ESA 2012 preview: talks to see on Wednesday

My Wednesday schedule had big gaps until I chanced upon Carly Strasser’s organized oral session on the “growing pains” of 21st century ecology. Looks like an eclectic mix of offbeat stuff. I’m not sure what, say, Peter Kareiva’s argument for more realistic conservation strategies has to do with Jarrett Byrnes’ argument that more ecologists should blog and tweet, or what either has to do with filmmaker (!) Randy Olson’s argument that scientists should admit that they are “storytellers”. But I guess I’ll find out!


8:00: Mercedes Pascual on malaria dynamics

8:20: Anton Flügge on how patterns of intraspecific spatial aggregation can tell us about recent rates of population growth or decline

9:00: Colin Olito on predicting plant-pollinator interaction network topology from “bottom up” models of plant phenology and optimal foraging by pollinators. Colin’s a student of mine, but I’d go see this even if he wasn’t.

10:30: Edward Baskerville on Bayesian modeling of “group structure” and “niche structure” in food webs

10:50: Stephen Cornell on deriving species-area curves from stochastic demographic models. Recommended by FODE Robin Snyder.

1:30: Josh Tewksbury on trends in 21st century natural history. The first talk in the session on the “growing pains” of 21st century ecology.

1:50: Stephanie Hampton on the future of “big data” in ecology, and how “big data” can arise from “small science”

2:10: Randy Olson on the past and future of “storytelling” in science

2:10: Luis Gilarranz on patch dynamics and the scaling properties of species interaction networks

2:30: Peter Kareiva on giving up “doomsday” ecology and engaging with business as keys to 21st century conservation. A short version of a much-discussed talk Kareiva (chief scientist of the Nature Conservancy) gave a little while back (sorry, no time to search for the link). I had students in one of my ecology courses watch a video of the talk and discuss it. I thought they’d hate it and push back hard, but they all thought it was both depressing and right…

3:20: Jelle Lever on critical transitions and collapse in models of plant-pollinator interaction networks. If you’re planning to see this, you really should see my student Colin’s talk at 9 am as well. While Colin won’t be focusing on patterns of species loss in his model, I can tell you that his model of plant-pollinator dynamics behaves very differently than the sorts of models Jelle Lever will be talking about. What to make of that I leave to you to decide (Colin and I of course have our own views…)

3:40: Jarrett Byrnes on taking the ecological conversation online. I hear he plans to use my blogging as an example. An example to emulate or an example to avoid, I’m not sure. 😉 I’m already trying to think of a tough question to ask him about how blogging is overrated. 😉

4:00: Caolin Kovach-Orr on modeling evolutionary rescue and “adaptive plasticity” rescue




4 thoughts on “ESA 2012 preview: talks to see on Wednesday

  1. Pitch: stick around for the end of “growing pains” of 21st century ecology to see how we lawn-tromping young ‘uns are harnessing technology to actually do cool research: 4:40 Alexandra Swanson on Serengeti Live: Engaging the public in science through exploration and discovery.

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