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July 16, 2018

SUNY Oswego Alumna To Discuss Scientific Journey To Antarctica


OSWEGO — SUNY Oswego alumna Dr. Hilary McManus will return to campus to discuss her role in a global initiative for women in science and her February journey to Antarctica at 6:15 p.m. Thursday, April 26.

SUNY Oswego alumna Dr. Hilary McManus is part of the Homeward Bound global initiative for women in science that culminated in a three-week trip to Antarctica in February. Now an associate professor of biology at Le Moyne College, she will return to SUNY Oswego to speak at 6:15 p.m. April 26, in Room 175 of the Shineman Center as part of the college's Feinberg Lecture Series.

SUNY Oswego alumna Dr. Hilary McManus is part of the Homeward Bound global initiative for women in science that culminated in a three-week trip to Antarctica in February. Now an associate professor of biology at Le Moyne College, she will return to SUNY Oswego to speak at 6:15 p.m. April 26, in Room 175 of the Shineman Center as part of the college’s Feinberg Lecture Series.

The lecture in Room 175 of the Shineman Center, part of the college’s Feinberg Lecture Series, is free and open to the public. Parking will be available in Lot 8, along Washington Boulevard in front of the Shineman Center.

An associate professor of biology at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, McManus is one of the first participants in the Homeward Bound organization, which is targeting 1,000 women with science backgrounds over the next 10 years to become the decision-makers who will develop new policies and lead the change.

McManus will speak about her work with Homeward Bound, including her three-week trip to Antarctica with 77 other women scientists who attended seminars and visited science research stations during the trip.

The program chooses to send the participants to Antarctica because it is a region experiencing the fastest responses to climate change on the planet, so participants can witness firsthand the influence of human activities on environmental change.

Throughout the program, the women scientists are developing the tools they need to assume leadership roles, which currently are filled by men, to “create a greater focus on the concept of a ‘global home,’” according to the Homeward Bound website.

“It’s not that men can’t or won’t do this,” the site reads. “However, when time is short it would seem that an enhanced diversity in leadership teams, by ensuring more women are at the executive table, might serve us all.”

McManus double majored in biology and music at SUNY Oswego. She earned an M.A. in botany from the University of Kansas and then a Ph.D. in botany from the University of Connecticut.

At Le Moyne, she teaches courses on botany, biology, evolution and bioinformatics. Students in her “Poisoning of a Planet” course develop projects that enable them to become activists and implement changes on their own college campus.

Her research focuses on species diversity and organellar genome evolution of freshwater green algae.

Her work uncovers species boundaries in freshwater green algae and discovers diversity of photosynthetic organisms in places ranging from house gutters in North Carolina to the streams, lakes and ponds of Iceland.

Her research has been published in numerous scientific journals and she has received several accolades in the field.

She is an honorary research associate at the New York Botanical Garden, and she was awarded the Louis D. DeGennaro Undergraduate Mentor Award by Le Moyne College and the Robert T. Wilce Graduate Student Presentation Award by the Northeast Algal Society.

The Fayetteville resident spends her free time with her family enjoying the outdoors, hiking, camping and canoeing.

Her presentation is made possible by the Feinberg Family Fund, created in 2003 by 1978 Oswego alumnus Robert Feinberg and his wife, Robbi, to support gender equity in the workplace.

McManus’ talk is also being held in conjunction with Earth Week celebrations on campus and is part of an evening focused on sustainability.

Attendees are invited to stay after her presentation for a short reception followed by the screening and discussion of “Beneath the Surface: The Storied History of Onondaga Lake,” a documentary that explores the human relationship with the natural wonder of this local lake, with writer/director Mark Eischen in Room 122 of the Shineman Center.

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