CIE Seminar Series 2016 – Species range movements and the velocity of climate change

william-chiversSPEAKER: Dr William Chivers, School of Design Communication and IT, University of Newcastle, NSW

DATE: Friday, 25th November 2016
LOCATION: Warrnambool Campus, Room J2.22
TIME: 1:30pm
Seminar will also be video linked to the following campuses: Melbourne Campus at Burwood – Burwood Corporate Centre (attendees to please report to reception); and Geelong Campus at Waurn Ponds, room ka4.207

External visitors – wish to join us and connect to our seminars?

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ABSTRACT: Plankton are the basis of the oceanic food chain and are of major importance to fish stocks. As such, the response of plankton to climate change is of critical importance.

Using an ocean basin-wide dataset extending back six decades, we find huge differences in the range changes of 35 taxa. While the range of dinoflagellates and copepods tended to closely track the velocity of climate change (the rate of isotherm movement), the range of the diatoms moved much more slowly.

In the decades of recent warming taxa exhibiting niche plasticity versus niche conservatism had average range shifts of 7km versus 99km per decade polewards respectively and so have shifted their relative positions by many 100s of km (up to 900km) over these timescales, resulting in significant changes to the biological assemblage.

BIO: Bill Chivers has a background in both computer science and biology. After completing a degree in zoology at UNSW in the 1970s he worked in the IT industry as a computer programmer then taught in secondary schools and NSW TAFE before completing a PhD and returning to academia. He is now employed by Faculty of Science and IT, University of Newcastle, Australia.

In his research he has used his computer science experience in projects in ecology and sports science, including research in predator-prey population dynamics, optimal foraging theory, prediction of injury risk in rugby players and more recently in the effect of climate change on marine plankton.

Appointments with guest speaker may be made via Graeme Hays.