Jack has been elected as a Fellow of the Ecological Society of America https://www.esa.org/esa/ecological-society-of-america-announces-2019-fellows/. Jack says: I’m honored by the recognition, humbled by my cohort, and indebted to my mentors, colleagues, lab members, - and - most of all - my family. Thanks to all!
The newly published Biodiversity and Climate Change: Transforming the Biosphere textbook, edited by Thomas E. Lovejoy and Lee Hannah features a chapter by Jack Williams and Kevin Burke. Their contribution highlights past abrupt changes in climate and in terrestrial ecosystems.
Kevin Burke has a new paper out, published this week in PNAS. As part of his dissertation, Kevin quantifies the similarity of projected future climate states to six geohistorical periods including the mid-Pliocene and early Eocene. This work suggests that under a high emissions scenario (RCP 8.5), future climates may resemble the Pliocene by 2030, and the Eocene by 2150. For additional coverage, see CNN, Newsweek, Discover, Grist, PBS or WPR.
Congratulations to Megs Seeley for acceptance of her first paper, to the Journal of Biogeography! In this paper, which was developed as Megs’ undergraduate honors thesis, we assess the role of environmental filtering and dispersal limitation on American Beech (Fagus grandifolia) populations in Michigan and Wisconsin, using historical data from the Public Land Survey and a mixture of species distribution models. Nice work and a good launch as Megs applies for grad school after a year working as an intern with NASA on air quality and remote sensing.
Yue Wang has a new paper out in Ecology, from her dissertation, in which she uses Niche Mapper to simulate the carrying capacity of woolly mammoths on St. Paul Island, Alaska. This work also tests hypotheses about freshwater limitation and forage limitation and points to a previously unrecognized population bottleneck during the Younger Dryas.
Several new people are joining the Williams Lab in Fall 2018. Angie Perrotti is a postdoc working on the late-glacial vegetation-climate-megafauna project (NSF-PCE), and as a recent grad of Texas A&M brings deep expertise in anthropology, palynology, and coprophilous spore signals of megafaunal population declines. Anna George, recent graduate from Smith College, is joining to work on building new data visualizations from Neotoma Explorer. She’s interested in global change, biodiversity, and the signals in long ecological time series. Feiya Lv is a PhD student from Lanzhou University visiting on a fellowship from China. Welcome to all!
In a new paper in Environmental Research Letters, we show that the US National Park System has experienced about twice the warming as the rest of US over the past century, and more drying too. Even under lower-emission future scenarios (i.e. RCP2.6), 58% of the US National Park System is projected to experience a 2C warming over the coming century, but switching from high-emission to low-emission scenarios would reduce the projected temperature increases by one-half to two-thirds. This work was led by Patrick Gonzalez at UC-Berkeley with key work carried out at UW-Madison’s Center for Climatic Research. For further coverage, see articles by the Washington Post, NBC News, The Guardian, Fortune Magazine, Breitbart, and Atlas Obscura
Members of the Williams Lab headed to New Orleans, Louisiana for the Ecological Society of America’s Annual Meeting this August. Jack spoke on Monday (INS 4) and Wednesday (SYMP 9), Mathias on Tuesday (PS 15), David on Thursday (COS 114), Allison on Monday (INS 1) and Thursday (COS 114), and Tanjona on Monday (INS 1). The UW Madison Abrupt Change in Ecological Systems Group organized and inspire session, “Understanding Extreme Events: Linking Empirical Observation to Concepts and Theory” (INS 1), and “Abrupt Change in Ecological Systems: When, Where, and Why?” (OOS 36)
Welcome to Dr. Mathias Trachsel! Mathias is joining the Williams Lab as a postdoc on the Paleoecological Observatory Network (PalEON) project, working on the effort to build new land cover reonstructions for the northeastern US and elsewhere in North America. Mathias has a PhD at Bern and comes from a postdoctoral fellowship at Maryland. Mathias’ prior background is in paleoclimatology and developing new kinds of transfer functions for use with paleoecological and paleoclimatic proxies.
Members of the Williams Lab are off to Portland, Oregon for the Ecological Society of America’s Annual Meeting! Come see Jack’s talk on Tuesday (OOS 14-9), Simon’s talk on Tuesday (COS 104-5), Tanjona’s talk on Wednesday (COS 104-6), Andria’s talk on Wednesday (COS 105-7), Kevin’s talk on Thursday (COS 150-7), Yue’s talk on Friday (COS 173-5), and Megs’ poster on Tuesday (PS 26-137).