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ESA 2015 – Baltimore

On Thursday at the 2015 Ecological Society of America meeting, I presented preliminary data from an analysis of the global distributions of 1135 introduced species. We find that species experience massive niche shifts as they cross continents. The magnitude of these niche shifts depends upon the methods used to remove sampling bias.

These data have significant implications for our ability to use native-range data to predict future distributions in the introduced range — a critical issue in the development of invasive species risk assessments. Fortunately, I was able to finish my talk just before a fire alarm cleared out the convention center!

Big ups to Dan and Morgan, the students in my post-doc lab, for giving great talks. Dan presented his study of non-additive effects of dual invaders, and Morgan presented her work on restoring autumn olive-invaded surface mine sites. Surface mining in Appalachia involves complete mountaintop removal. The topology, plant communities, and “soil” of these sites are 100% artificially reconstructed and have to be seen to be believed. Jacob, my advisor, presented our work on evaluating genetic and phenotypic variation in 70 US populations of Johnsongrass, a devastating invader.