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The digital series features Kronforst exploring overlooked ecosystems and hidden wildlife in urban settings. In season two, he hunts for crocodiles at a nuclear power plant near Miami, catches bats under a bridge in Austin, Texas, and makes a salad from plants gathered in a Chicago alley.
“As a biologist, of course I knew that there was nature around us in the city," said Kronforst, who is an associate professor of ecology and evolution at UChicago. “But I had no appreciation for just how much ecology is happening out there, and how important cities actually are in driving some natural systems."
The first season featured episodes in Chicago, San Francisco and New York City. Writer and producer Dan Protess won a Pete Lisagor Award from the Chicago Headline Club for best use of features video, making it the first digital series from WTTW to win an award of any kind.
Both seasons of Urban Nature can now be streamed in their entirety on wttw.com/urbannature.
Marcus Kronforst, PhD, is an associate professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at UChicago. His research seeks to explain the origin and maintenance of biological diversity, from individual genes to entire communities. As a tool to understand the dynamics of biological diversity, much of this work focuses on diversification of species in tropical butterflies.Learn more about Dr. Kronforst