EEB Seminar: November 30th

This week the department is pleased to welcome Andrew Gonzalez from McGill University.

Diversity, stability and evolution of networks


In this talk, I will present an approach that views ecological and evolutionary systems as complex evolving networks. For example, network patterns of selection, extinction and colonization can govern the stability and adaptive capacity of communities responding to environmental change.  Species are also connected in networks by their interactions to form food webs, mutualist webs, and host-disease webs. I will integrate these dimensions of ecological networks to show how species interaction networks, such as food webs, reorganize as their component species shift in space through time in response to habitat loss and climate change. 

I will also introduce the idea of community evolutionary rescue. I will explain this new concept and give results from high throughput experimental evolution to show how spatial networks of populations and communities can rapidly evolve in response to extreme environmental stress.

I will close with an application of a network approach to the design of protected ecosystem networks for biodiversity, using the case study of Montreal. This research was a response to a request for knowledge from the Quebec government. Our findings are currently being applied to the design of the green belt and green infrastructure in and around the city.

The EEB Seminars run weekly, on Thursdays, in the EEB Lounge of the BioSciences Complex, Room 4338, from 12:30-1:30pm. This week there will be a pizza lunch to follow in the EEB Lounge.

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