Webinar: Species Interaction Dynamics and Ecological Community Structure

November 20, 2015

This webinar explored the structure and function of ecological communities, and how species interactions might change with the introduction of an organism modified with a gene drive.

The webinar is an information-gathering meeting for the committee in which the speakers were invited to provide input to the committee.

Speakers:

David Lodge,  University of Notre Dame

Dr. David Lodge is a Professor of Biological Sciences and Director of the Environmental Change Initiative at the University of Notre Dame. His research focuses on ecological forecasting to better inform environmental risk assessment, policy development, and natural resource management. Dr. Lodge combines basic and applied ecological research to contribute to conservation of the world’s fresh waters, with a particular emphasis on the causes, effects, and management of biological invasions.  Through field and laboratory experiments as well as short- and long-term natural observations, he explores the complex interactions that occur among plants, invertebrates, fish, and other organisms and how aquatic communities change over time. Dr. Lodge is also researching novel technologies such as environmental DNA (eDNA) surveillance to improve the study and management of invaders, imperiled species, and other species of interest.  As part of his work, we collaborates extensively across experts in different disciplines to link ecology with other fields such as economics to understand how changes in aquatic systems influence human use and perceptions.

George Roderick, Univeristy of California, Berkeley

Dr. George Roderick is the William Muriece Hoskins Professor and Chair of the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Roderick’s research focuses on biological invasions and the history and structure of populations, both especially related to biodiversity science and global change. His work addresses basic and applied questions, taking advantage of the opportunities associated with the geography of Pacific Basin, Pacific Islands, and Pacific Rim, including California. Research in Dr. Roderick’s lab includes studies of the origins of endemic, indigenous and non-indigenous organisms, processes associated with colonization and invasion, species interactions, and population structure.  Approaches include population genomics, computational biology, GIS, niche modeling, and other tools. Some of this work deals with older colonizations and deeper history, such as the assembly of ecological communities in the South Pacific. Other work examines the recent biological invasions and their impacts, including biological control.

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