October 7 Coffee Hour: Raymond Dybzinski: "If a tree falls ..."

Friday, October 7, 2011 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm
Refreshments in 319 Walker Building at 3:30. Talk in 112 Walker Building at 4:00.

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 

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 geography@psu.edu




This Coffee Hour talk is co-sponsored by The Huck Institute of the Life Sciences Ecology Intercollege Graduate Degree Program