2014 October: New Lessons from Old Data

Biodiversity Informatics Webinar #8

“New Lessons from Old Data: Mobilizing Biodiversity Observations to Predict Global Change Impacts on Vital Species”

Lecturer: Dr. Jeremy Kerr
Home Institution: University Research Chair in Macroecology and Conservation and Professor of Biology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada
Date: Thursday, 30 October 2014
Time: 0900 hours Central Time

We have launched the Anthropocene with a mass extinction that surely demands the most concerted efforts to reverse it that science and society can muster. Those responses, if they materialize, will require reliable predictions for how and why species respond to accelerating global change impacts relative to baseline conditions. We have assembled long-term ecological datasets based on nearly continuous observations of species distributions for butterflies and bumblebees for the past 110 years over large areas of North America and Europe. I will discuss contrasting impacts of climate and land use changes on these groups relative to baseline conditions. These analyses reveal novel evolutionary mechanisms that may govern the extent to which species ranges expand or decline during climate change. Expanding availability of existing and novel species observations will be critical to detect, and mitigate, global change impacts on species across continents.

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