Wednesday 11 October 2017

Biosciences Seminar Speaker 12 October 2017

Biosciences Seminar Series - Autumn 2017
12 October 2017 - 1pm - Zoology Museum

Embracing variability: The adaptive capacity of aquatic ecosystems

Prof Kevin McCann

Photo by David Doubilet and Jennifer Hayes

We are delighted to welcome Professor Kevin McCann, Professor at the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Guelph (Canada), to start our Biosciences Autumn Seminar Series. Kevin started as a mathematician but then went back to University to train into how to apply mathematics to ecology, which then lead to him becoming now one of the leading researchers on community ecology and food webs (e.g. see here). Research in Kevin's lab focuses currently on understanding the structure and function of food webs, combining theory, lab and field-based approaches. A special focus is on aquatic systems (currently lakes and seagrass food webs), but his research branches out to work with soil, forest and desert food web ecologists.

Here, I will discuss variability and the structure of food webs. I will start by arguing that underneath nature's baroque complexity in food webs lies a gross repeatable structure (i.e., a fundamental food web module) that fosters stability through informed individual behavioural responses. With this argument, I then examine how and why this fundamental structure changes empirically in aquatic food webs across spatially and temporally changing conditions. 

Hope to see many of you - everyone most welcome to attend!

For the list of forthcoming seminars see here

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