Biodiversity Discussion Group

Welcome! The Biodiversity Discusstion Group usually meets weekly to discuss recent research papers and topics in biodiversity from both ecological and evolutionary perspectives. Any interested undergraduates, graduates, postdocs, and faculty are welcome to suggest papers and join the discussion.

Time: Wednesdays at 10:00

Location: Beaty 224 (Ralf Yorque Room).

Twitter feed - Tips for a great meeting - Get on the BDG list

Fall 2016 Schedule


Lab leader

Readings, tasks etc.


Snack provider

Jan 11 Jenn and Patrick

Read this paper from the new Nature Ecology and Evolution journal: Louca et al. 2016

Just for fun, let's also read the editorial for this new journal: Why Biodiversity Matters

Jenn and Patrick Jenn and Patrick
Jan 18 Aviles Lab

Topic: interaction webs that consider more interations than just food-based.

Read this paper: More than a meal - Kefi et al. 2012

Sam Straus Sam
Jan 25 Harley Lab

Parasites and Changing Climate

Read this paper: Cizauskas et al. 2017

Further reading if interested: Marcogliese 2016

Norah Brown and Alyssa Gehman Norah & Alyssa
Feb 1 Angert Lab

Novel competitiors and climate warming

Read this paper: Alexander et al. Nature, 2015

Rachel Germain Rachel
Feb 8 Williams Lab

Biodiversity & coexistence

Read this paper: Godoy et al. Ecology Letters, 2014

Jenn W. Jenn W.
Feb 15 Chan Lab

Disaggregating the evidence linking biodiversity and ecosystem services

Read this paper: Rickets et al, 2016

Herold Eyster Herold
Feb 22 Reading Break Reading Break    
Mar 1 Schluter Lab

Are mountain passes higher in the tropics?

Read this paper: Ghalambor et al. 2006

Ken Thompson  
Mar 8 Tseng Lab

Which aspects of the changing climate exert the most powerful selective forces?

Siepielski et al. Science, 2017

Supplementary Materials

Michelle Tseng  
Mar 15 cancelled this week      
Mar 22 group read

Read this essay: Towards a mechanistic foundation of evolutionary theory | eLife

Think about these questions:

(1) How does this differ from traditional ways of thinking about fitness?

(2) How might this approach better connect ecology with evolution?

(3) What are the dangers or costs of switching to this approach?

Jenn/ Michael  
Mar 29 Judy

Main paper: Thackeray et al. 2016

News and Views about the paper here.


April 5 Holly Moeller

How the experimental manipulation of plant diversity affects flowering timing

Paper available here: Wolf et al., 2017

April 12 TBD      

Tips for a great meeting:

Ask questions, whether you fret they are silly or not, what you think is a 'dumb question' is probably a fundamental question that many are wondering about or should be. So speak up.

Bring an expert: Special guests, faculty, and experts in a topic are especially welcome. If you're running a discussion and think someone should be there, or just if you know someone who should be at a particular discussion, bring them!

Tips for running a great discussion: Take a look at these tips, compiled specifically for BDG - they contain several possible ways to structure the hour so that everyone gets the most out of it.

Previous terms
Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013
, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016.

Mailing List
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Please e-mail Jenn Sunday if you have questions.

Biodiversity Research Centre
#112-2212 Main Mall
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, British Columbia, V6T 1Z4, Canada