Chisholm, S. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, chisholm@mit.edu

 
DEALING WITH DIVERSITY: STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION IN OCEAN ECOSYSTEMS
 
The last few decades of research in biological oceanography have made it clear that the species composition of pelagic foodwebs are intimately coupled with the biogeochemical 'functions' of the oceans in the biosphere, and that the causality in this coupling goes both ways. Yet models designed to predict these functions -- i.e. the flow of energy and elements through oceanic ecosystems -- do not include detailed structure within trophic levels or species because the complexity involved is intellectually daunting, computationally intractable, and impossible to validate in the field. Looking toward a future in which the prospect of geoengineering the oceans is looming, it is critical that we confront the discordance between our understanding of the complexity of these systems and our inability to incorporate that understanding in quantitative predictive models.
 
Day: Monday, Feb. 1
Time: 10:30 - 11:15am
Location: Sweeney Center
 
Code: PLENMO1030S