Wallace Coffee Talks - Spring 2018
21 June 2018 - 1pm - Zoology Museum
David Gilljam (SwanseaUniversity, UK)
The colour of environmental fluctuations driving terrestrial animal population dynamics
I'm an ecologist with a background in computer engineering whose research focus lies on the effects of environmental variation and within and between species interactions on the dynamics, stability and functioning of ecological networks. As a NERC-funded postdoc here at Swansea University, one of my lines of research investigates the drivers of fluctuations and cycles in animal population dynamics. Fluctuations can be generated by many types of biotic factors, such as density-dependence, age-structure and predator-prey interactions. Abiotic factors, like the temporal structure (colour) of environmental variables such as temperature and precipitation are also considered to influence population dynamics. In this talk I will however propose that for short time-spans typical for ecological time-series, the colour of the environment is not as important as a driver of animal population fluctuations as previously thought. These findings will, in turn, improve our ability to incorporate appropriate environmental processes into predictive modelling frameworks of ecological dynamics.
Stream fragmentation in Great Britain: what, where and why?
The potential impact of river fragmentation caused by in-channel obstacles on river ecosystems is enormous and includes alteration of hydro-geomorphological processes, temperature regimes and sediment loading, that affect river connectivity. Owing to these impacts, EU member states are bound by the Water Framework Directive to maintain river continuity as a crucial component to achieving “good ecological status”. Despite this and plenty of other concern, the extent of river fragmentation in Great Britain is unknown. In this talk I will briefly describe how I got here and what I’ve been working on to address current knowledge gaps in river fragmentation in Great Britain.