The tyranny of temperature in ecological systems
Speaker:Mary I. O’Connor is an Assistant Professor in the Zoology Department and Associate Director of the Biodiversity Research Centre at UBC. O’Connor’s research centers on understanding change in marine ecosystems, including causes and consequences of biodiversity change and climate change impacts. Her work integrates field research in seagrass meadows in British Columbia, lab experiments, theoretical modeling and data synthesis. She is currently leading working groups to understand recent biodiversity change trends.
Ecological systems are highly sensitive to changes in temperature. Temperature controls the rate of fundamental biological processes shared by all living organisms, lending a surprising amount of predictability to a very unpredictable natural world. A new look at how temperature affects ecological and evolutionary processes forms the foundation of an emerging theory that unifies biological processes across scales—from cells to populations to ecosystems. This theory, called Metabolic Scaling Theory, transforms our scientific approach to understanding natural systems. In a time of rapid environmental temperature change resulting from human activities such as land use change and climate change, a temperature-centered view of nature might could yield an alternative and information-efficient way to understand nature, how it changes, and what aspects we might control.Please register for this free event. Refreshments will be provided for registered guests. For more information, see the poster.University Centre, Seminar Room (307), 6331 Crescent Road, Vancouver