University of British Columbia Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Event Description: This is a plenary session where CSEE members (and of course ESA members too!) are invited to attend a talk by the CSEE Early Career awards winners. The CSEE Early Career Awards recognize outstanding accomplishments and promising future research potential in ecology and evolution by scientists early in their career. This year's winners are Joey R. Bernhardt and Laura Melissa Guzman.
Joey R. Bernhardt, University of Guelph Title: Towards a mechanistic science of global change: from cells to ecosystems and human well-being
Biodiversity and ecosystems sustain human well-being. Global change is threatening the benefits that natural systems provide to people, fundamentally altering our ability to secure a sustainable and equitable future for humanity. The challenge for ecological science is clear: we need to understand ongoing environmental changes in mechanistic ways and at multiple scales that matter for ecosystems and people. In this talk, I will present recent work that addresses this challenge by linking physiological processes to higher order ecological processes governing the dynamics of populations and ecosystems, and the benefits to human well-being they provide. I will demonstrate how understanding living systems in terms of the core chemical and physical processes that sustain life (i.e. metabolism) has created inroads to predicting biological responses to environmental change. I will also present new work that bridges the gap between biodiversity science and human health in the context of seafood, by extending statistical and theoretical approaches from ecosystem science to human nutrition science. This work that has shown that biodiversity (species diversity and ecological functional diversity) directly enhances nutritional benefits at global and local scales, with the potential to combat the problem of micronutrient deficiencies in coastal communities.
Laura Melissa Guzman, University of Southern California Title: Leveraging computational statistics to gain insight into ecological processes and biodiversity change
There are huge efforts -- by large institutions, community science groups, and individual research labs -- to collect and curate biodiversity data at unprecedented scales. There has also been tremendous growth in computational power and in the sophistication of statistical tools. Together these two currents offer exciting opportunities to gain critical insights into the processes that shape patterns of biodiversity and how global change is affecting these. In my talk, I will discuss three projects at the interface of biodiversity and computational statistics. These include combining experimental ecological data with large-scale simulations, investigating good study design for using occurrence data in the inference of biodiversity trends, and applying the insights learned from proper analysis of occurrence data to understand the trends of Bumble bees in North America.