Quantifying and predicting resilience from individuals, to populations, to whole communities

Understanding and predicting the responses to natural systems to disturbances has been a fundamental goal of Ecology since its birth as a science. Still, the study of resilience has been plagued with discussions and disagreements regarding how to define this term, which have ultimately limited progress in the area, let alone developments to integrate resilience across levels of biological organisation. In this talk, I will overview key works developed in my lab aimed at integrating how individual responses to disturbances scale up to changes in population trends and community assembly. The approaches used, contrary to the status quo in the discipline, do not make assumptions about ecological systems being at or close to stationary equilibrium, and so they offer a more realistic depiction of how nature operates and responds to the human-led disturbances they are current experiencing. I will also discuss how novel technologies (autonomous robots, UAVs, LiDAR) can help vastly expedite our assessments and predictions of nature resilience towards a more cost-effective recovery.

Rob Salguero-Gómez is an Associate Professor in Ecology at the Department of Biology, Oxford, and a Tutorial Fellow at Pembroke College. He holds honorary affiliations with the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (Germany) and Lanzhou University (China). He is also a member of the Oxford Leverhulme Centre for Nature Recovery. Formally trained as a demographer, Rob uses tools from human actuarial sciences and across-the-tree-of-life comparative biology to better understand how species go about making a living, and to build macroecological forecasts of species viability and change in biodiversity. He is the leader of the three most comprehensive open-access population ecology databases (COMPADRE, COMADRE, and PADRINO). He is the commissioning editor at Journal of Animal Ecology, and serves in multiple other journals as associate editor (e.g., Ecology Letters, Scientific Reports).