Climate Futures

Climate Futures

April 7th 2011

Speaker: Dr. Beth Fulton
Time: 1.00 - 2.00pm

Location: Biology Tearoom E8A 280

Audience: Everyone

Abstract: Understanding is a key component of successful management. The competing demands on marine systems and their changing nature can make them a management challenge – both uncertain and complex. Models can help simplify the task by providing tools for system understanding and for exploring alternative management options. In particular, models can get beyond direct impacts to explore the (often crucial) role of indirect effects and trade-offs between system components and objectives of different user groups. As an example, one area where significant insights can be gained is around the potential effects of global climate change on marine ecosystems.

Feedback and change are fundamental features of ecosystems, something global change has highlighted. Changes in the physical environment, will see shifts in species ranges, community compositions and ultimately the form and function of ecosystem and the human societies that exploit them. What these shifts will be depends on which of the competing (and potentially counteracting) mechanisms dominates through space and time. This means that changes are unlikely to be simple or linear, there will be winners, losers and surprises. It also means that management will be complex and non-stationary, presenting management, scientific and statistical challenges.

Bio: Dr Beth Fulton works extensively with marine ecosystem modelling. She developed Atlantis and co-developed InVitro, which are used to support sustainable multiple use management options for marine environments in Australia and internationally. These tools help identify sensible development and resource use with the conservation of biodiversity and functioning marine ecosystems. Beth’s current work involves implementing ecosystem-based models for regional-scale management strategy evaluation in Australia and internationally, modelling for understanding climate change effects and associated biodiversity and evolutionary shifts, leading CSIRO’s marine ecological and ecosystem modelling group, and supervising two postdoctoral fellows and five graduate students.

Back to the top of this page