Biodiversity Discussion Group 


The Biodiversity Discussion Group 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 join the discussion. This is a friendly place - the question you have is probably a fundamental question many are wondering about. So speak up. 

Time: Mondays noon to 1 pm (bring a lunch)

Location: Rm 225 Biodiversity Research Centre (2nd floor; Sinclair Room). 

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Fall 2019 schedule

Please e-mail Benjamin Freeman if you have questions.

Spring 2020 Schedule



Readings, tasks etc.


Jan 13

Set schedule for spring

1. Show up & say hi

2. Eat lunch (bring your own) & snacks (I provide)

3. Share what topics/papers you want to discuss in BDG this fall. 

4. Discuss & come to consensus about highest priority topics/papers.

5. Set schedule for BDGspring l 2019.

Ben Freeman

Jan 20

Why we study what we do 

Read this paper.

Think about why you study what you do. Do you agree with the authors’ suggestion that we specifically target understudied species? Should we all start projects that address such taxonomic gaps & what would happen if we did? The article is mostly about taxonomic biases, but think too about the topics you study (not just the organisms/system). What made you pick these? 


Jan 27

When should we study local vs. regional scales?


Feb 3

Stochastic communities


Feb 10

Parasites & host population dynamics / coexistence


Feb 17


Family day

Feb 24

Urbanization & invasion


March 2

Performance vs. range position in trees (are some of our core assumptions kind of really wrong?)


March 9

 The right biodiversity index is…


March 16

Whole Earth vs. Half Earth


March 23

Bayesian vs. frequentist approaches


March 30

Generalizability in science


April 6

failure in science (the truth [lots of it] and how to think 15about/deal with it)


April 13

our responsibility as scientists (advocacy etc)