Please join us for a seminar hosted by the Max Planck-Yale Center for Biodiversity Movement and Global Change and the BGC Center, featuring speaker Dr. Briana Abrahms.
ABSTRACT: From our oceans to savannas, animals must cope with dynamic environments that are undergoing unprecedented rates of change. How animals move and behave in response to environmental variation can profoundly shape their individual fitness, population dynamics, and ecological interactions. Examining these linkages is important for gaining mechanistic insight into how and why animal communities will be affected by global change, and for targeting effective conservation strategies. In this talk I’ll describe how animal behavior provides a valuable lens for linking environmental process to ecological pattern. Using empirical data from top predators in terrestrial and marine systems, I show how the differential impacts of environmental change across individuals and species can be understood from a behavioral ecology perspective. Specifically, I’ll highlight: how behavior mediates the spatial responses of a wide-ranging carnivore to anthropogenic development; how climate conditions alter the costs and benefits of migration strategies in a marine predator; and how we can improve our ability to conserve mobile species whose space use and exposure to threats can change rapidly in space and time, by explicitly considering the dynamic nature of animal behaviors and their environments.
BIO: Dr. Briana Abrahms is an Assistant Professor in the University of Washington Department of Biology’s Center for Ecosystem Sentinels. Her research program lies at the intersection of behavioral ecology, global change biology, and conservation biology. Her research focuses on studying the effects of environmental variability and change on large vertebrate populations, particularly through the lens of large-scale animal movements in both terrestrial and marine systems. Prior to joining UW, she received her Ph.D. from the University of California-Berkeley’s Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management and conducted postdoctoral research in the Climate and Ecosystems Group at NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center.
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