The School of Biological Sciences Spring 2023 Seminar Series presents Dr. Lydia Beaudrot
Lydia Beaudrot, Ph.D.Assistant ProfessorRice University
Live via Zoom
"Past and present impacts of humans on tropical mammals"
We are at the precipice of the 6th mass extinction in Earth’s history and the only mass extinction that humans have caused. Given that biodiversity provides critical services for humanity, including food, clean water, carbon storage, and disease regulation, understanding how and why biodiversity is lost in non-random ways is important for both basic and applied research. In this talk, I will describe both past and present impacts of humans on tropical mammal communities. I will show how after human colonization, food webs globally lost more complexity from extinctions than would be expected by chance. Then, using unparalleled field data from camera traps deployed systematically in national parks throughout the tropics, I will share how my research group has demonstrated that humans are currently affecting the distribution of terrestrial mammals and birds worldwide. Even though protected areas are critical strongholds for wildlife conservation, ensuring the effectiveness of existing protected areas for conserving threatened species is both critical and urgent.