Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building, Room 104
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BEES Graduate Research Seminar: Tom Smith
Thursday, May 2, 2013
3:30 PM-4:50 PM
Title: “The importance of preserving environmental gradients in a changing world”
Speaker: Dr. Thomas Smith, UCLA Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (hosted by the BEES Graduate Students, contact: Patrick McLaughlin)
Dr. Thomas Smith is founder and Director of the Center for Tropical Research, Institute of the Environment and Sustainability (formerly Institute of the Environment), and is a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UCLA. He has more than 25 years of experience working in the rainforests of Africa, Australia, Latin America, and Hawaii. Dr. Smith oversees a host of research projects and directs the research of a large number of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers on projects based in tropical countries worldwide. A central focus of his research investigates how biodiversity is generated and maintained in tropical rainforests. Combining molecular genetics and field biology, he identified a new theory of how speciation occurs in rainforests. In a series of recent studies, he has shown that for a wide range of taxa in rainforests worldwide, the processes of diversification and speciation take place not only within “biodiversity hotspots” but also along environmental gradients or ecotones representing the transition from one habitat to another. The results of Dr. Smith’s research point to new and more effective ways of prioritizing regions for conservation. In recent years his research has also focused on studying evolution in
human-altered environments, the ecology of disease, and developing new
approaches for mapping adaptive variation in species to mitigate the
effects of climate change.
Refreshments will be served.
The BEES Graduate Research Seminar is a weekly series of scientific presentations by faculty, graduate students and outside speakers. The seminars are opportunities for learning about and discussing ongoing research in the department and current issues in biodiversity, earth and environmental science.