Tropical ecology in the Anthropocene

Tropical evolutionary biologist Rodolfo Dirzo discusses the importance of biological diversity, his connection to the Anthropocene, and his work in Central and South America in one of our most spirited conversations.

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Rodolfo Dirzo
Dr. Rodolfo Dirzo is the current Bing Professor of Ecology at Stanford University. He holds masters and doctoral degrees in ecology from the University of Wales (UK). Dr.Dirzo joined Stanford after a distinguished career at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, and he has held visiting lecturer positions in many universities in Latin America and beyond. His fieldwork has focused in particular on tropical forest ecosystems of Mexico, Costa Rica and Amazonia. Currently he is extending his research into Africa (Kenya and Tanzania), looking at the relationships between defaunation (loss of megafauna) in savannah ecosystems and the risks of disease for local human communities. Besides his ecological research, he is also doing research on biodiversity conservation. Within this topic he is interested in the extinction of biological diversity, ecological processes, and cultural diversity.


Bryan Barney
Bryan is a first year PhD student in Biology, studying marine population genomics under Dr. Stephen Palumbi at Stanford’s Hopkins Marine Station in Pacific Grove, CA. His main interests lie in utilizing modern genomics techniques to investigate adaptation to climate change in Pacific rocky intertidal organisms. When he is not involved in sorting through hundreds of millions of short DNA sequences, he is busy trying to indoctrinate his 3 year old daughter into the field of ecology.

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