2017 Conference Speakers


Doug Tallamy received his BS in Biology from Allegheny College in 1973, his MS in Entomology from Rutgers University in 1976, his PhD in Entomology from the University of Maryland in 1980, and his post-doctoral training at the University of Iowa in 1981. He joined the faculty of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware in 1981 where he is now completing his 31st year.  Doug currently serves as Chair of the Department and is also director of the Center for Managed Ecosystems.

Over the years Doug’s research has focused on various questions in behavioral ecology including the evolution of insect parental care, sexual selection, and plant/insect interactions. Chief among his research goals is to better understand the many ways insects interact with plants and how such interactions determine the diversity of animal communities. He has authored 78 research articles and has taught Insect Taxonomy, Behavioral Ecology, and the Conservation of Tropical Biodiversity.  

Doug’s book “Bringing Nature Home; How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens” was published by Timber Press in 2007 and was awarded the 2008 silver medal by the Garden Writer’s Association. Bringing Nature Home has stimulated a national discussion about the need to share our living and working spaces with the biodiversity that runs our ecosystems. To this end Doug gives 80-100 nation-wide talks per year describing the essential role that insects and the native plants that support them play in ecosystem function.



Pam Karlson is a career artist, gardener, birder and Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation volunteer who has been rescuing migratory birds for over 13 years.  Residing in Chicago, she co-owns Waxwing Studio, Inc. with her artist husband, Mike Edsey. Waxwing Studio specializes in design, illustration, gardening and landscape watercolor painting.





Bret Rappaport has a B.S. in Business from Indiana University (1983), a Masters in Rhetoric from DePaul University (2011) and a JD from John Marshall Law School (1986).  He is currently a partner at the Chicago law firm of Hardt Stern and Kayne, and an adjunct English Professor at Dominican University where he teaches composition and sociology. Bret was Wild Ones’ first national president, and was a member of the board of directors for almost 20 years. He publishes and speaks around the country on issues of natural landscaping and weed laws.  Bret lives in Deerfield, Illinois with his wife Jina.  They have four grown children.  



Carol Rice has been an active member of the Wildflower Preservation and Propagation Committee for about 30 years.  She founded the group’s mentoring program and has managed it since 2005.  More recently, she joined the effort to establish Chicago Living Corridors.  Carol gives presentations to garden clubs, Wild Ones chapters and other groups. She also publishes an emailed newsletter.





June Keibler is a member of The Conservation Foundation, Conservation@Home and Northern Kane County Wild Ones. Her collection of wooden bird carvings is an indication of June’s passion for the outdoors. As a founder of the Fox Valley Land Foundation, she initiated the drive to create an open space referendum in Dundee Township and has been an active volunteer in natural area restoration in Kane County for more than 20 years. June is retired from Witness Tree Native Landscaping, Inc., an ecological restoration company. June has been a leader in Kane County conservation efforts and while serving as president of the Fox Valley Land Foundation, she was instrumental in a smooth transition process when the Fox Valley Land Foundation merged with The Conservation Foundation in 2007. June currently lives in Dundee. She has a degree in Physical Therapy and enjoys hiking, bird watching and reading.



Fayette Aurelia Nichols prime interest is on the relationship between plants and their pollinators, and how habitat establishment through landscape design can support their survival. Her current research focus is on Bombus affinis, the Rusty Patched Bumblebee. She holds a BA from University of Chicago and a MBA from Northwestern University.  Nichols is currently working on a degree in Horticulture from the College of Lake County.


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