Dispersal and disturbance shape global patterns of biodiversity

Event type: 
27 July 2018

Mathews Building, Theatre D

Dr Ceridwen Fraser
Australian National University
Dr Daniel Falster

Dispersal is a fundamental process that shapes the distributions of many plants and animals. Dispersal does not always result in ongoing gene flow among populations, but is critical for initial colonisation events, particularly following large-scale disturbances such as those resulting from climate change, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. In this talk Dr Fraser will give an overview of how dispersal and disturbance interact to structure spatial patterns of biodiversity. She will focus on examples from her biogeographic research on diverse Southern Hemisphere systems including shallow-water marine communities in the sub-Antarctic, New Zealand intertidal ecosystems affected by last year’s earthquakes, and mosses and invertebrates on volcanoes in Antarctica.

Bio: Dr Ceridwen Fraser is a molecular ecologist at the Australian National University, and is broadly interested in the influence of environmental conditions, including past and future environmental change, on global patterns of biodiversity. She uses a wide range of techniques to address research questions, and has a particular focus on the high-latitude ecosystems of the Southern Hemisphere (the sub-Antarctic islands and Antarctica). She was the 2016 ACT Scientist of the Year, won a Future Fellowship in 2017, and received the Australian Academy of Science’s early career award for distinguished research in biology in 2018 (the Fenner Medal).