Thursday 14 March 2019, 1.00PM
Speaker(s): Dr Katie Davis, University of York
Current rates of extinction, partly resulting from anthropogenic climate change, are rapidly approaching those seen in the ‘big five’ extinction events of the geological past, with the present biodiversity crisis now being heralded as the sixth. However, in order to predict the probable effects of current and future climate change it is vital that we understand past processes and trends.
A promising new strategy is to use the geological record and palaeontology to inform our understanding of present day change. My research utilises these types of macroevolutionary data in combination with numerical palaeobiological modelling to better understand biotic responses to environmental change. I have a particular focus on how key factors such as ecology, geography and climate have interacted to shape the history of life on Earth; and whether our knowledge of past interactions can help us to predict the impact of ongoing anthropogenic climate change.
Here, I will present examples from my work, both published and from ongoing projects. With these examples I will demonstrate how we can use the geological past to inform our understanding of the complex interactions between biodiversity and the environment through time.