Interdisciplinary Talks at the Intersection of Environment & Society


The GLOBES Scholar Series is co-sponsored by the Environmental Change Initiative, the Eck Institute for Global Health, and the Department of Biological Sciences

Rethinking Failure in Law and Science
Friday, February 23 at Noon
Hesburgh Library, Carey Auditorium 107
Lecture Co-sponsors: Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the Intellectual Property Law Society


Sean Seymore, Ph.D., J.D., of Vanderbilt University kicks off the GLOBES Scholar Series on Friday, February 23, with a cross-cutting talk that addresses how changes in patent law due to advancements in science can effectively influence policy. Dr. Seymore is an alumnus of Notre Dame, earning both his Ph.D. in Chemistry and J.D. in Law. His research focuses on patent law and its adaptation through time due to scientific advancements. Professor Seymore is a faculty advisor to the Vanderbilt Law Review and an elected member of the American Law Institute. See the Globes Flyer Sean Seymore.

Multispecies Ethnography and Epidemiological Puzzles
Friday, March 23 at Noon RESCHEDULED FOR FRI, APRIL 20 AT NOON 

Hesburgh Library, Carey Auditorium 107
Lecture Co-Sponsor: Department of Anthropology

Genese Sodikoff

Genese Marie Sodikoff, Ph.D., is an associate professor of anthropology at Rutgers University-Newark. Her research has focused on labor hierarchies, biodiversity conservation, human-animal relations, and extinction events in Madagascar. She studies zoonotic disease, disease that spills over from animal species to humans, and its relationship to environmental degradation and cultural practices. Her current research in Madagascar focuses on bubonic plague outbreaks and funerary practices. She is the author of "Forest and Labor in Madagascar: from Colonial Concession to Global Biosphere" and she is the editor of "The Anthropology of Extinction: Essays on Culture and Species Death." In her talk, Dr. Sodikoff will discuss the challenges of epidemiology within rapidly transforming landscapes and genetics. 

Her talk addresses climate change and technological inputs into ecosystems that have created novel risks to human health. Tracking down mysterious causes of new or resurgent diseases often requires information about human-animal interactions in the outbreak zone. Recent anthropological studies of zoonotic disease have yielded vital insights into the evolving ecologies of health.  An ethnographic focus that moves beyond the human to include the habits of other species living in humanized environments can identify health risks. It can also raise new questions about transformations in disease dynamics.
Globes Seminar Genese Sodikoff PDF

The Control of River Blindness: an African Success Story
Friday, April 13 at Noon

Hesburgh Library, Carey Auditorium 107
Lecture Co-Sponsor: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences

Vincent Resh


Vincent Resh, Ph.D., is a professor of aquatic ecology at the University of California-Berkeley who has studied rivers and wetlands around the globe with the goal of improving human health and environmental quality. A renowned researcher and teacher, Resh received the Award of Excellence from the Society for Freshwater Science and the Distinguished Teaching Award from the University of California.

River Blindness (Onchocerciasis) is a human disease caused by a roundworm and transmitted by biting black flies. By the 1970's, it resulted in blindness rates sometimes exceeding 30% in communities living along the rivers of West Africa. Because these were the most fertile areas for agriculture, food security was threatened as large tracts of land were abandoned due to the disease. The Onchocerciasis Control Programme organized by the World Health Organization utilized a successful pesticide-drug distribution effort that resulted in near eradication of the disease in West Africa and resettlement of more than 66 million acres of land for agricultural production.

See the Globes Flyer Vincent Resh.