Using models to predict evolution in response to environmental change

Friday seminar by Tucker Gilman (NOTE THE TIME AND VENUE)

Human activities are changing the environment both locally and globally. Environmental change can have profound effects on ecosystems and the services they provide. To prepare for and possibly avoid the worst ecological impacts of environmental change, managers require predictions of how environmental change will effect populations, species, and communities. There is increasing evidence that populations and species can sometimes evolve rapidly when their environments change. Thus, predicting ecological outcomes may require understanding evolutionary processes.

Because anthropogenic environmental change is unprecedented, it may not always be possible to predict the future simply by observing the past. Mechanistic models can help to bridge the gap between current knowledge and long-term eco-evolutionary outcomes. I will present three mechanistic models that investigate evolution in response to three very different types of environmental change: the physical disturbance of habitats, the introduction of non-native species, and climate change. Because the questions are different, the modelling approaches will be different in each case. I will discuss the predictions and how those predictions might be tested or applied in the field.

Tucker Gilman
University of Manchester


Published Sep. 5, 2012 2:58 PM - Last modified Sep. 21, 2012 4:32 PM