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From the Pleistocene to the Anthropocene: ecological patterns and processes in novel environments

Jessica Blois
University of California, Merced | Assistant Professor
Seminar date:
Monday, February 5, 2018 - 12:00
HCK 132

Jessica Blois’ research uses the Quaternary fossil record to examine how different factors—in particular, climate and biotic interactions—shape patterns of variation in genes, species, and assemblages, focusing primarily on the last 50,000 years of earth history. In this talk, she will present three projects that link contemporary biodiversity patterns to the ecological and evolutionary factors structuring them across space and time, providing a long- term context for recent and future biodiversity change across novel environments: 1) temporal diversity patterns in a local assemblage of small mammals; 2) drivers of spatial and temporal vegetation assemblage change; and 3) using the fossil record to assess the reliability of ecological forecasts into novel future climates. Overall, this research shows that both the basic patterns we see on the

landscape today, and the influence of various factors that structure those patterns, have been variable across millennia, and this variation is likely to be exacerbated as we move into an increasingly novel future.

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