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IMS Faculty Candidate Seminar: Matt Whalen
April 8, 2019 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
UNC’s Institute of Marine Sciences presents a seminar by Matt Whalen, Ph.D.. This event is scheduled for Monday, April 8th, at 11:00 am in room 222 at the Institute of Marine Sciences. This seminar will also be broadcast live to both room 3204 on the 3rd floor of Venable/Murray Hall at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and online via Zoom (Meeting ID: 252-726-6841).
Presenter Affiliation: Hakai Institute, University of British Columbia, Smithsonian MarineGEO
Title: Linking marine biodiversity and ecological processes across scales and systems
Abstract: When we observe natural ecosystems, we often see changes in biodiversity across environmental gradients, whether those gradients occur at fine scales like the physical stresses associated with intertidal habitats or at global scales across latitude. Despite the fact that ecosystems are governed by processes that operate over varying temporal and spatial scales, ecologists tend to observe them at individual scales, potentially limiting our understanding of the drivers of diversity and functioning. In my research I ask how marine biodiversity responds to environmental variation at multiple scales of observation, and how environmental conditions and ecosystem functions, in turn, change with shifts in biodiversity. My work combines field observations, DNA-sequencing, remote sensing, and experiments to investigate the relationships between environmental heterogeneity and ecological communities across shallow marine ecosystems, including seagrass meadows, rocky intertidal shores, and kelp forests. I show that ecological processes like recruitment, succession, and species interactions are all sensitive to environmental variation at different scales, and that appropriately tracking responses of biodiversity and ecosystem function to changing environments requires a multi-scale, interdisciplinary view.