Seminar: Christopher Klausmeier

Christopher Klausmeier

MSU Foundation Professor, Michigan State University, W.K. Kellogg Biological Station

Trait-based eco-evolutionary theory

Trait-based approaches are increasingly seen as a way to reduce the complexity of ecological communities and to incorporate functional diversity in ecosystem models.  In this talk I will present our recent work developing and applying trait-based theory.  First, I will give an overview of trait-based approaches to modeling ecological and eco-evolutionary dynamics and how they can enhance our understanding of community structure and ecosystem functioning.  Then I will give examples of how they can be applied to complex spatially and temporally varying systems, including seasonally and directionally changing environments.  Finally, I will describe recent theory on how local selection and immigration from the regional species pool interact to determine distribution of commonness and rarity in ecological communities and an experimental test.

Chris Klausmeier is a theoretical ecologist, whose interests range from general, abstract theory to applications to plants, plankton, and other microbes.  He received a BS in mathematics from Harvey Mudd College (1995) and a PhD in ecology, evolution and behavior from the University of Minnesota with Claudia Neuhauser and Dave Tilman (2000).  After postdocs at EAWAG in Switzerland and Princeton University, he was an assistant professor at Georgia Tech, before moving to Michigan State University's Kellogg Biological Station in 2005, where he is now MSU Foundation Professor.  

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