Esteu aquí

CREAF Talks

Biweekly researcher forum, which offer an opportunity for researchers in ecology to present and discuss their work

CREAF runs an annual programme of seminars that showcase the global research work in the field of ecological science both within and beyond our centre. ​Each seminar normally lasts 30-40 minutes with plenty of time afterwards for questions and discussion. Seminars are usually on Wednesday at 3 pm.

Our free seminar programme is open to everyone.  For more information, please email CREAF Talks coordinator  anna.avila@uab.cat

 


Past seminars

 

Ongoing seminars

​October 5, 2017   Agenda Event

[confirm your attendance]

Mirco Migliavacca, Department of Biogeochemical Integration at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry. Deutschland

"Combining proximal sensing and flux measurements to detect physiological and structural response of vegetation in manipulation experiments"

Summary

Hyperspectral remote sensing  can be used to directly infer variation in structure and function of the vegetation under different environmental conditions or stress. Among the variety of products, sun-induced fluorescence (SIF)  provides a new non-invasive measurement approach that has the potential to quantify dynamic changes in light-use efficiency and photosynthetic carbon dioxide uptake (Gross Primary Production, GPP). However, the mechanistic link between GPP and sun-induced fluorescence under different environmental conditions, and in particular stress, is not completely understood. In this contribution I will show the structural and functional factors controlling the emission of SIF in a series of manipulative experiment. I will also show the potential of the use of SIF retrieved in the red and far red to determine environmental stress on vegetation

Biography

Mirco Migliavacca is a scientist at the Max-Planck-Institute for Biogeochemistry (MPI-BGC), leader of the Biosphere-Atmosphere Experimentation and Interaction group within the Department Biogeochemical Integration (https://www.bgc-jena.mpg.de/bgi/index.php/Main/HomePage). His primary interest is in the understanding of the global carbon cycle. His expertise is in the field of biometeorology, eddy covariance flux time series analysis, and earth observation and proximal sensing. For more information https://www.bgc-jena.mpg.de/bgi/index.php/Research/BAIE 

 


 

October 25, 2017   Agenda Event

[confirm your attendance]

Colin Osborne, Sheffield University

"C4 photosynthesis: from leaf evolution to global ecology"

Summary

C4 plants use a carbon-concentrating mechanism to improve photosynthetic efficiency compared with the ancestral C3 type in hot, low CO2 environments. The evolution of this photosynthetic physiology has been widely credited for the ecological success of grasses in dominating tropical savannas. This talk will examine how the evolution of C4 photosynthesis overcame environmental limitations, how a greater efficiency of photosynthesis changed the biology of the whole plant, and how the resulting changes in plant-environment interactions transformed ecosystems. The work establishes general principles by comparing large numbers of plant species, uncovers mechanisms responsible for C4 plant success, and demonstrates the importance of evolutionary history in understanding global ecology today.

Biography

Colin is Professor of Plant Biology, and Associate Director at the Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures at the University of Sheffield, a new initiative which aims to build a global community of sustainability leaders through its PhD programme, and to help connect sustainability research at the university with ongoing policy debates. Colin has been in Sheffield for twenty years, as postdoc, Royal Society University Research Fellow, and latterly an academic. Before that, he obtained a PhD in plant environmental physiology from the University of Essex, and a BSc in Plant Sciences from the University of Manchester. His research investigates how physiological diversity in wild plants arises from evolutionary and ecological processes, and how physiological mechanisms underpin these species differences. Recent research has investigated the evolution of C4 photosynthesis in tropical environments and the domestication of wheat in the Fertile Crescent. This work reveals the importance of taking a whole organism perspective on physiological processes.


 

November 8, 2017   Agenda Event

Sara Hortal, Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, Western Sydney University

"Fungal competition and partner choice in the ectomycorrhizal symbiosis"

Summary

Multiple ectomycorrhizal (EM) fungi with different functional attributes compete to colonise the plant root system. However, and despite their global importance, factors driving EM competition are not well understood. In this talk I will present a series of experiments assessing EM competitive interactions, how climate change factors might affect them and the extent to which plants control EM colonization. We found that, when given a choice, plants are able to limit colonization by the least cooperative symbiont; not by a reduction in allocated carbon but by up-regulation of defence-related genes against those fungi providing fewer nutrients. 

