The School of Biological Sciences Spring 2024 Seminar Series presents Dr. Jonathan Chase

Scale as a unifying tool for synthesis in biodiversity studies

Some of the most important questions in biodiversity studies also remain the most controversial. Are species distributions structured by deterministic processes such as environmental filtering and species interactions, or do random processes reign supreme? Amidst a global extinction crisis, how is local biodiversity changing? How are productivity and diversity related? These and dozens of other questions have caused a considerable amount of strife in ecology over the decades. In my work, I have endeavored to find approaches, tools, data and perspectives that can synthesize these disparate views into a broader and more cohesive perspective. In this talk, I will use the concept of scale (mostly spatial, but also temporal, taxonomic ) as a fundamental mediator of biodiversity patterns and processes, and as such, as a way in which to synthesize seemingly disparate results. I will present some of the tools and approaches that we have developed that move beyond treating scale as a mere nuisance to treating it as a fundamental property of data that can help us to develop a more cohesive perspective on process and pattern in biodiversity studies. Finally, I conclude with a broader perspective on how the lessons learned in scale-dependence in biodiversity studies can help provide context for synthesis throughout ecology.


Hosted By Dr. Mark Hay

Event Details


  • Date: 
    Thursday, February 15, 2024 - 11 to Thursday, February 15, 2024 - 12

Free Food

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