February 18 2016

5:00 pm 154 BSRB

EcoEvoPub Series

Graduate Student Presentations


Robert McElderry
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UCLA

"Seasonal sensitivity in the life history of a tropical leafwing (Anaea aidea; Nymphalidae) in a temperate climate"

Seasonal climatic fluctuations affect the life history of most organisms. The tropical leafwing butterfly has a complex life cycle characterized by multiple generations within a year, distinct seasonal forms of adults, and long-lived adults. During a single year, population stage structure changes seasonally as do the probabilities of survival and growth and the amount of reproduction. We address the question: when the fates of individuals depend on both life stage and season, how do life stage transitions within each season contribute to population dynamics evaluated over the entire seasonal cycle?
We combined demographic rates estimated in the field and laboratory to construct a periodic stage-structured matrix model that encapsulates the progression of the population through each seasonal phase along with the demography within each phase. Using elasticity of the annual growth rate to demographic rates for each stage and season, we found that overwinter survival of adults has the largest overall effect on average annual dynamics. During the breeding season, reproduction and growth have the largest effect.

This research is the first application of a periodic megamatrix to model seasonal butterfly population dynamics and suggests which selection pressures maintain two distinct seasonal forms and life histories in leafwing butterflies.

Allison Fritts-Penniman
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UCLA

"Broadening your research impacts through science communication"

In biology, #scicomm is #trending right now. But what does science communication even mean? Why is it important? Should you being doing it? And how? Throughout my PhD I have experimented with techniques for sharing research and science with a broader audience, and have accumulated tips and strategies from a variety of real experts (which I am not). I have consolidated my experiences into a brief discussion of the why, who, what, where, and when of science communication. I hope to broaden your own perspective of what science communication is and how you can use it to your advantage in academia or elsewhere.











































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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