Department of Natural Resources Science

College of the Environment and Life Sciences

Lecture and Seminar Series

The Ledermann Lecture in Natural History and Conservation Biology


The Ledermann Lecture in Natural History and Conservation Biology is a scholarly event held every year to celebrate the memory of Ingeborg and Christoph Ledermann. Chris Ledermann was a prominent New York business leader and headed the West German Chamber of Commerce in New York City. Inge Ledermann was an accomplished journalist and public relations expert. Although New York City was the center of their professional activities, Rhode Island’s natural areas were their passion and frequent weekend retreat. The Ledermanns were regular visitors to the Ocean State and avid nature lovers. Chris and Inge spent many weekends scouring our coast, estuaries, forests, and wetlands in search of interesting birds and other wildlife.

The time they spent exploring Rhode Island’s natural areas was the Ledermanns’ way of recharging their batteries required to sustain the fast-paced life in the New York City business world.

To honor the Ledermanns’ love for the natural areas of Rhode Island and their passion for protecting the environmental quality of our State, The University of Rhode Island (URI) Department of Natural Resources Science (NRS) has established an annual lecture — the Ledermann Lecture — to be given in the Fall of each year. The topic of the lecture will be natural history or conservation of the plants, animals, and ecosystems in Rhode Island or southern New England. The annual lecture is given by a distinguished scholar in ecology or conservation science. The Ledermann Lecture is free and open to the URI community and the general public.

The Ledermann Lectures are made possible by a generous endowment from an anonymous donor to the College of the Environment and Life Sciences. The endowment is managed by the University of Rhode Island Foundation. For further information, contact Dr. Scott McWilliams, Chairman, Department of Natural Resources Science, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI 02881.,

Reflections on Christoph and Ingeborg Ledermann Given by Christoph’s last living relative on the date of the first annual Ledermann Lecture, November 19, 2007

Ledermann Lectures

2011-2012. David King, University of Massachusetts (Amherst). “Ecology and Conservation of Northeastern Shrubland Birds.” [Announcement]

2010-2011. Dr. Mark Anderson, The Nature Conservancy. “Conserving the Stage: Climate Change and the Geophysical Underpinnings of Species Diversity.” [Announcement]

2009-2010. Dr. Aaron Ellison, Harvard University. “At play in the garden of eatin’: a view of the world through pitcher-plant microecosystems”. [Announcement]

2008-2009. Dr. Oswald Schmitz, Oastler Professor of Population and Community Ecology at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. “The importance of conserving biodiversity for ecosystem sustainability”. [Announcement]

2007-2008. Kevin McGarigal, University of Massachusetts Amherst.”Metapopulations and Their Application to Wildlife Conservation: A Case Study of the Marbled Salamander in Massachusetts”. [Announcement]

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