Visiting scientist – Aimée T. Classen will give an ENVIRON lecture

Welcome to the ENVIRON’s lectures!

On Feb 17th at 14:00 – 15:00 in Estonian University of Life Sciences, Kreutzwaldi 5 (Metsamaja), room D-239.

Aimée T. Classen, Associate Professor of University of Copenhagen will give a two-part lecture: Advice to young scientists / From microbes to mountains, understanding ecosystems in a global change context

Classen will break her talk into two parts. The first part will address tips on scientific writing, reading, and building collaborative networks to help achieve success in science. Classen is the Associate Editor in Chief at Ecological Monographs, a handling editor at Ecology and Ecology Letters, and an Associate Editor at the Journal of Plant Ecology. She also runs several multi-national networks. She will draw on these experiences in the first part of her preservation.

The second part (science): How much carbon will terrestrial ecosystems hold in the future? This important question remains uncertain, in part because we don’t know how microbial communities will directly and indirectly respond to climatic change. Microbes may influence ecosystem carbon processes in a number of ways including by manipulating plant traits or plant nutrient uptake. These interactions may vary across seasons or ecosystem types. Classen’s talk will explore how soil communities shape terrestrial carbon processes across scales from the microbe-root interface to forest range boundaries. Her talk will make four key points: (1) that microbes, even rare ones, can influence important plant traits, (2) Ecological interactions influence spatial variation in decomposition rates, (3) Seasonal variation plays an important role in how microbial communities respond to climatic change, (4) Patterns are not the same everywhere. Classen will end her talk by arguing that one way forward is to experimentally manipulate species interactions as well as warming across ecological systems to see if there are any general responses of ecosystems to global change.

Aimée Classen is an Associate Professor in the Natural History Museum of Denmark at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark and at the University of Tennessee in the USA. She is interested in ecosystems – pretty much everything about them – but her work has focused on understanding how interactions alter ecosystem function. When not thinking about science, she likes to hike (especially in mountains), swim (especially in oceans) and ride her bike (especially around Copenhagen) with her family. You can read more about work in the Classen lab, as well as the excellent team of collaborating students and post-docs, at the lab website: http://web.utk.edu/~aclassen/Home.html

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