At the Railway Club (579 Dunsmuir Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada) as usual, this month’s Café Scientifique features (from the March 2012 announcement),
Dr. Bruce Archibald, a paleontologist from Simon Fraser University. His café will be:
How are global patterns of biodiversity affected by climate? The view from a fossil fly’s eye.
Understanding the way that large-scale patterns of biodiversity are affected by climate has been among the greatest outstanding problems in ecology. Why are there more species in the tropics? The answer isn’t as simple as it might seem at first, as some possible controlling factors change together with latitude, and so their individual affects are difficult to evaluate. This Gordian knot might be cut, though, by looking in deep time, when global climates followed different patterns than today. So, comparing both modern and fossil communities in their environmental contexts allows a novel view of this problem. Why do the species compositions of communities change differently across mountainous landscapes in the tropics than in the Temperate Zones? An intriguing hypothesis proposed by Dan Janzen in 1967 can be examined by this system. Fossil insect communities from our regions may provide answers to understanding some basic ways of how life in the modern world is organized.
The café will take place on
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
579 Dunsmuir Street
The event is held in a side room and not in the bar proper.