Blois Paleoecology Lab

Home » 2013 » August

Monthly Archives: August 2013

Summer is coming to an end

Whew.  It’s been a busy summer!  Classes started this week and it seemed like a good opportunity to reflect a bit on what I was up to over the summer.

I started out by visiting the Smithsonian for a working group meeting.  Read more about my visit and thoughts on working groups in general here. I also got to travel to Lassen National Park, Yosemite National Park twice, Wagon Caves and the Ventana Wilderness, a cave outside of Santa Cruz, and Point Reyes/Tomales Bay for a kayak/camping trip. More locally, I’ve also been out to the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge twice.  These trips were a mix of personal and work trips, but the great thing about my job is that work trips are usually a blast!  So I’ve had a busy, but fantastic, summer.  I feel like I’m fully embracing life back in the west and experiencing all that California has to offer.


Wagon Caves Research Natural Area

In between these trips, I’ve been balancing work on three papers, preparing for field work in Palau (more on that trip when I return at the end of September), ordering supplies and equipment for my lab, and welcoming my first grad student (Eric Williams). 

I’m not scheduled to teach this fall, so I’m continuing the travel theme.  I’ve got trips to Palau (fieldwork for a Dimensions of Biodiversity project with Mike Dawson, Mike Beman, and colleagues), the Vert Paleo meetings in Los Angeles, the IBS meeting in Montreal, and seminar talks in the Dept of Geophysical Sciences at University of Chicago, York University in Toronto, and the Integrative Biology seminar series at UC Berkeley. I’m looking forward to a fun and productive fall!


Check out the Science podcast about our recent paper

The podcast can be found here.  My part runs from about 13:48 to 22:12.

New paper out today in Science!

I’ve got a new paper out today!  This paper is a review on the influence of climate change on biotic interactions, focusing on past, present, and future episodes of climatic and ecological change.  This paper was done in collaboration with Phoebe ZarnetskeMatt Fitzpatrick, and Seth Finnegan– a diverse group of folks spanning the spectrum from deep-time paleo (Seth) to Cenozoic/Quaternary paleo (me) to modern and future (Phoebe and Matt).  It was a fun paper to write and a fantastic group of people to work with.  One thing it really pointed out to me was that climate change can alter biotic interactions in highly complex ways, so if we don’t incorporate them when we’re anticipating future changes, we’re missing a big piece of the puzzle.  But they’re not always important or the biggest piece of the puzzle, and figuring out the conditions or systems in which we can ignore them is a huge challenge.

This paper is part of a species issue in Science on “Natural Systems in Changing Climates” and I’m excited to read all of the other papers in the issue.  Please email me if you would like a copy of the article.

Press coverage: UC Merced, NSF