CREAF Talks

Biweekly researcher forum, which offer an opportunity for researchers in ecology to present and discuss their work

CREAF runs an annual programme of seminars that showcase the global research work in the field of ecological science both within and beyond our centre. Each seminar normally lasts 30-40 minutes with plenty of time afterwards for questions and discussion. Seminars are usually on Wednesday at 3 pm.

Our free seminar programme is open to everyone.  For more information, please email CREAF Talks coordinator  anna.avila@uab.cat

 

Ongoing Seminars

December 4th, 2019
David Tissue (Western Sydney University)

"Cotton in Future Climates: role of climate drivers and extreme events"


Summary

Climate change and extreme climate events affect all aspects of plant growth and function, including managed and native ecosystems. Here, I describe some of our research on the effects of elevated CO2, rising temperatures, floods and droughts on cotton productivity and physiological processes. We also highlight the importance of multiple factor experiments, address the role of plant-soil feedbacks, and ecological memory as important tools in predicting plant response to current and future climates.  I will also give a short update on our work growing vegetables in high-tech hydroponic glasshouses, using Smart Glass to reduce energy costs, representing future food systems for a growing population.

Biography 

David Tissue is Distinguished Professor in the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment at Western Sydney University in Australia. His well-travelled educational (BSc at McGill University, Canada; MSc at San Diego State University, USA; PhD at University of California, Los Angeles), early career (post-docs at Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama and Duke University, USA) and mid-career (Professor at Texas Tech University; sabbatical at Landcare, New Zealand) experiences eventually led to his move to Australia in 2007, where he works on the physiological and growth responses of crops and native vegetation to climate change. Current research addresses the main and interactive effects of climate drivers (CO2 and temperature) and extreme climate events (heatwaves, droughts and flood) on plants, exploring the impacts on carbon and water exchange, physiological processes, productivity, and drought-induced mortality. Recently, he became scientific research director for the National Vegetable Protected Cropping Centre and theme leader for Agriculture and Food Sciences at WSU, where he conducts work on food production in high-tech hydroponic facilities.

 

December 18th, 2019
Oriol Lapiedra (CREAF)

"Animal behavior as a driver of ecological and evolutionary dynamics in changing environments"


Summary

Evolutionary biologists have long debated the role of behavior in evolution, yet evidence of its importance as a driver of adaptation is hampered by a scarcity of empirical data. My research combines comparative phylogenetics and large-scale field experiments to unravel whether and how animal behavior can facilitate evolutionary responses to new environments. In my talk, I will focus in a recent large-scale experimental study of natural selection on behavior in the wild. In this study, we used experimentally established island populations of lizards to investigate the effects of natural selection on both behavior and morphology. In this study we showed for the first time that ecologically relevant behavior can be strongly selected for under different experimental treatments. In addition, we found evidence that this selection occurs simultaneously, but independently to selection on morphology. I will also explain how these behavioral shifts have driven cascading changes in the ecological dynamics of these island ecosystems. My future plans include expanding this work in the Caribbean and the Balearic islands to unravel the evolutionary processes behind the early stages of adaptation to changing environments—a question of great relevance in a changing Planet.

Biography 

Oriol Lapiedra is an evolutionary ecologist studying how organisms adapt to environmental changes. He is a Beatriu de Pinós fellow at CREAF and a National Geographic Explorer. His main interest is to study the ecological and evolutionary consequences of behavioral adaptation to new selection pressures. His research combines approaches from behavioral ecology, evolutionary ecology, and global change biology. By using methods ranging from comparative phylogenetics to large scale field studies of experimental evolution, his overarching research aim is to shed light into how animals successfully cope with new selective pressures, including human-induced rapid environmental changes such as urbanization and biological invasions. Oriol received a BS in Biology from the University of Barcelona, a PhD at CREAF and moved to the US for his postdoctoral research (at University of Chicago, University of Rhode Island, and Harvard University). His current research uses wild populations of lizards to understand the factors driving changes in eco-evolutionary dynamics of animal populations in rapidly changing environments.

 

Past seminars

2019 CREAFTalks
 

 

2018 CREAFTalks

 

2017 CREAFTalks