Symposia

SYMPOSIUM I – FRONTIERS IN MAMMALIAN EVOLUTION: INTEGRATION OF MULTIPLE DATA SOURCES TO UNRAVEL THE HISTORY OF MAMMALS

  • Date: Sunday, June 7th
  • Time: 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
  • Location: UMC Glenn Miller Center Ballroom
  • Speakers: John Gatesy, Anjali Goswami, Zhe-Xi Lou, Emma Teeling, and John Wible

The symposium will mark the first ever meeting of the Society for the Study of Mammalian Evolution (SSME), and we are proud to be hosted in our inaugural meeting by the American Society of Mammalogists. Our symposium is intended to bring together some of the leading figures in the study of mammalian evolution, to discuss how new discoveries and new technologies have changed our views of mammalian history. The topic is intentionally broad, with the goal of providing attendees with an overview of where the field stands, and where it is headed in the near future. It is also our intent that by covering a wide array of topics, the symposium will appeal not only to the diverse membership of SSME in attendance, but also to a wide range of ASM members, particularly those with a general interest in mammalian evolution and related topics. Organizers: Timothy Gaudin & Society for the Study of Mammalian Evolution.


SYMPOSIUM II – HUMAN DIMENSIONS OF ROCKY MOUNTAIN MAMMALS

  • Date: Monday, June 8th
  • Time: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Location: UMC Glenn Miller Center Ballroom
  • Speakers: Jason Baldes, Joel Berger, Derek Scasta, Tara Teel, and Daniel Thompson

One of the primary goals of many research endeavors in the field of mammalogy is to inform the conservation and management of wild mammals. Indeed, mammalogists go to great lengths to identify appropriate population sizes, barriers to movement, instances of behavioral plasticity, hindrances to population recovery, myriad methodological approaches to guide conservation and management efforts, and more. The success of the implementation of any of these efforts, however, largely hinges on factors that we typically fail to consider: human values and interests. Whether large swaths of the public support or disapprove of proposed actions will have a profound impact on the conservation and management of wild mammals. Further, culture, values, and livelihoods all shape how humans perceive proposed conservation and management actions and the degree to which they support them; yet, these critical elements are often overlooked. Critically evaluating the human elements of wildlife conservation and management could improve the success of many proposed efforts to ameliorate challenges facing many mammal species today. Organizers: Rhiannon Jakopak and Kevin Monteith.


SYMPOSIUM III – MAMMAL DIVERSITY IN DYNAMIC LANDSCAPES

  • Date: Monday, June 8th
  • Time: 3:30 pm – 5:30 pm
  • Location: UMC Glenn Miller Center Ballroom
  • Speakers: Catherine Badgley, Renan Maestri, Jenny McGuire, Rebecca Rowe Tara Smiley, and Miriam Zelditch

One of the most striking gradients in mammal diversity today is the concentration of species in topographically complex regions, such as long mountain ranges and large rift valleys. These areas contain most of the hotspots for mammal diversity worldwide (as well as for other well-documented groups, including birds and vascular plants), and contain many small-range endemic mammal species of high conservation concern. Since climate change is occurring faster at high elevations and high latitudes than elsewhere across the world, species in montane regions are experiencing rapid changes to their ecosystems. Thus, understanding the processes that drive the generation and maintenance of diversity in topographically complex landscapes is highly relevant and interdisciplinary, requiring integration of information from mammalogy, biogeography, the fossil record, and earth sciences. Organizers: Catherine Badgley and Rebecca Terry.


SYMPOSIUM IV – MAMMAL LIFE HISTORY IN AN ERA OF GLOBAL CHANGE: INSIGHTS FROM NEW TOOLS AND GROWING DATASETS

  • Date: Tuesday, June 9th
  • Time: 10:30 am – 12:30 pm
  • Location: UMC Glenn Miller Center Ballroom
  • Speakers: Robert Guralnick, Jeffrey Lane, Katarzyna Nowak, and Bryan McLean

Life histories vary widely across extant Mammalia, encompassing traits such as timing of breeding, numbers of lifetime reproductive efforts, litter size, size at birth, growth rates, lifespan, and others. The ability of mammals to respond adaptively in these traits underpins much of the evolutionary and ecological success of the clade globally. Over the past century of mammalogical research, there has been substantial progress in cataloging life history trait variation and understanding tradeoffs inherent in these systems. However, many mammals are secretive, nocturnal, or otherwise difficult to observe; synthetic life history datasets for many species are therefore typically a) absent, b) spatially or temporally lacking, or c) difficult to digitize and aggregate. As a result, evolutionary and ecological drivers of life history trait variation within most species are still poorly understood, limiting our ability to effectively monitor their responses to global change. Organizer: Bryan McLean.