Lunch & Lecture

The Milwaukee Public Museum Lunch & Lecture speaker series is going online this fall! 

women watching lecture

We are pleased to host several great speakers ready to share their knowledge through the 2020-21 virtual Lunch & Lecture series. To maintain the health and safety of our guests and staff, this fall’s Lunch & Lecture programs will be conducted online, and as a temporary measure, we have put the post-lecture lunch or an onsite tour on hold. We plan to resume these features as soon as possible.*


Online Lecture - 11:30 a.m.

Cost and Tickets

FREE for students** and members; non-member price is $5 per household.

Tickets for sale below; advance registration required. Registration will close two days before a scheduled lecture. Registrants will be emailed a link to the Zoom one day before the lecture.

*Fall lectures will be online only. Spring lectures are scheduled, however the presentation format is TBD; check back for details.
**Students must register by calling 414-278-2728.

2020-21 Lunch & Lecture series 
dawn scher thomaeOctober 20, 2020 - Herstory at MPM

Dawn Scher Thomae, MPM Curator of Anthropology Collections

The Milwaukee Public Museum has had a long and illustrious history, but much of it has focused on the local men who were instrumental in its creation. This presentation will highlight some of the many influential and adventurous women who helped to build our extensive world-renowned collections.

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Member Reservations


dr. heather moodyNovember 10, 2020 – Stereotypes, Biases, Myths, Oh My!
Dr. Heather Ann Moody

Based on personal experiences within classrooms at UW-Eau Claire and K-12 classrooms in the Chippewa Valley, Dr. Moody will provide insights on common misconceptions regarding Tribal Nations. She will also provide guidelines for incorporating Native content within classrooms.

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Member Reservations

richard edwardsFebruary 9, 2021 - The Archaeology of Dogs in the Western Great Lakes

Richard (Rick) W. Edwards IV, PhD, RPA, Principal investigator for Commonwealth Heritage Group and an Honorary Fellow at UWM

Dogs have been humans’ companions for at least 15,000 years. Throughout the millennia, the nature of the relationship between humans and dogs was nuanced and variable; it changed depending on when, where, and in which society the dogs lived. This presentation explores the nature of the human-dog relationship in the Western Great Lakes, with a focus on the Late Prehistoric (circa AD 900-1600). Lecture format and lunch menu TBD.

Patricia BurkeMarch 9, 2021 - Ruffled Feathers: The History and Art of MPM’s Dromaeosaurid Models

Patty Burke, Curator of Geological Collections/Senior Collections Manager

A walk through the Hell Creek diorama in MPM’s The Third Planet exhibit takes the visitor 65 million years back in time, but it is not frozen in time. Museums help guests visualize ancient life through artistic models that are informed by science. Over the last thirty years MPM has presented three interpretations of dromaeosaurid dinosaurs, each model improved by new knowledge. Patty will take you on the journey from fossil discovery to museum models and revise; it is the story of science told through the lens of dinosaur art. Lecture format and lunch menu TBD.

Karen OberhauserApril 13, 2021 - Monarch Butterfly Biology and Conservation

Karen S. Oberhauser, Director, UW-Madison Arboretum; Professor, Dept. of Entomology

Monarch butterfly populations have been declining over the last 20 years. Because insect numbers are notoriously difficult to assess and often show large annual fluctuations, simply documenting this decline has been a challenge. It is now important to move beyond simple documentation and toward responding to the challenge posed by monarch conservation, and insect conservation in general. Karen will describe the amazing biology of migratory monarch populations, how citizens and scientists are documenting monarch numbers across their migratory cycle, and what all of us can do to help preserve this charismatic insect for generations to come. Lecture format and lunch menu TBD.

chris tyrrellMay 18, 2021 - DNA Sequencing, Morphometric Analysis, and Supercomputers: How Museums are more like Star Trek than Downton Abbey

Dr. Christopher Tyrrell, MPM Assistant Research Curator of Botany, Director of Library & Informatics, and Interim Head of Anthropology, History, Geology, and Registration

You may have heard about DNA sequencing and supercomputers in the news, or you may be fortunate enough to use them where you work. But did you know that scientists at MPM and natural history museums around the world apply these tools to specimens that were collected tens to hundreds of years ago? The Milwaukee Public Museum’s own Dr. Christopher Tyrrell will explain the technology behind DNA sequencing and specimen analyses and show how — when applied to historic museums specimens — they can yield new discoveries about our natural world. Lecture format and lunch menu TBD.

Past Lectures

March 10, 2020 - "CONSTELLATIONS! Investigation, Imagination, & Inspiration"
Robert Bonadurer, Planetarium & Dome Theater Director

February 11, 2020 - "Don't Judge a Brook by Its Cover -- Use Bugs!"
Jessica Orlofske, UW-Parkside and MPM Adjunct Curator

November 19, 2019 -   "Our Grandmother's Dress"
Siobhan Marks, Communications & Marketing Director, Indian Community School 

October 8, 2019 - "How Spiders Become Parents"
John Dobyns, Director of Outreach and Operations, UW Oshkosh CAPP Office

May 14, 2019 - "'Lumos!' Taxonomy and Biology of Wisconsin Fireflies"
Dr. Daniel K. Young, Professor of Entomology and Director of Wisconsin Insect Research Collection (WIRC)

April 9, 2019 - "A Poisonous Mushroom in a New Country and the Genes It Carried with It"
Anne Pringle, Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor, Departments of Botany and Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

March 12, 2019 - "Handicrafts for Hard Times: The WPA Milwaukee Handicraft Project"
Jackie Schweitzer, History Collection Manager

February 12, 2019 - "The Bees of the Southern Lake Michigan Region: An Ecological and Faunistic Monograph"
 Laura Rericha-Anchor, Wildlife Biologist II at Forest Preserve District of Cook County

November 6, 2018 - "Tribute to Survival"
James Kelly,  Exhibit Director Emeritus

October 9, 2018 - "A History of Native American Policy and Activism: From the American Indian Movement to Today"
Heather Bruegl, member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin

And more!