Dr. Jesus N. Pinto-Ledezma will present “Harnessing Bird and Remote Sensing Data to Understand Biodiversity Change Over Space and Time.”
Biodiversity is changing due to alterations in climate and human activities at rates only comparable to the fossil record, and understanding the processes that drive and maintain the composition and structure of ecological communities is a critical challenge for biologists. Additionally, species – the primary unit of analysis in ecology and evolution – are changing their distributions, affecting how biologists understand and study biodiversity.
Pinto-Ledezma will talk about harnessing bird and remote sensing data for biodiversity assessments that allow us to go beyond the use of static data sets and perform a more realistic evaluation of the factors that determine species distribution and assemblage composition, to enhance effective management strategies and conservation actions. He will talk about how ecological communities assemble over time and the processes that drive and maintain the bird diversity we see today, about using Geolocators to help understand migration, and about how we can integrate bird observations and remote sensing data to advance modeling approaches to better understand the associations between species and their habitats.
Jesus Pinto-Ledezma is a Presidential Fellow in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior at the University of Minnesota. He is an evolutionary ecologist and is particularly interested in understanding geographical patterns of biodiversity, the structure of ecological communities, and the underlying mechanisms that drive, maintain, and alter such patterns. His work focuses on terrestrial systems, with a focus on avifauna and vascular plants but also other groups. He integrates evolutionary and ecological theories of biodiversity and develops methodological advances to unveil processes acting in concert at different temporal and spatial scales. The ultimate aim of his work is to apply insights about the onset of biodiversity patterns to inform conservation and management responses to ongoing global change and biodiversity loss.