Biography

My main research interests are soil microbial ecology and plant-soil interactions. I am currently Project manager at the Consorci de Serveis Universitaris de Catalunya after being Research fellow at the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment (Australia) for five years. Before moving to Australia, I did two postdocs, one at the Functional Ecology lab of the Estación Experimental de Zonas Áridas  (CSIC) and another one at the Ecogenomics of Interactions lab of the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (France). I obtained my PhD in 2008 from the Institut de Recerca i Tecnologia Agroalimentàries and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.


 

November 22, 2017   Agenda Event

Carles Pedrós-Alió, Centro Nacional de Biotecnología, CSIC. Espanya

"Bacteria and Climate Change"

Summary

There is still considerable uncertainty as to the way in which the biosphere will respond to climate change. In the case of microorganisms, predictions are particularly difficult. This is due to the huge diversity and large adaptability of microbial assemblages to changing conditions. I will consider first what climate change can do to bacteria, in particular whether extinction of bacterial species is likely. This will require an examination of the current view of microbial diversity as revealed by genomics and metagenomics and worldwide surveys. Finally, I will examine what can bacteria do to climate change and will explore what kind of predictions are possible.

Biography

Carlos Pedrós-Alió holds a PhD in Bacteriology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA) and is a Research Professor at the National Center for Biotechnology of the CSIC. He has worked for 25 years at the Marine Sciences Institute in Barcelona, CSIC, and is a member of the American Academy of Microbiology. He has worked in both polar areas, hypersaline environments and hot springs in Patagonia, Atacama and Costa Rica. He has been a member of the SCAR-Spain committee, the European Polar Board and the International Census of Marine Microbes. His scientific interest is to understand the ecology and diversity of microorganisms using genomics and massive sequencing. He has published over 200 scientific papers and three outreach books: “Desert d'aigua” (in Catalan), “La vida al limite” (in Spanish) and “Bajo la piel del océano” (in Spanish). He is also interested in birdwatching, fiction writing, the biology of spirituality and the relationship between art and science.

 


 

November 29, 2017   Agenda Event

Roderick Dewar, Australian National University

"Macroecological patterns, chance and necessity"

Summary

A fundamental goal of ecology is to understand empirical patterns of biodiversity within and across ecological communities. The enormous complexity of the individual-scale processes underlying these patterns presents a formidable challenge to modellers. Here I present an approach inspired by how complex systems are modelled in physics, using the principle of maximum entropy. In this approach, many of the underlying processes are treated as random noise (“chance”) and only a few key community-scale constraints are modelled explicitly (“necessity”). I discuss how this approach has led to new insights into the relationships between the diversity, productivity and stability of plant communities.

Biography

A fundamental goal of ecology is to understand empirical patterns of biodiversity within and across ecological communities. The enormous complexity of the individual-scale processes underlying these patterns presents a formidable challenge to modellers. Here I present an approach inspired by how complex systems are modelled in physics, using the principle of maximum entropy. In this approach, many of the underlying processes are treated as random noise (“chance”) and only a few key community-scale constraints are modelled explicitly (“necessity”). I discuss how this approach has led to new insights into the relationships between the diversity, productivity and stability of plant communities.


 

December 13, 2017   Agenda Event

 

Susana Bernal, Researcher at CEAB-CSIC and Associate Professor at the Dept. of Evolutionary Biology, Biology and Environmental Sciences of Barcelona University (BEECA-UB).

"Biogeochemical reactors within Mediterranean headwater catchments"

Summary

Mediterranean catchments naturally experience marked changes in hydrological connectivity that can span from droughts to floods. Yet, our understanding of how this hydrological regime influences the cycling and transport of nutrients, nitrogen in particular, is still limited. In this talk, I will combine several studies to explore which landscape units within Mediterranean headwater catchments act either as nitrogen sources or sinks, as well as the hydrological processes and environmental conditions that switch on these biogeochemical reactors. An appetizer: this talk is mostly about riparian forests and streams, but your expectations might be wrong.

Biography

My research is focused on carbon and nutrient biogeochemistry in continental ecosystems, mostly forests and streams, with emphasis on understanding the intimate relationship between hydrology and biogeochemistry. I investigate the impact of hydrological extremes, global change, and historic perturbations of nutrient export from catchments, as well as the potential of riparian and stream ecosystems as natural filters of nutrients in natural and altered ecosystems. PhD in Biology (2006), Fulbright at Princeton University (2006-2009), Juan de la Cierva (2009-2012), JAE-DOC (2012-2014) and JIN-Researcher (2015-2018) at CEAB. My work is compiled in > 40 papers and book chapters and has been presented in > 60 congresses.