Skip to Content
Report an accessibility problem

Changing biodiversity, changing climate, and good ol’ basic research

Mary O’Connor

Assistant Professor, Department of Zoology, Associate Director, Biodiversity Research Centre, University of British Columbia

Mary O'Connor 2012Biodiversity is changing. Or is it? Detecting biodiversity change, and attributing observed changes do drivers of interest, be they succession, disturbance or anthropogenic drivers, is a fundamental challenge in ecological research. These challenges in biodiversity science have been faced for two decades in climate change ecology, and lessons can be learned from climate impacts science about detection and attribution of change. I will present a synthesis of marine biodiversity time-series, and an analysis to detect and attribute recent biodiversity trends. I will emphasize the importance of considering basic ecological knowledge and approaches to consider how we would expect diversity to change through time before we conclude that a particular temporal trajectory is surprising, or before we announce that a particular trend through time is proof of climate change impacts. Finally, I will present research linking herbivore abundance to temperature via metabolic scaling in an attempt to produce prior.

Wednesday, March 18, 1:45-2:45 PM
Coor 174

A Hugh Hanson Seminar

Hosted by Leah Gerber, CBO Director and Professor, School of Life Sciences