Cory Merow Workshop: Linking demography to species’ ranges

Seminar room at 301 Prospect Street See map

Presenter Biography:

Cory is a quantitative ecologist with a background in physics and mathematics. His work has focused on developing mechanistic forecasts of population, community and ecosystem responses to climate change, disturbance, land use change, and nonnative species. He has worked on understanding community dynamics in the Mediterranean shrublands of South Africa, population dynamics of canopy trees in temperate North American forests, and invasive plants in New England. Cory received his Ph.D. in ecology from the University of Connecticut in 2012 and has since worked at the University of Connecticut, Microsoft Research, and the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center.

Workshop: Linking demography to species’ ranges

In recent decades, population projection models have become an important link between theoretical pursuits and applied analyses based on demographic data that describes individual growth, survival and reproduction. These models have been critical for understanding plant and animal population dynamics, population viability, evolutionarily stable strategies, interspecific competition, and range dynamics, among many other applications. With advances in computing power and newly developed theories, these matrix models have evolved and new approaches, such as integral projection models (IPMs), have been developed. Participants of this workshop will receive a practical introduction to IPMs and learn how to organize and analyze provided data sets in order to construct and interpret IPMs. We will perform a variety of common demographic analyses, including calculating population growth rate, stable stage distributions, lifespans, passage times, and sensitivity/elasticity analysis. We will conclude by showing how these analyses can be linked to environmental covariates to predict species’ ranges.