EEB events: Thursday seminar: All roads lead to urban ecology: theoretical ecology in the city: Dr. Fred Adler, The University of Utah
Fred Adler, Professor of Biology and Mathematics, The University of Utah
In the great experiment humans that are conducting on the biosphere, urban areas are the "preliminary data," where everything from biogeochemical cycles to evolutionary processes have been rapidly and profoundly transformed. These changes are the endpoints of long chains of unintended consequences initiated by human actions designed, in almost every case, for an unrelated purpose. In the pristine world of the mind, theoretical ecologists seek to deduce how processes at one level (generally one deemed less interesting like the spatial distribution of habitats) alter results at another (usually one thought to be more interesting like species richness and abundance). Urban areas challenge ecologists to develop a more unified view of the field and ecological theory plays a central role in this unification. Through models of urban biodiversity, invasive species, trophic dynamics, diseases, physiology, evolution and human health, I will seek to illustrate this unified view.
Given that current urban environments are windows into the future of the entire planet, this unified view can provide the framework for better understanding the results of the great experiment.
Host: Professor Annette Ostling
Coffee and cookies will be served at 4 p.m.
Location: 1200 Chemistry