Biodiversity: Mark McPeek

October 14, 2009 – "Climate Change and How We Got the Fauna We Have Today"
Mark McPeek, David T. McLaughlin Distinguished Professor of Biological Sciences, Dartmouth College

Current projections of climate suggest grave problems for humankind going forward. However, past climate events may have played a significant role in shaping patterns of biodiversity that we have today. In this presentation, Mark McPeek will review evidence for the various roles that past climate events have played in the adaptation and diversification of North American damselflies, and suggest ways in which our concepts of ecology and evolution may need to be altered to account for these effects.

McPeek is an ecologist and evolutionary biologist, using both empirical and theoretical approaches to understand the ecological processes that determine the distributions and abundances of organisms today, and that shaped the adaptation and diversification of these organisms in the past. In combined studies he integrates ideas, data and approaches from a number of disciplines, including population and community ecology, population genetics, molecular systematics, comparative biology, macroevolution and paleontology.