Invited lecturers

sheri fritzSherilyn Fritz
Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
University of Nebraska – Lincoln, USA: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Cenozoic evolution of biotic and geophysical diversity in the tropical Andes and Amazon
The Amazon Basin and tropical Andes are among the great centers of Neotropical diversity and endemism. Various aspects of the dynamic long-term history of the region, including uplift of the Andes, geomorphic evolution of the Amazon River drainage, and climate variation have been posited to drive diversification and extinction and the resultant evolution of the region’s incomparable biodiversity. I will review some of the models linking environmental history and biodiversity and discuss some of the major unknowns about evolutionary processes in this vast region.

About the lecturer: Sheri Fritz is the George Holmes University Professor at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, with appointments in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and the School of Biological Sciences. Her research interests are in long-term environmental change, particularly using the fossil record to reconstruct natural patterns of climate variation, ecosystem response to environmental variability, and evolutionary change. She has major research projects in the tropical Andes and Amazon Basin of South America and the North American Great Plains and northern Rocky Mountains. Fritz leads several interdisciplinary groups and initiatives, including serving as co-chair of PAGES, President of the American Quaternary Association, and co-director of a large US NSF-funded project on the evolution of biodiversity in tropical South America.


mike evansMichael N. Evans
Department of Geology and Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center
University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

On the creation and management of a (PAGES) working group
What are best practices for creating and managing an international, multidisciplinary scientific working group? I will discuss ideas and experiences that have emerged from several PAGES2k working groups, among them Ocean2k, and challenges going forward in 2017. A focus on big questions is exciting, diversifies the team, and plays to the strengths of community-wide initiatives. Crowdsourcing allows many hands to make light work. Collaboration technologies facilitate global participation. Perhaps most important is the continuing development of a working culture in which inclusivity, communication, intellectual generosity, transparency, personal responsibility, hard work, positive reinforcement, flat management, skeptical discussion, respect, humor, optimism and new voices are actively encouraged.

About the lecturer: Mike Evans received his PhD in Earth and Environmental Sciences in 1999 from Columbia University. He is Associate Professor of Geology with a joint appointment at the Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center at Maryland. His research interests include development of new tropical paleoclimatic datasets, proxy system modeling, synthesis of observations and simulations of late Holocene environments for process understanding, and uncertainty quantification. He was overall lead for the Ocean2k project from its inception in 2011 until 2015, served on the 2K Coordinators Team from 2012-2015, and has served on the PAGES Scientific Steering Committee since 2016. He otherwise keeps busy raising his two daughters, making fermented foods, gardening, practicing yoga, and getting lost while on bicycle tour.
Photo credit: The Plains, VA, USA October 2016, taken by Maya Evans.