Plenary Speakers

Whether you are new to wetland science or a seasoned expert, you are sure to learn something new from our outstanding lineup of plenary speakers. These experts will share new research findings, new management techniques and new perspectives. Join us every morning during the Daily Opening Plenary to meet and hear from these leaders in the field. 

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david Cooper, ph.d.
Senior Research Scientist & Professor, Colorado State University

Dr. David Cooper is a Senior Research Scientist and Professor in the Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. He holds both his B.A. and Ph.D. in biology from the University of Colorado.

Dr. Cooper works on the ecohydrology of mountain wetlands including fens, bogs, meadows, marshes, floodplains, and salt flats, focusing on hydrologic processes that drive wetland formation, carbon storage, and species composition. He also studies the effects of human caused hydrologic manipulation, natural climate change, and herbivory on wetlands. He develops concepts for and implements restoration for degraded wetlands. Dr. Cooper works closely with federal agencies particularly the National Park Service, Corps of Engineers, Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and other agencies that manage land and water, and serves on many federal advisory boards and committees.

Dr. Cooper’s current work is in the Rocky Mountains, Sierra Nevada, and Cascade ranges in the U.S.; northern Alberta in Canada; the Andes in Colombia, Bolivia, and Peru; and Tibet in western China. He has served as an associate editor for the journal, Wetlands, for many years.


Susan Galatowitsch, Ph.d.
Professor, University of minnesota

Susan Galatowitsch, SWS Fellow, has been on the faculty of University of Minnesota for 25 years and currently serves as Department Head of the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology. She received her Ph.D. from Iowa State University.

Dr. Galatowitsch's research focuses on restoration of wetland and grasslands, climate change adaptation for wetlands and rivers, and management of invasive species. In addition to many research publications, she has authored two books, Ecological Restoration (Sinauer Associates) and Restoring Prairie Wetlands: An Ecological Approach (with Arnold van der Valk).

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Paul Keddy, Ph.d.
Independent Scholar

Dr. Paul Keddy has been a biologist, writer and scholar for more than forty years. He was a professor of ecology at three different universities, and now is an Independent Scholar. He has written over 100 scholarly papers, and even more essays. He achieved international designation as a Highly Cited Researcher, has awards from the Society of Wetland Scientists and the Environmental Law Institute, and, locally, is designated a Champion for Nature. His best-known books include Wetland Ecology and Plant Ecology; he also co-edited The World’s Largest Wetlands.

Dr. Keddy’s focus of his career has been upon the general principles that organize ecological communities, with emphasis upon plants and wetlands. He has a particular soft spot for turtles, frogs and alligators, but says that getting the vegetation right is essential to provide habitat for such species. Dr. Keddy has also spent many hours advising on wetland conservation in areas including Nova Scotia, the Great Lakes watershed, and coastal Louisiana, with lesser forays including San Francisco Bay and the Everglades.

Dr. Keddy has served organizations including the National Science Foundation, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, World Wildlife Fund, and The Nature Conservancy.  He also puts his money where his mouth is – over 40 years he has slowly bought nearly a square mile of forest and wetland in Lanark County, habitat which has now been donated to the local land trust as a nature sanctuary.