The Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute Conant Lecture Program to feature Dr. Lauren Esposito 

MARFA — Twice annually, the Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute (CDRI) offers the Roger Conant Distinguished Guest Lecturer Program, which has become a favorite of conservationists, naturalists and environmentalists throughout the Big Bend region. 

The upcoming spring 2023 program promises to be no exception. CDRI is pleased to welcome Dr. Lauren Esposito, assistant curator and Schlinger chair of arachnology at the California Academy of Science, San Francisco, California. 

Everyone is invited to hear Esposito speak on the topic of arachnids on Thursday, April 13, 2023. The program will take place at the Crowley Theatre in Marfa, Texas. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The program begins at 7 p.m. 

Dr. Esposito will give an informative and exciting talk about scorpions that will have her audience looking at arachnids in a different way, she said. 

“Scorpions are the oldest living terrestrial arthropods on the planet. They’re approximately 400 million years old: They were here before dinosaurs and ever since haven’t changed in their overall form,” said Esposito.

Dr. Esposito points out that scorpions are found in every ecosystem on the planet, from cave systems below sea level, to the mountain peaks of the Andes, to the arid climate of the Chihuahuan Desert. Scientists have recorded 2,200 species of scorpions; Esposito’s conservative estimate is that number only encompasses 60% of the group’s total diversity. 

A light reception will follow the program. The program is free for attendees. Contact CDRI at 432-364-2499 or [email protected] for information.