Naturalists to speak on invasive species during Coffee Talk at Burnet library

Robin W. Doughty (left) and Matt Warnock Turner will talk about their book, 'Unnatural Texas? The Invasive Species Dilemma,' during a Coffee Talks program at the Herman Brown Free Library on February 13. Courtesy photos

Robin W. Doughty (left) and Matt Warnock Turner will talk about their book, 'Unnatural Texas? The Invasive Species Dilemma,' during a Coffee Talks program at the Herman Brown Free Library on February 13. Courtesy photos

How did we come to run down large hogs on the roads at night or accidentally disturb a mound of fire ants while gardening? And what can we do about it?

Robin W. Doughty and Matt Warnock Turner, authors of “Unnatural Texas? The Invasive Species Dilemma,” will answer these and other questions February 13 during a Coffee Talks series program at the Herman Brown Free Library, 100 E. Washington in Burnet.

The free event begins at 1:30 p.m. with refreshments. The presentation follows at 2 p.m.

Doughty, a biogeographer and University of Texas professor, has published more than 10 books on wildlife and its interaction with human culture.

Turner, a naturalist, brings a different perspective on invasive species. A past president of the Austin Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Austin and a star on the PBS documentary “Wildflowers: Seeds of History,” he is concerned with the plants of the Texas landscape. He is the author of the book “Remarkable Plants of Texas: Uncommon Accounts of Our Common Natives” as well as articles on natural history and native plants.

The question of what is an invasive species is difficult to answer. Harm and benefit can mix in unforeseen ways in the examples of feral hogs, fire ants, and salt cedar. Doughty and Warnock profile controversial importations —feral hogs, for instance — tracing how the invasive came to enter the Texas landscape and what we have tried to do about it. Eradication is not always possible or desirable.

Doughty and Turner’s presentation kicks off the second half of the Coffee Talks season at the library. Upcoming presentations include a mystery series, the photography of abandoned buildings in Texas, and Texas storytelling.

For more information, call the Herman Brown Free Library at 512-715-5228 or go to hermanbrownlibrary.org.

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