Muskingum News


Muskingum to Host John Glenn Distinguished Lecture
Dr. Susan Kidwell

After a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, Muskingum University is hosting the John Glenn Distinguished Lecture Series in Earth and Planetary Sciences at 4 p.m. on April 12, in The Boyd Science Center, Room 343.

Dr. Susan Kidwell, the University of Chicago, will present “Unsuspected Collapse of Marine Communities in Historic Times: Novel Insights from Very Young Fossils.” Kidwell will be explaining the challenges of discovering ‘what was natural’ before human impacts in environmental management and conservation biology and how she is tackling the problem.

Dr. Kidwell is the William Rainey Harper Professor in Geophysical Sciences and on the Committee on Evolutionary Biology at the University of Chicago, where she has taught since 1985. She specializes in paleoecology and sedimentary geology where she has combined geological fieldwork, laboratory experiments, statistical meta-analysis, and measurements in modern environments to investigate how the fossil record forms and how best to use it to understand the past and anticipate the future of today’s biodiversity.

Dr. Kidwell is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Paleontological Society. Additionally, she has won many awards including the 2015 Mary Clark Thompson Medal from the National Academy of Sciences.

“The Muskingum community is very excited that Dr. Kidwell has accepted our invitation to be a part of this wonderful lecture series,” said Bill and Martha Lovejoy Professor of Biology James Dooley, PhD. “We are looking forward to her presentation.”

The John Glenn Distinguished Lecture Series in Earth and Planetary Sciences, founded in 2017, brings an annual speaker to campus who is chosen by faculty members from the biology, geology, and physics departments. The lectureship was established by alumnus Bill Lovejoy ‘51 and his late wife Martha Johnson Lovejoy ‘52 to honor the legacy of one of the school’s most accomplished alumni, John Glenn ‘43.

In the past, the lectures have featured professionals such as Dr. Tim M. Berra, academy professor and professor emeritus of evolution, ecology, and organismal biology at The Ohio State University, and Dr. Jan Ramer, Vice President at The Wilds.  

Click here for more information about the lecture series and Dr. Kidwell’s upcoming presentation. Questions about the lecture series can be directed to Dr. Dooley at

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