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Session 1: Leave the Leaves – Life in the Leaf Litter

October 26, 2022 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Our yards are made up of many layers—trees, understory shrubs, native plants, sedges and grasses. Each year woodlands and our own gardens go through seasonal cycles. In the fall, the fallen leaves, small twigs, seeds and other woody debris accumulate on the ground and make up what is called leaf litter. Discover the amazing community of living creatures who find food and shelter in the leaf layer, plus all the other organisms that feed on the litter to decompose (chemically convert) the tiny litter pieces into valuable nutrient. These nutrients are then recycled, providing food for the trees and other plants in addition to creating healthy soil.


Event details:
Wednesday, October 26, 2022
7:00 – 8:00 PM Eastern Time
Presenter: Dr. Kefyn Catley

About the Presenter:

Kefyn Catley, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Biology
Western Carolina University

Dr. Catley is Professor Emeritus of biology at Western Carolina University where he taught and conducted research in organismal evolutionary biology and science education. He holds a PhD in arthropod systematics from Cornell University and was a research scientist at the American Museum of Natural History. Traveling extensively, he has studied spiders on four continents and held faculty positions at Rutgers and Vanderbilt Universities. While at Rutgers, Dr. Catley co-authored the article Life in the Leaf Litter. A naturalist, passionate photographer, and lifelong observer of the tiny creatures “that run the world” Dr. Catley gives talks and workshops at photographic clubs and societies where he encourages photographers to become citizen scientists by documenting and sharing their local arthropod diversity online. He has 30 plus years of experience teaching and mentoring students and science professionals in the field, lecture, workshop, and lab. His research has been published extensively in a wide range of scientific journals and his arthropod photographs have appeared online and in magazines, including National Wildlife. See samples of Dr. Catley’s photography.


Advanced registration is required, a link for the virtual program will be sent upon registration.

Register here:


October 26, 2022
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Renee Boronka