Centennial Ecology Lecture Series

CEL 1: Monday, August 10, 12pm to 1:15pm, Baltimore Convention Center, Room 308
Turquoise NP logo_for ESAGuest Lecturer: Chris Field, New Phytologist Trust Lecturer
Lecture Title
: Climate change: Mapping the problem space and the solution space
chrisFieldChris Field is the founding director of the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology, Melvin and Joan Lane Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies at Stanford University, and Faculty Director of Stanford’s Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve. Field’s research emphasizes impacts of climate change, from the molecular to the global scale, integrating field, laboratory, and modeling approaches. Field has been deeply involved with national and international scale efforts to advance science and assessment related to global ecology and climate change.  He is co-chair of Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which led the effort on the IPCC Special Report on “Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation”  (2012) and Working Group II contribution to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (2014).  He is a recipient of the Heinz Award, the Max Plank Research Award, the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award, and the Roger Revelle Medal. Field was elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences (2001), and fellowships in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2009), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2010), the Ecological Society of America (2012), and the American Geophysical Union (2014).  Field received his PhD from Stanford in 1981 and has been at the Carnegie Institution for Science since 1984.New Phytologist Trust, an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of plant science, is sponsoring Chris Field’s Centennial Ecology Lecture.
CEL 2: Tuesday, August 11, 12pm to 1:15pm, Baltimore Convention Center, Room 310
Guest Lecturer: Joshua Tewksbury
Lecture Title: Together or not at all: The collective power of ecology and natural History in the Anthropocene
JoshTewksburyJoshua grew up on farms in Vermont and California, got sucked into natural history as an undergraduate, where he wrote and published a field guide to butterflies in central Arizona, and didn’t realize ecology was a theoretical discipline until he hit graduate school.  Ever since he found out there was a formal discipline that sought to explain the diversity of the world, Josh has been working as a ecologist, a naturalist, and a conservation scientist, continually caught between the desire to save and savor the natural world.  He is the founding director of the Luc Hoffmann Institute, a boundary science organization at WWF that brings together biophysical science, social science, and policy and practice experts to focus on solutions to multidisciplinary conservation challenges, and his research has wandered across a wide range of basic and applied questions in ecology and conservation. Over the past 15 years, Josh’s work includes studies of why chilies are hot,  assessments of the physiological impacts of climate change on insects across latitude, and explorations of the importance of fragmentation and connectivity to plant and animal communities.  He has been a professor at the University of Washington for a dozen years, and for the past 5 years, he has served as the Doug and Maggie Walker Professor of Natural History, where he has worked on building the scaffolding for a re-emergence of natural history, both within and beyond the Ecological Society of America.
CEL 3: Wednesday, August 12, 12pm to 1:15, Baltimore Convention Center, Room 310
Guest Lecturer: Mercedes Pascual, The Robert H. MacArthur Lecturer
Lecture Title: Untangling the population dynamic interactions between climate and infectious diseases
MercedesPascualThe Robert H. MacArthur Award is given biannually to an established ecologist in midcareer for meritorious contributions to ecology, in the expectation of continued outstanding ecological research. Nominees may be from any country and need not be ESA members. The recipient is invited to prepare an address for presentation at the annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America and for publication in Ecology. This year’s guest lecturer is Mercedes Pascual.Mercedes Pascual is a Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago, and is affiliated with the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Michigan as a Visiting Professor.  She is also an external faculty of the Santa Fe Institute. Dr. Pascual is a theoretical ecologist interested in the population dynamics of infectious diseases, their response to changing environments and their interplay with pathogen diversity.  Her research on responses to climate forcing considers in particular water-borne and vector-borne infections.  She is also interested in the structure and dynamics of large ecological networks or food webs. Dr. Pascual received her PhD degree from the joint program of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  She was awarded an Alexander Hollaender Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellowship by the US Department of Energy for studies at Princeton University, and a Centennial Fellowship in the area of Global and Complex Systems by the James S. McDonnell Foundation for her research at the University of Michigan.  She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and has been appointed an investigator of the Howards Hughes Medical Institute.Abstract:  In this anniversary of the ESA, I will take a contemporary epidemiological perspective on a long running historical debate in ecology: the role of extrinsic (environmental) vs. intrinsic (density-dependent) factors in population dynamics.  I present a synthesis of our findings on climate variability and climate change and their interaction with the population dynamics of infectious diseases, specifically cholera in Bangladesh and malaria in Africa and India. I will describe ways of examining transmission dynamics in rural regions at the edge of persistence for malaria, and in large urban environments of the developing world for both diseases. The view of these systems as seasonally-forced nonlinear oscillators, (or seasonally-forced) consumer-resource oscillators, is shown not to apply. The properties that make these systems reflect a strong signal of climate forcing are identified, as well as how non-linearities can arise from control efforts. I discuss implications for critical transitions towards elimination and for the future of climate-driven diseases in a crowded planet. I end with some open theoretical areas in the ecology of infectious diseases.