Seminar: Dr. Katie Peterson and Dr. Ryan Unks

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Dr. Katie Peterson, SESYNC;
Dr. Ryan Unks, SESYNC
Time of Event: 
Tuesday, March 23, 2021 - 11:00

This is a virtual seminar. 

Please register HERE.

To come. Please check back after the event.


Climate Change and Temperature Variability in the Northeast Shelf Regional Ecosystem

Virtual seminar presented by Dr. Katie Peterson, SESYNC 

A picture of Dr. Katie Peterson

Abstract: The Northeast Shelf Regional Ecosystem (NSRE) is experiencing some of the highest rates of ocean temperature change in the world. High-resolution climate models have predicted future temperatures may be higher than originally estimated from lower resolution models. These changes in temperature will manifest as increases in mean temperature (i.e., long-term decadal temperature change) and temperature variability (i.e., temperature fluctuations on shorter time scales). Changes in mean temperature are already causing shifts in abundance and distribution of species, and influencing interspecific interactions such as competition and predation, and fisheries yields. However, temperature variability complicates the ability to predict the impacts of climate change on fisheries in the NSRE as it can affect the phenology of key life history events.

Bio: Katie Peterson is a quantitative ecologist, whose research focuses on how interactions between species shape community dynamics and in the applications of this ecological knowledge for conservation and sustainable management. Her background spans theoretical ecology, fisheries management, and threatened species conservation. She earned her PhD at James Cook University where she researched coexistence mechanisms, interspecific interactions, and how these impact the success of species translocations. She focused on rights-based fisheries management during her master's degree at the Bren School at University of California, Santa Barbara.

Socio-Ecological Analysis of Multi-Scalar Landscape Change and Livelihoods in Kenyan Rangelands

Virtual seminar presented by Ryan Unks, SESYNC 

A picture of Dr. Ryan UnksAbstract: 
Social science research in rangelands has increasingly shown how the expertise of pastoralists enables them to thrive in highly variable environments. This work has also shown how pastoralists are modifying their practices in complex ways in response to new social, political, economic, and biophysical uncertainties. However, numerous disciplinary and conceptual divides prevent ecologists from incorporating these understandings of social complexity into analyses of landscape change, and often they include pastoralists and their livestock only as agents of competition, degradation, stress, or fragmentation. Drawing from two case studies in semi-arid rangelands in Kenya, I outline a conceptual framework for integrating insights from recent anthropology and human geography into analysis of landscape vegetation change. First, I highlight insights from ethnographic analysis of livelihood change that elucidate how political, economic, and social relations have profoundly influenced pastoralist livelihoods in recent decades. I build from this analysis to outline a typology of changes in livestock herding and other land uses at different temporal and spatial scales, and relate this typology to changing landscape ecological processes. I then use this typology to guide mixed-satellite analysis of vegetation changes and spatial patterns of forage availability for livestock. Finally, focusing on linkages between social and ecological change at different scales, I propose ways of considering feedbacks between drivers of vegetation change and socially differentiated access to resources.

Bio: Dr. Ryan Unks is a Postdoctoral Fellow at SESYNC whose current work focuses on bridging different understandings of socio-ecological complexity. His research at SESYNC uses a mixed-methodology to study the relationship between landscape vegetation change, pastoralist livelihoods, and governance processes in central and southern Kenya. He is an interdisciplinary scientist with training in landscape and plant ecology, rural livelihoods, and environmental governance. His SESYNC mentors are Adam Wilson at the University at Buffalo and Ian Scoones at the Institute of Development Studies. He was previously a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Lyon and holds a PhD in Integrative Conservation in Forestry and Natural Resources from the University of Georgia.  


Event type: 
Event Attendance: 
Open to the Public
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