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Institute of Advanced Study

Past Events

Temporal and Spatial Scales: Scale in Ecological Systems, Past and Present - seminar series

15th February 2017, 12:00 to 14:00, Kenworthy Hall, St Mary's College, Professor Jack Williams (University of Wisconsin-Madison)


Ecological systems, past and present, can be investigated on a wide range of spatial scales, from very local (such as a single pond) to global. Ecological systems can also be studied over different timescales, from seconds to millions of years. For practicality and convenience, it is often necessary to make observations at one scale, but generalise them across scales. Up- or down-scaling observations and/or models is becoming increasingly important in exploring real-life events. There is also

a pressing need to apply knowledge of modern ecological micro’ scale data to the ‘macro’ ecological record of the past: much research into human evolution, for example, would benefit from greater interaction with ecologists of modern systems and a more detailed understanding of ecological pattern and process at multiple scales. This IAS-supported network will link ecological researchers working at different scales and on different time periods, across the University and beyond, integrating knowledge and catalysing interdisciplinary and novel research.

Meetings will be held weekly on Wednesday lunchtimes (12.00 – 14.00) in the Kenworthy Room at St Mary’s College, Durham University, from 25th January until 15th March 2017 inclusive. There will be a mix of seminars given by external speakers and more informal opportunities for ecological researchers to update each other on their current work, share ideas and develop collaborations. The ‘Scale in Ecological Systems, Past and Present’ network is being organised jointly by Dr Sarah Elton, Department of Anthropology (who works on Pliocene and Pleistocene palaeoecology and has a special interest in the inter-relationships between Old World monkey evolution, ecology and morphology) and Professor Brian Huntley, School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences (who investigates the relationships between environmental change and organismal distributions, as well the composition, structure and dynamics of ecosystems).

Speakers in the series include IAS Fellow Professor Sara Cousins, Stockholm University; Dr Hannah O’Regan, Nottingham University; IAS Fellow Professor Jack Williams, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Professor Chris Thomas, University of York; and Professor Adrian Lister, Natural History Museum London.


Seminar 4

February 15th 2017 –– seminar by Jack Williams, University of Wisconsin-Madison and IAS Fellow.

Jack and his lab study vegetation change and its drivers, across diverse spatial and temporal scales, with an emphasis on the environmental changes of the last 20,000 years as a model system for global change research.

All are welcome. Attendance should be confirmed with sarah.elton@durham.ac.uk


Contact sarah.elton@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.