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Mangroves and the Mangrove Finch in the Galápagos
Take a trip to the Galápagos Islands with mangrove ecologist Candy Feller, in the kickoff of our 2023 Earth Optimism webinars! Candy will introduce you to the mangrove finch, one of the famous “Darwin’s finches” that inspired the theory of evolution. Found only on the Galápagos, mangrove finches are on the verge of extinction, with only around 100 individuals left in the wild. In this talk, Candy will reveal the intricate connection between mangrove finches and the mangrove trees they call home. She’ll highlight how previously unknown interactions between the land and the sea on the Galápagos have created a unique environment that shaped the evolution of this endangered bird.


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Candy Feller
Smithsonian Scientist Emerita @Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
Dr. Ilka "Candy" Feller is a mangrove ecologist and scientist emerita with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. Throughout her career, she has studied mangrove ecosystems around the globe, including Florida, Belize, Panama, Australia and the Galápagos Islands. Some of her key discoveries include how mangroves respond to pollution and hurricanes, and how Florida' mangroves are jumping northward with increasing speed due to climate change. She is also a prolific scientific illustrator, having created many botanical illustrations for the National Museum of Natural History. Dr. Feller received a bachelor's in biology from the University of North Carolina. Greensboro, in 1969, and a Ph.D. in ecology from Georgetown University in 1993. (Photo: Anne Chamberlain)