21st November 2016 – Lindsey Thurman, Oregon State University

lindsey-thurmanI am a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Oregon State University and a Research Fellow with the Northwest Climate Science Center. I’m in my 5th (and final!) year, which is exciting and slightly terrifying. My research focuses on the link between local (community) and landscape (biogeographic) drivers of biodiversity patterns in an effort to improve predictions about community-level response to climate change. I typically use amphibians as a model system because, not only are they extremely sensitive to environmental change, they exhibit diverse life history strategies, differential plasticity, and complex community dynamics.

My dissertation research aims to provide a diverse assessment of amphibian species vulnerability and adaptive capacity to climate change. The experimental portion of my research has involved the quantification of complex direct and indirect interactions among co-occurring amphibian species under natural and novel environmental conditions (e.g. climate warming and rapid pond drying). I examine how shifts in these conditions alter individual species sensitivity and the strength and direction of species interactions, and conversely, how coevolved interactions mediate the effects of climate change factors. Within this context, I examine the costs vs. benefits of behavioral and physiological plasticity as a mechanism for rapid adaptation.
I am also particularly interested in how species respond to climate change as a complex network of interacting species and how these inter-dependencies affect the footprint of amphibians on the landscape. You may see me tweeting about the use (and often misuse) of co-occurrence data as a method for incorporating biotic interactions into species distribution models.
I got my M.Sc. at Oregon State, but before coming to the great Pacific Northwest I did my undergrad at the University of Florida (Go Gators!). I hail from the flatlands of Florida’s beautiful Gulf Coast and grew up in Gulf Breeze (a tiny peninsula town near Pensacola Beach). When I’m balancing work with life, I like to do most anything outdoors like salmon fishing, duck hunting, hiking and playing with my youthful 8 year old Lab, Sierra.
Looking forward to talking with my fellow Biotweeps! In the meantime, follow me on Twitter @ectothurm, check out my personal website www.lindseythurman.com, or join us at the Early Career Climate Forum (@ECCForumwww.eccforum.org

February 16th, 2015 – Simon Goring, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Simon GoringI am an Assistant Scientist at the University of Wisconsin – Madison where I model the relationships between forest composition, land use change and climate at multiple spatial scales. I am heavily involved in the Paleoecological Observatory Network (PalEON) using modern, historical and paleo-ecological climate and vegetation data to understand relationships between climate change, land use change and forest composition while training undergraduate and graduate students. My interdisciplinary work has resulted in lead authorship in a special issue of Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, discussing the steps necessary for academic institutions to better support early career researchers in their interdisciplinary studies (Goring et al., 2014).

I have developed new open-source tools for accessing and analyzing paleoecological data in R (Goring et al. submitted; Blaauw and Goring, 2014); refined of the relationship between pollen and plant species richness (Goring et al., 2013); and developed tools to constrain age-uncertainty in paleoecological research (Goring et al., 2012; Blaauw and Goring, 2014). I have helped inform conservation policy in the Pacific Northwest (Pellatt et al., 2012), and at a national scale (Nantel et al., 2014).  I am a member of the Engagement team for the NSF EarthCube initiative and I work closely with the Neotoma Paleoecological Database. My research has been used by others for conservation planning, paleoecological model improvement and even by researchers at the Planetary Science Institute to understand the history of lakes on Mars.

I currently blog at downwithtime.wordpress.com and can be found on twitter at @sjgoring