In conjunction with the interdisciplinary activities of the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS), a seminar series on topics in mathematical biology will be hosted at NIMBioS every other Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. (unless otherwise noted) in the Hallam Auditorium, Room 206, Claxton Building, 1122 Volunteer Blvd. Seminar speakers will focus on their research initiatives at the interface of mathematics and many areas of the life sciences. Light refreshments will be served in Room 205 beginning 30 minutes before each talk. Faculty and students from across the UT community are welcome to join us.
Dr. Lauren Smith-Ramesh, NIMBioS postdoctoral fellow
Time/Date: Tuesday, October 4, 2016, 3:30*
Location: Room 206, Claxton Building, 1122 Volunteer Blvd.
Topic: Placing species invasions in a food web context: A new twist on old invasion hypotheses
Abstract: A core goal of invasion ecology is to identify the factors that drive species invasions. A few dominant hypotheses have surfaced to explain why invaders succeed, including the 'enemy escape hypothesis,' which purports that invaders suffer reduced damage from natural enemies relative to natives. However, empirical support for enemy escape is mixed. Placing our study of invasion in a more complete food web context (beyond two trophic levels) may help to explain why this hypothesis often fails. Through theoretical and empirical case studies of invasive plants in Eastern deciduous forests of the United States, I consider how food web context can inform our understanding of species invasions. Then, I present a global synthesis that examines how food web complexity interacts with invasion success across habitats. By considering invasion in the context of broader food-web interactions, we can explain why common hypotheses such as enemy escape often fail, while gaining new power to explain global patterns of species invasions.
A postdoctoral fellow at NIMBioS, Lauren Smith-Ramesh investigates invasive plants in a food-web context and the direct and indirect effects to native communities and ecosystems.
*Join us for refreshments at 3 p.m.
Seminar Flyer (pdf)
For more information about this and other NIMBioS Seminars, visit http://www.nimbios.org/seminars.