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Stable Isotope Analyses in Neotropical Mammals: Paleoecological Implications

Stable isotope analyses are powerful tools for reconstructing ancient ecologies and ecosystems, as they provide direct insights into dietary ecology independent of morphology. The application of stable isotope analyses, however, is not without limitations, as determination of food web dynamics using these methods often relies on poorly tested assumptions. In this presentation, I will address challenges in paleoecological reconstructions of South American tropical ecosystems.

Organismal Dynamics, Fluids and Sparks: Stories of Marvelous Beasts

Most incredible animal adaptations, such as flight or filter-feeding, have been shaped by natural selection in which the fluid environment has played a fundamental role. Similarly, at submillimeter scales, some tiny organisms use other phenomena, such as electrostatics, to their biological advantage. In this seminar, I am going to focus on four stories of my recent research that show how fluids, as well as electrostatic forces outline the animal world.

The evolution of complexity in vascular plant reproductive structures

Vascular plant reproductive structures are extremely diverse in form and are often quite complex; for example, many flowers are composed of highly specialized organs in intricate arrangements. Such diversity has not always been present - the earliest known reproductive structures are very simple - but quantifying how complexity has changed through time is challenging because it is difficult to even define exactly what complexity is.


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