The Zoology Departmental Seminar for May will be given by Professor Øystein Varpe from the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) at 14:00 in D502.

Seminar title: Life history adaptations to seasonality

The annual cycle of the physical environment, and related biological responses, forms strong selection pressures. These pressures shape an organism’s scheduling of activities, developmental stages, and modes of life through the year. Annual decisions impact trade-offs that involve both current and future reproductive value, and life history theory provides the foundation to understand these linkages between phenology and an organism’s full life. In this talk I will cover some of our work on life history adaptations to seasonality. Our main model system is the life cycles and annual routines of copepods. A central dimension will be the interplay between seasonality in food availability and predation risk and how it impacts life history traits such as body size, diapause, and energy storage (capital versus income breeding). I will also point to some of our ecological work in Arctic systems where rapid environmental changes, such as the diminishing sea ice, is modifying trophic interactions and changing the selection pressures on phenology and life history traits.

Rhonda Snook