Symposia

SYMPOSIUM I – ADVANCES IN TEACHING MAMMALOGY: PEDAGOGY AND EMBEDDING COMPETENCY

  • Date: Tuesday, June 15th
  • Time: 8:30 pm to 10:30 pm (UTC)
  • Location: Virtual Conference Platform
  • Speakers: Sean Beckman, Patrice Connors, Laurie Dizney, Jennifer Duggan, Elizabeth Flaherty, Hayley Lanier, Karen Munroe, Lorelei Patrick, Johanna Varner, and Chris Yahnke

Teaching mammalogy, wildlife, or ecology courses continues to evolve as students, pedagogy, and technology changes. Organizations such as the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) have called for transformations in undergraduate science education to develop professional skills, apply new and emerging technologies, and broaden participation in science by supporting all students. Because of the commitments of many mammalogists related to balancing teaching with research and other academic responsibilities, time and opportunities to learn about changing teaching philosophies and pedagogies can be limited. In this symposium, we will present and share strategies for meeting the learning and professional needs of our students. This symposium will focus on current advances in undergraduate education relevant to those teaching courses related to mammalogy, wildlife, or ecology. Organizer: Elizabeth Flaherty


SYMPOSIUM II – MAMMALIAN PATHOBIOLOGY: THE IMPORTANCE OF INTEGRATING NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUMS INTO ONE HEALTH

  • Date: Wednesday, June 16th
  • Time: 7:00 to 9:00 pm (UTC)
  • Location: Virtual Meeting Platform
  • Speakers: Joseph Cook, Sharon Deem, Jon Dunnum, Adam Ferguson, Eric Fèvre, Sharon Grant, Sophie Gryseels, Janeen Jones, Kelly Speer, and Kate Webbink

If the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has taught us anything, it is that fighting emerging zoonotic diseases requires a multi-disciplinary approach with effective communication across disciplines. This need for integrative science to tackle emerging zoonotic diseases forms the basis of the One Health framework. According to the One Health Initiative Task Force, One Health can be defined as “the collaborative efforts of multiple disciplines working locally, nationally, and globally, to attain optimal health for people, animals and our environment”. These “multiple disciplines” are often centered on three major professions: medical doctors, veterinarians, and environmental scientists. One group of scientists that actively contribute to One Health goals, but are often forgotten in the One Health framework, are those working in the world’s Natural History Museums (NHMs). Given the important role wild, small mammals may have in zoonotic disease transmission and the limited information on much of the world’s mammal diversity increased sampling efforts focused on both zoonoses and biodiversity could provide information critical to understanding zoonotic disease transmission, especially along the human-wildlife-livestock interface. This symposium will (1) increase interest by mammalogists in One Health efforts, (2) increase the involvement of NHMs in One Health efforts, and (3) initiate discussions with active One Health professionals as to the best ways of achieving goals 1 and 2. Organizers: Adam Ferguson and Kelly Speer.


SYMPOSIUM III – Global trends in mammal distribution and threats

  • Date: Thursday, June 17th
  • Time: 8:30 to 10:30 pm (UTC)
  • Location: Virtual Meeting Platform
  • Speakers: Gonzalo Albaladejo-Robles, Jerrold L. Belant, Andrea Cristiano, Maria Lumbierres, David Mallon, Prabhat Raj Dahal, Carlo Rondinini, and Carmen Soria

In a time when biodiversity is globally declining at unprecedented rates, researching patterns of species distributions and threats at a global scale is of vital importance. The main drivers of biodiversity loss are habitat loss, invasive species, climate change and overexploitation. Studying the relationship between these drivers and biodiversity loss is essential for effective conservation action. Although conservation is done at regional scale, drivers of biodiversity loss are global and interconnected, and coordinated action is necessary. Mammals, in particular, are among the most studied taxa, and contain emblematic, flagship and umbrella species. Studying their distributions, trends and threats and planning accordingly, can also help protect other species. Moreover, detailed information on the distribution and threats is an essential part of the evaluation of the Convention on Biological Diversity Targets and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The main goal of this symposium is to give a comprehensive overview of mammal distribution and threats. To achieve a global and comprehensive understanding of the topic, we have invited mammologists working on different aspects of species loss, spatial analysis conservation planning and species traits both in the terrestrial and marine realms. This interdisciplinary group of experts will allow connecting the drivers and their interactions to obtain a clear picture of current and future mammal trends. Among other topics, we will give an overview of global threats for terrestrial mammals, focusing on tools to identify species affected by the two main current and future threats, habitat loss and climate change. We will also address the special situation that arctic marine mammals are facing in the current changing climate. Organizers: Maria Lumbierres, Michela Pacifici, Carlo Rondinini, and Carmen Soria.


SYMPOSIUM IV – FRONTIERS IN TRAIT-BASED MAMMALIAN ECOLOGY

  • Date: Friday, June 18th
  • Time: 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm (UTC)
  • Location: Virtual Conference Platform
  • Speakers: Lydia Beaudrot, Noé de la Sancha, David Polly, Onja Razafindratsima, Sharlene Santana, and Luis Verde Arregoitia

The recent development of a multi-faceted concept of biodiversity – including taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic dimensions – is revolutionizing the study of how mammal diversity is generated, what alters it, and how best to conserve it in a rapidly changing world. Functional and trait diversity is now recognized as key to answering grand ecological and evolutionary questions in mammalogy, such as how communities assemble, what causes biodiversity gradients, and how species contribute to important ecosystem functions and services. However, the most well-sampled and widely used mammal traits are coarse functional categories related to resource use, whereas data for fine-resolution (continuous) traits and those tied to environmental tolerances are much more limited. As a result, important differences within and among species are often overlooked and comprehensive tests of causative factors are currently limited. Therefore, this symposium will demonstrate best practices and frontiers in functional trait data collection, analysis, and interpretation to inspire cross-disciplinary trait-based mammalogy in the future. Organizers: Brooks Kohli and Tara Smiley.