Humans Added to Ecology Equation

Symposium speakers were (l to r) Brian Beckage (University of Vermont), Nina Fefferman (UT), Madhur Anand (University of Guelph), Erle Ellis (University of Maryland Baltimore County), Christina Romagosa (University of Florida, Simon Levin (Princeton University), and moderator Louis Gross (UT).

The first ever Ecological Society of America Symposium on integrating human behavior into theoretical ecology was held at this year’s ESA Annual Meeting, courtesy of NIMBioS and DySoC.

NIMBioS and DySoC faculty organized the symposium, titled “Theory in Ecology: Adding Humans to the Equation,” which drew about 150 attendees.

The Symposium focused on building ecological theory that incorporates human actions and goes beyond the mostly static approach to human impacts of natural systems that has characterized models developed to date.

Six speakers gave talks on topics ranging from linking human behavior to climate system models, sociocultural evolution, and public goods and collective action.

One of the speakers was NIMBioS Associate Director and DySoC Faculty Member Nina Fefferman. Her presentation on ‚ÄúPatients as patches: Ecological challenges from the epidemiology of healthcare environments” aimed to broaden the discussion to include the unique challenges posed in human healthcare settings.

NIMBioS Director Louis Gross moderated a lively, open discussion following the presentations.

The 11th Annual ESA Meeting was held Aug. 11-16 in Louisville, KY. The Symposium was held on Aug. 13.

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