Research Staff - Climate Futures

Research Staff - Climate Futures

Species Responses to Climate Change

Speaker: Dr Linda Beaumont

Date: August 9th 2010 

Audience: Academics and Students

 Abstract: The last few decades has seen the accumulation of a substantial body of observational evidence documenting the impacts of anthropogenic climate change on the biosphere. From shifts in range margins and the timing of life cycle events through to changes at a genetic level, species have clearly responded to this relatively small change in climate. My talk provides a whirlwind tour of the accumulation of this evidence, with particular focus on migratory birds, a group with one of the strongest fingerprints of change.

The ranges of some species have extended up to several hundred kilometers over the last 30 years. As climate continues to change how may distributions to shift throughout the 21st century? This is a question frequently assessed using Species Distribution Models (SDMs). These tools have undergone significant development over the last few years. However, there are still numerous sources of uncertainty that affect their accuracy and the validity of their projections. Using endemic species of Australia’s Wet Tropics, I show how the latest developments in SDMs may contribute to reducing uncertainty in projections of future species ranges.

Bio: Dr Linda Beaumont is an Australian Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Department of Biological Sciences, under Climate Futures at Macquarie. Linda completed her PhD at Macquarie University in 2008. She is heading an ARC Discovery Grant that has established a cross-disciplinary research group consisting of earth systems scientists and ecologists at Macquarie University, UNSW, JCU and CNRS (France). A key aim of the group is to improve methods of modelling species responses to climate change, particularly for taxa endemic to Australia’s Wet Tropics. She also works with members of Macquarie’s PIRREL and PICCEL groups, and has collaborations with the Bureau of Meteorology to assess phenological responses to climate change.

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