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Eating Invaders: A Panel Discussion on Invasive Species

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 | 06:10 PM

Yale Law School, Room 120
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Please join us Wednesday, February 13, for a conversation considering the ecological impacts of invasive species and the hotly debated question of whether eating these (often) tasty creatures is the best strategy for protecting the natural environment.

Should we address the threat of invasive species by eating them? The ecological and economic harms of invasive species—from green crabs to kudzu—are widely understood, but the best policies for combating ecological invasions are still under debate. Please join the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy and the Yale Sustainable Food Project on Wednesday, February 13, for a panel discussion considering the ecological impacts of invasive species and the hotly debated question of whether eating these (often) tasty creatures is the best strategy for protecting the natural environment.

Panelists include Dan Simberloff, the Gore Hunger Professor of Environmental Science at the University of Tennessee, Jackson Landers a freelance writer and hunting instructor, and Bun Lai, owner and chef of Miya's Sushi in New Haven, Conn. James Gorman, a science writer for the New York Times, will moderate.

The panel is free and open to the public; for more information please contact Susanne Stahl at Susanne.stahl@yale.edu.

James Gorman is a science writer at large for The New York Times.  He has been at the paper since 1993, as an editor on The New York Times Magazine, deputy science editor, editor of a personal technology section, outdoors columnist, science columnist and editor of Science Times.

Over the course of his career, he has written about a wide range of subjects, including spiral galaxies, the invention of flea collars, innovations in toilet technology, omnisexual squid, wolves, chimpanzees and the nature of consciousness.

Before joining The Times, Mr. Gorman wrote books on penguins, dinosaurs, the Southern Ocean and hypochondria.

“Digging Dinosaurs,” a book he wrote with the paleontologist Jack Horner, won the 1988 New York Academy of Sciences Children’s Science Book Award.

Mr. Gorman has contributed articles on science and humor to The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Sports Illustrated, Time, Audubon and The New York Times Magazine. He also published a collection of columns written for Discover magazine.

Mr. Gorman has taught courses in science writing at New York University, Fordham University and online in Stanford University’s Continuing Studies program. In the fall of 2011, he was the McGraw Visiting Professor of Writing at Princeton University.

Bun Lai is an Asian American chef, environmentalist and social activist who is passionate about climate change, sustainable living practices and rethinking the way “life should be lived and business should be done.” He is the owner and chef of Miya’s which is the first sustainable sushi restaurant in the world. Miya’s also has the largest vegetarian sushi menu in the world. In 1995 Bun Lai created the ubiquitous sweet potato roll that is served in every sushi restaurant in America and beyond. Miya’s also offers the world’s only invasive species menu, featuring dishes made of foraged ingredients that are threatening to the region’s indigenous species.

Bun Lai is an avid diver and fisherman who supplies his own restaurant with hyper local sustainable seafood from his own hundred acres of shell-fishing grounds off of the Thimble Islands in Connecticut. He is the owner of two fishing boats which serve as laboratories for sustainable seafood production. Central to the Miya’s menu are culturally and commercially unpopular types of seafood that are abundantly locally available such as silver sides, sea robins, wild seaweeds (invasive dead man’s fingers/codium fragile) and fouling organisms such as tunicates.

Jackson Landers grew up in a vegetarian household and started hunting for food as an adult. As a hunting instructor and guide he has taught hunting skills to hundreds of people, including vegans, grandmothers and chefs.

He is the author of several books, including ‘The Beginners Guide to Hunting Deer for Food’ and ‘Eating Aliens.’ Jackson launched the ‘invasivore’ movement to hunt invasive species for food, and his work has been covered by the New York Times, Time Magazine and NPR. He writes regularly for the Washington Post and Slate.com.

He lives near Charlottesville, Virginia with his two children.

Daniel Simberloff is the Nancy Gore Hunger Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of Tennessee. He received his A.B. (1964) and Ph.D. (1968) from Harvard University and was a faculty member at Florida State University from 1968 through 1997, when he joined the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Tennessee.

His publications number ca. 500 and center on ecology, biogeography, evolution, and conservation biology; much of his research focuses on causes and consequences of biological invasions. His research projects are on insects, plants, fungi, birds, and mammals. At the University of Tennessee he directs the Institute for Biological Invasions.

He is editor-in-chief of Biological Invasions, senior editor of the Encyclopedia of Biological Invasions, is a member of the editorial board for several other journals. He served on the United States National Science Board 2000-2006. In 2006 he was named Eminent Ecologist by the Ecological Society of America, and in 2012 he was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.





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