Rob Pringle – EVE seminar speaker at #UCDavis today 4 PM –3 Kleiber Hall

Got this in email and thought it would be of interest to many .. should be worth going to.

Rob Pringle from Princeton is the first seminar speaker of the Ecology and Evolution seminar series. Rob is a very versatile ecologist with many interests and passions. (http://www.princeton.edu/eeb/people/display_person.xml?netid=rpringle)
His interests in his own words:

I seek to understand how direct and indirect species interactions (predation, herbivory, competition, mutualism) combine with abiotic factors (climate, habitat heterogeneity) to determine the diversity and abundance of species at multiple scales. My method is rooted in natural history and manipulative field experiments and supplemented by whatever computational, isotopic, molecular, remote-sensing, and social-scientific approaches are necessary to understand the mechanisms underlying phenomena in nature. Most of this work is done in the savannas of eastern and southern Africa.

My current work focuses on three interrelated sets of questions. First, what are the functional roles of large mammals in savanna systems, how are these functional roles contingent upon climate, and what are the ecological consequences of large-mammal extinction? My lab is working on these questions in central Kenya (where since 2008 we have been excluding different large-herbivore species from a series of 1-ha plots replicated across a rainfall gradient) and Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park, where large-mammal populations are recovering following near-extinction of many species from 1977-1994.

Second, how does self-organized spatial pattern arise in landscapes, and what are the consequences of this patterning for animal behavior and ecosystem functioning? Throughout much of Africa, termite mounds occur in strikinglyoverdispersed spatial patterns. We know that these patterns are ubiquitous and ecologically important, yet we have limited understanding of how they arise and what emergent effects they have at the ecosystem scale. Work here is also concentrated in Kenya and Mozambique.

Finally, I am using small experimental islands in the Bahamas to extend classic work about how invasive predators and competitors affect the behavior, population dynamics, and coexistence of Anolis lizards, and how interactions among lizards propagate to influence island food webs more generally.

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About Jonathan Eisen

I am an evolutionary biologist and a Professor at U. C. Davis. (see my lab site here). My research focuses on the origin of novelty (how new processes and functions originate). To study this I focus on sequencing and analyzing genomes of organisms, especially microbes and using phylogenomic analysis

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