How Ecosystems Work: From the Smallest to the Largest Scales

MON, DEC 14, 2020 (40:37)

Dr. O’Dwyer says that “ecological systems are the archetypal complex systems.” He describes how these systems, regardless of scale, and despite their diversity, share underlying signatures and patterns. How the components of ecosystems interact and adapt to their environments is a matter of intense study today when so many species are under threat by environmental and climate changes.

Image: Belmont Media Center

+ BIO: James O’Dwyer

James O’Dwyer, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Plant Biology at the University of Illinois (Urbana) and a Hrdy Fellow with the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study (Harvard) 2020-2021.

Ecological systems are the archetypal complex systems. They are typically heterogeneous, display non-equilibrium phenomena, are strongly interacting, noisy, and adapt over time. He brings together theory, experiment, and empirical data to try to understand how ecological processes drive the patterns of species and organisms we see in nature.

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