Meeting Programs

Meetings of the Gila Native Plant Society are held the third Friday of the month  at 7.00 p.m. in Harlan Hall, second floor, Room 219, corner of Alabama and 12th Streets, on the Western New Mexico University campus. Free and open to the public. Refreshments following the program.

Friday, April 20, 2018 

Dr. Manda Clair Jost will give a presentation entitled “Interactions between domesticated, feral, and native bees in the Southwest”. As Dr. Jost explains her topic, “Old-world honeybees are here to stay.  But even though there has been great concern about the status and stamina of European Apis and their africanized siblings, the effects these non-native bees have had on native bee and plant species is hotly debated and only partly understood.  This presentation will review the status of domesticated, feral, and africanized Apis mellifera in New Mexico and Arizona, with special regard to the potential impacts these bees have had (and may continue to have) on our native bee and plant communities”.

Dr. Manda Clair Jost has been a professor of Biology at Western New Mexico University since 2008, and teaches courses in invertebrate zoology, evolution, entomology, and other topics.  Currently she is studying the evolution of host choice in parasitic spider-wasps – such as the tarantula hawk, New Mexico’s official state insect. She is also a hobby beekeeper who recently taught a beekeeping workshop for the Western Institute for Lifelong Learning.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Kenneth Sexton will give a talk entitled “Transport and Fate of Plant-based and Man-made Chemicals in the Environment”. In his presentation he will discuss air and water pollution, the uptake of pollutants by plants and the negative effects on the insects that eat them. He will address a key question: If many different insects are experimentally documented as dying from eating the plants, might bees also be affected? He will discuss his personal interests and their relationship with the results of his studies and will suggest questions and discussions concerning decisions facing the people of New Mexico.

Kenneth G. Sexton, PhD, is a retired Research Assistant Professor from the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering of the University of North Carolina. Dr. Sexton’s career has centered on studying the atmospheric chemistry of urban systems of nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons and on understanding the reactive chemistry producing ozone and other photochemical products, using smog chambers.  In the last 12 years, he has focused on developing and demonstrating new technological systems to interface smog chambers and in-vitro toxicological exposure systems in order to evaluate the potential effects of pollutants on health.