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If a tree falls in a forest, and no one is around to hear it, can I still model it?
To paraphrase a headline from the satirical Onion, ecology is hard, says this week's Coffee Hour speaker Raymond Dybzinski, a postdoctoral scholar at Princeton University. Unlike classical chemists and physicists, who were able to average over the stochasticity of gazillions of atoms to formulate tidy laws, ecologists live in the stochastic soup of the phenomena they hope to explain. In his talk, Dybzinsk will review the approaches ecologists rely on to understand the natural world, distinguishing a hybrid approach termed "simplified models of systems." He will describe in detail (and with moments of middling humor) a simplified model of forests that, in some important cases, yields analytical predictions about the physiology, carbon allocation, and ecosystem dynamics of evolutionarily-honed plants across resource availability gradients.
Dybzinski is a postdoc working with Steve Pacala at Princeton
University. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota with
David Tilman. A plant community ecologist at heart, Dybzinski draws on
physiological ecology, ecosystem ecology, and evolutionary theory to
develop and test community models.
Questions or want to arrange an interview with the speaker?:
Angela Rogers email@example.com
This Coffee Hour talk is co-sponsored by The Huck Institute of the Life Sciences Ecology Intercollege Graduate Degree Program