Seminars

The Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department has been working hard and monitoring, as well as planning, for COVID-19/Coronavirus and the safety of the UCLA community. We understand that we live in very uncertain times and, with news about the virus changing frequently, we appreciate your cooperation. Please know the department is committed to working in everyone’s best interest—students, faculty, staff, and community at large.

With this, our Fall 2021 Seminar Series will be held in-person and virtually.

We appreciate your understanding at this time.

December 9, 2020

12:00pm Zoom Webinar

Chris Schell
University of Washington, Tacoma

" Exploring how society shapes the biology of cities "

Urban ecosystems are intrinsically heterogenous, characterized by dynamic biotic and abiotic interactions that are not witnessed in non-urban environments. Urban flora and fauna experience a suite of novel disturbances and stressors that have led to remarkable phenotypic strategies and adaptations to cope with urban living. Despite recent groundbreaking discoveries and innovation in the fields of urban ecology and evolution, the drivers of urban heterogeneity that induce biological change are seldom articulated. The spatiotemporal distributions of urban organisms are directly affected by the uneven distribution of resources (e.g., refugia, food, water) across cities, all of which are connected to societal function and governance. Hence, to build a comprehensive understanding of urban systems and wildlife adaptation, we must integrate and reconcile how structural inequality – especially racism and classism – shape urban environmental mosaics. In this seminar talk, Dr. Chris Schell will discuss how structural and systemic inequalities, especially economic and racial inequality, shape ecological and evolutionary outcomes of wildlife. In addition, he will discuss how certain species (e.g. coyotes and raccoons) may serve as ecosystem sentinels or bioindicators of environmental health and inequity. In doing so, we will discuss how leading with an environmental justice and activism framework in the natural sciences can promote conversation, sustainability, and resilience in a human-dominated world.


Host: Noa Pinter-Wollman