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I understood

Island Tales: an overview of island life

26 Apr 2022 - Ana M. C. Santos, Terrestrial Ecology Group (TEG-UAM), Dep. Ecologia, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain)| 15h30 | Hybrid seminar
Island Tales: an overview of island life

Since Darwin and Wallace’s voyages, islands have been recognized as natural laboratories for the study of ecological and evolutionary processes. Indeed, much of the research carried out on islands has significantly marked our way of understanding and conserving nature. Examples of this are MacArthur and Wilson's Theory of Island Biogeography, which continues to be a fundamental conceptual framework in areas such as ecology, evolution and conservation. In this talk, I present an overview of my main contributions about the processes leading to community assembly on islands, from dispersal, to ecological and evolutionary processes, also discussing about the consequences of human impacts on these threatened biotas.

I am a community ecologist and biogeographer, working as a Ramón y Cajal Research Fellow at the Dep. Ecology of the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM). I have a BSc in Biology (2003; Univ. Lisbon), and a PhD in Ecology (2010; Imperial College London, U.K.). My research focuses on understanding patterns and processes in community assembly and ecosystem functioning at different scales, combining field, experimental and already compiled data with ecological modelling. My long-lasting research on island macroecology has been seminal to understand: (i) the effect of the species pool on island community structure; (ii) the generalist nature of island communities; (iii) the disparate drivers of species richness and trait diversity on islands; and (iv) the island species–area relationship. I expanded my research to understand the impact of global change on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (with a focus on dung beetles), resulting in novel results on the relationship between dung decomposition, land intensification and climate change. My ongoing research focuses on: (i) cross-scale spatial and temporal variations in biodiversity and associated processes; (ii) trait evolution on islands throughout island ontogeny; (iii) assessing how the quality and resolution of data affect pattern interpretation; and (iv) the effects of regional processes and global change on ecosystem functioning. 

[Host: Richard Ladle, 21st Century Conservation Lab - LACOS21]

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