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Neo Martinez (Indiana University): Predicting Ecosystem Phenotype from Community Genotype: Can Allometric Trophic Network Theory Help Meet the Challenge?

15 June 2021 @ 9:00 - 10:00 PDT

Theoretical ecology has investigated a series of concepts from stability and complexity through biodiversity and ecosystem function to coexistence and tipping points for which empirical data typically plays a less-than-satisfying role. To coax theoretical ecology towards increased empirical relevance and broader scientific synthesis, I propose that environmental biologists focus on predicting key characteristics of an ecosystem from the genotypes within its constituent communities. Such metagenomes effectively identify the organisms and their interactions within ecosystems. Following the first of several “virtual cells” built by systems biologists that predicts a human pathogen’s phenotype from its genotype, powerful social (e.g., structured collaborations), scientific (e.g., networks of networks) and technical (e.g., computer and data science) concepts for accomplishing the proposed task will be described along with a plausible workflow based on allometric trophic network theory. Anticipated benefits include more integrated, mechanistic, and predictive theory of how ecosystem structure and function emerge from organisms interacting within a habitat.

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15 June 2021
9:00 - 10:00 PDT
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Watch recorded past seminars on our YouTube channel: