Species responses to global change: integrating field ecology and macroecology

Earth’s biodiversity is experiencing a major upheaval. Thousands of species are declining towards extinction while the distribution of countless other species has been reshaped by human actions. My research aims to understand the factors that govern this reorganisation of Earth's biological wealth. In this seminar, I will provide an overview of my research that examines why different species and populations exhibit variable responses to global change. I apply a combination of approaches, from a species-specific field ecology program to continental and global scale modelling across taxonomic groups. I will then summarise my work on the role of disease in global amphibian declines and new work untangling how the environment, host traits and phylogenetic relationships influence species vulnerability to decline. I will then cover research on species niche dynamics in space and time, focused on amphibians, birds and mammals from across the Australian continent. I will finish with some exciting insights emerging from my field-based research program in the Australian Alps, which centres on examining intra-specific life-history variation and demographic shifts in declining species. Ultimately, my goal is to combine theoretical models with new insights from my empirical research to develop a novel framework for studying species responses to global change in the Anthropocene. My research breadth sets me up well to teach a range of courses and in this seminar, I will demonstrate my approach to teaching with an ecological example focused on factors shaping species responses to global change.