CIE Seminar Series 2017 – Apex predators and the global extinction crisis: advances in theory and future research

Thomas N.

SPEAKER: Dr Thomas Newsome, Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Centre for Integrative Ecology/School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Deakin University

DATE: Friday, 28th April 2017
LOCATION: Melbourne Campus at Burwood – Burwood Corporate Centre (attendees-please report to reception for room details on the day)
TIME: 1:30pm
Seminar will also be video linked to the following campuses: Geelong Campus at Waurn Ponds – room ka4.207; and Warrnambool Campus, Room B3.03

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ABSTRACT: Apex predators are making a comeback in many parts of the world. This has sparked global interest in exploring how apex predators interact with other components of the ecosystem. In particular, there is interest in understanding how apex predators interact with lower order competitors or mesopredators. The expectation is that apex predators will suppress the abundance of mesopredators, but there have been few efforts to quantify this phenomenon at large spatial scales.

In this talk, I will outline the results of a new study that assessed whether apex predators can suppress the abundance of mesopredators at large spatial scales. I will outline the implications of the study for conservation, focusing broadly on the global extinction crisis.

In doing so, I will show that direct killing of wildlife by humans remains one of the greatest threats to the persistence of many species, that there is an urgent need to study the ecological role of apex predators in human dominated landscapes, and that we need to shift our conservation efforts to the smaller species who are just as threatened as the largest.

BIO: Thomas Newsome is an Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Research Fellow and former Fulbright Scholar. He has broad research interests in the ecology, conservation and management of mammals.

His research addresses how species respond to human-induced changes to the landscape. He is particularly interested in how humans and top predators shape and drive ecosystem processes.

Appointments with guest speaker may be made via Euan Ritchie.