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Fall 2017 Seminar Series

When: All seminars held Fridays from 11:10am to 12:00pm
Where: Fisher Hall 33-285

November 17, 2017

“Adaptation in Plant Populations, Species, and Clades”

Dr Seema Sheth, University and Jepson Herbaria at UC Berkeley

Dr Seema Sheth is a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Integrative Biology and the University and Jepson Herbaria at UC Berkeley where she is currently studying the relationships among climatic tolerance, trait evolution, and diversification in the California flora. More broadly, Dr Sheth is a plant evolutionary ecologist interested in the processes that promote or hinder adaptation at various biological scales, including populations, species, and clades. She combines quantitative genetics, spatial and statistical models, and field and greenhouse experiments to tackle key questions in biogeography, ecology, and evolution.


November 3, 2017

“Balancing Risk and Reward in Extreme Landscapes”

Dr Justine Smith, Environmental Science, Management, and Policy Department, UC Berkeley

Animals often face challenges associated with obtaining resources while avoiding risk. The balancing act of managing risk and reward can be amplified in extreme landscapes characterized by novel threats or highly limited resources. In these conditions, new insights emerge regarding constraints on animal decision-making that are often in contrast to dominant paradigms of animal behavior. This talk will explore how risk-foraging tradeoffs impact species interactions in two case studies of extreme systems: 1) puma~ in a highly human-modified landscape; and 2) vicunas in the arid Argentine Andes. I will discuss conservation implications of amplified risk-foraging tradeoffs, particularly in large mammals, in light of widespread global change.

Dr Justine Smith is a postdoctoral scholar in the Environmental Science, Management, and Policy Department at UC Berkeley, where she works on the ecology of risk effects in the Argentine Andes. She received her PhD from UC Santa Cruz in 2017, where she studied the cascading effects of human-induced fear in pumas. She is a current board member of The Wildlife Society's Urban Wildlife Working Group and representative for the Wild Felid Research and Management Association, and served as founding president of the Santa Cruz Chapter of the Society for Conservation Biology. Her research has been covered by The Washington Post, Scientific American, NPR, and National Geographic.



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