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Science Café goes 'Globetrotting for Violets' with Harvey Ballard on Feb. 15

The spring 2022 lineup for Ohio University’s Science Café features two professors talking about diverse topics—globetrotting for violets and the globalization of rhythm and blues.

Harvey Ballard, Ph.D., takes the stage at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 15, at the Baker Center Theater to talk about “Globetrotting for Violets.”

"Most of us are familiar with the pretty, purple-flowered violets in our spring lawns and woodlands. Others have delved into the forests and come across violets with white or yellow flowers. In fact, violets are distributed across almost every habitat around the world, ranging from species smaller than your pinkie fingernail found at 14,000 feet in the Andes to tree violets in the canopy of the Amazon rainforest, with some species inhabiting the wettest places in the Alakai Swamp on Kauai to eking out an existence in the hot deserts of the Middle East," said Ballard, professor of environmental and plant biology in the College of Arts and Sciences. He's also a member of the molecular and cellular biology graduate program and the Ohio Center for Ecology and Evolutionary Studies.

As a violet specialist, Ballard has conducted research on violets all over the Western Hemisphere, in Europe, and on the Hawaiian and Canary Islands. He will discuss the biological diversity and evolution of the violet family, as he highlights the amazing landscapes that harbor violets and some of the human cultures that live among them.

Science Café

The Science Cafe on "Rock n' Roll, the British Invasion and the Globalization of Rhythm and Blues" that had been scheduled for March 17 has been canceled.

For more information, contact Roxanne Malé-Brune at

February 9, 2022
Staff reports