Theoretical Ecology Lab Tea

The Theoretical Ecology Lab Teas are informal meetings where members of affiliated lab groups give talks on their current research and receive feedback from their audience. Talks are 30 minutes long and are followed by questions and discussion.

Lab Tea typically meets Wednesdays at 12:30 pm during the fall and spring semesters. All talks this semester will be held in Eno 209 unless otherwise stated.

For the fall semester of 2016, the talk schedules and email lists will be maintained by Wenying Liao and Dylan Morris. Please contact Wenying or Dylan to have your name added to the Lab Tea email list so that you can receive reminders about upcoming meetings.

Fall 2016 schedule

Click on an event to view the talk title and abstract

Date and time Speaker
Juan-Carlos Rocha
Ed Schrom
Prof. Mary C. Stoddard
Available
Departmental seminar - no Lab Tea
Daniel Cooney
Georgios Artavanis
Fall break - no Lab Tea
Sarah Drohan
George Hagstrom
Thanksgiving break - no Lab Tea
Wenying Liao
Available

Note: Priority is given to graduate students. A symbol next to the speaker's name means that approval is pending for a week and graduate students can still claim the slot.

Titles and abstracts

Two brief talks on social-ecological systemsJuan-Carlos Rocha

Cascading effects of critical transitions in social-ecological systems
Critical transitions in nature and society are likely to occur more often and severe as humans increase they pressure on the world ecosystems. Yet it is largely unknown how these transitions will interact, whether the occurrence of one will increase the likelihood of another, and whether these potential teleconnections (social and ecological) correlate critical transition in distant places. Here we present a framework for exploring three types of potential cascading effects of critical transitions: forks, domino effects and inconvenient feedbacks. Drivers and feedback mechanisms are reduced to a network form that allow us to explore drivers co-occurrence (forks). Sharing drivers is likely to increase correlation in time or space among critical transitions but not necessarily interdependence. Random walks on causal networks allow us to detect and compare communities of common drivers and feedback mechanisms across different critical transitions. Domino effects and inconvenient feedbacks were identified by mapping new circular pathways on coupled networks that have not been previously reported. The method serves as a platform for hypothesis exploration of plausible new feedbacks between critical transitions in social-ecological systems; it helps to scope structural interdependence and hence an avenue for future modelling and empirical testing of regime shifts coupling.

Behavioural economics in social-ecological systems with thresholds
How does people behave when dealing with situations pervaded by thresholds? Imagine you’re a fisherman whose livelihoods depend on a resource on the brink to collapse, what would you do? and what do you think others will do? Here we report results form a field experiment with fishermen from four coastal communities in the Colombian Caribbean. A dynamic game with 256 fishermen helped us investigate behavioural responses to the existence of thresholds (probability =1 ), risk (threshold with a climate event with known probability of 0.5) and uncertainty (threshold with an unknown probability climate event). Communication was allowed during the game and the social dilemma was confronted in groups of 4 fishermen. We found that fishermen facing thresholds presented a more conservative behaviour on the exploration of the parameter space of resource exploitation. Some groups that crossed the threshold managed to recover to a regime of high fish reproduction rate. However, complementary survey data reveals that groups that collapsed the resource in the game come often from communities with high livelihood diversification, lower resource dependence and strongly exposed to infrastructure development. We speculate that the later translates on higher noise levels on resource dynamics which decouples or mask the relationship between fishing efforts and stock size encouraging a more explorative behaviour of fishing effort in real life. This context is brought to our artificial game and leave statistical signatures on resource exploitation patterns. In general, people adopt a precautionary behaviour when dealing with common pool resource dilemmas with thresholds. However, stochasticity can trigger the opposite behaviour.

Back to schedule
Simulating the evolution of immune system signaling networksEd Schrom

Immune systems rely on networks of interacting signaling proteins to translate the detection of a parasite into an appropriate response. From fruit flies to humans, immune signaling networks appear extraordinarily complex. However, these networks do share a simple job: balancing the urgency of clearing the parasite with the costs of immunity itself, even in the face of parasitic attempts to disrupt signaling. This summer, Joaquin Prada and I have developed a theoretical model of the evolution of immune signaling networks to investigate the underlying network structures that 1) account for the inducibility of immunity, and 2) account for robustness against parasite interference with signaling processes.

Back to schedule
''The Most Perfect Thing in the Universe?'' Form and Function of the Avian EggProf. Mary C. Stoddard

Back to schedule
Speaking slot available

Back to schedule
Departmental seminar - no Lab Tea

Back to schedule
Talk title TBADaniel Cooney

Back to schedule
Talk title TBAGeorgios Artavanis

Back to schedule
Fall break - no Lab Tea

Back to schedule
Talk title TBASarah Drohan

Back to schedule
Talk title TBAGeorge Hagstrom

Back to schedule
Thanksgiving break - no Lab Tea

Back to schedule
Talk title TBAWenying Liao

Back to schedule
Speaking slot available

Back to schedule

Links to previous schedules

  1. Fall 2000
  2. Spring 2001
  3. Fall 2001
  4. Spring 2002
  5. Fall 2002
  6. Spring 2003
  7. Fall 2003
  8. Spring 2004
  9. Fall 2004
  10. Spring 2005
  11. Fall 2005
  12. Spring 2007
  13. Fall 2007
  14. Spring 2008
  15. Fall 2008
  16. Spring 2009
  17. Fall 2009
  18. Spring 2010
  19. Fall 2010
  20. Spring 2011
  21. Fall 2011
  22. Spring 2012
  23. Fall 2012
  24. Spring 2013
  25. Fall 2013
  26. Spring 2014
  27. Fall 2014
  28. Spring 2015
  29. Fall 2015
  30. Spring 2016