical tree species distribution. 

Those wishing to meet with Dr. Comita during her visit can contact David Gorchov in the Department of Biology.