Wisconsin Ecology 20th Annual Spring Symposium

Dr. Os Schmitz

We are pleased to host Dr. Os Schmitz, the Oastler Professor of Population and Community Ecology, in the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and the Director of the Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies, as keynote speaker at the Wisconsin Ecology Spring Symposium on April 4 & 5, 2017.

Schmitz is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has served on the scientific advisory board of the American Forest Foundation’s Center for Conservation Solutions and US EPA's Scientific Advisory Board ad hoc panel reviewing the EPA Report on the Environment. He is currently on the Science Advisory Board of the Ocean Conservancy.

His research examines the linkage between biodiversity and ecosystem services and reveals how the complex interdependencies among predator, herbivore and plant species determine the productivity of ecosystems, ensuing ecosystem processes such as nutrient and carbon cycling.

His research illustrates how important environmental disturbances, such as climate change and natural resource exploitation, alter species interdependencies within ecosystems and ensuing ecosystem services. He aims to help policy and conservation rethink conservation strategies by considering species as part of a natural portfolio that represents potential alternatives to contemporary technologically intensive and expensive approaches in environmental management. His book Ecology and Ecosystem Conservation, inspired by the writings of Aldo Leopold, encapsulates his thinking about biodiversity and ecosystems. More recently, his book Resolving Ecosystem Complexity lays out a blueprint for conducting scientific research to provide predictive understanding of how an ecosystem’s complexity develops from the vast numbers of species interacting within it. Most recently, his book The New Ecology: Rethinking a Science for the Anthropocene, conveys the exciting new developments in ecological science and how it can help society achive sustainable livelihoods in the age in which humans dominate the Earth.


Featured student speakers:
Student presentations will begin at 1:15 pm on Wed, April 5.

Bieneke Bron, Pathobiological Sciences
Evidence of small rodent involvement in plague outbreaks on prairie dog colonies

Michael Hardy, Forest & Wildlife Ecology
Misalignment of management and demography in the prairies of Wisconsin

Chris Latimer, Forest & Wildlife Ecology
Can habitat fragmentation select for climate-resilient phenotypes

Joe Phillips, Zoology
Spatiotemporal variation in the positive vs. negative effect of ecosystem engineers on benthic production in a shallow lake

Lisa Schomaker, Botany
The moss that ate the mountain: Plant diversity loss across a Sphagnum palustre gradient in the Kahola forest

Carly Ziter, Zoology
Effects of historical and contemporary land use on soil-based urban ecosystem services


*Wisconsin Ecology Symposia are free and open to the public*


Spring 2017 Symposium

Location: Ebling Symposium Center 1220 Microbial Sciences Building (map)

Tuesday, April 4

3:00 p.m.
Dr. Os Schmitz
The Evolutionary Ecology of Ecosystem Functioning

4:00 p.m.
Reception & Student Poster Session

Wednesday, April 5

1:00 p.m.

1:15 p.m. - 2:45 p.m
Student Talks

2:45 p.m.
Coffee Break

3:00 p.m.
Dr. Os Schmitz
Whither Ecology?

4:00 p.m.

The 2017 Spring Symposium is supported by the University Lecture Committee and the following departments: Agroecology, Anthropology, Community & Environmental Sociology, Forest & Wildlife Ecology and Zoology.


See previous Symposia