Dr. Enrique Martinez Meyer
National Autonomous University of Mexico
Current climatic change is one of the main topics of concern for natural systems and human societies in the present century. For biodiversity, historic and recent climatic changes have had important impacts and consequences at all organization levels -from genes to ecosystems- that have molted life on Earth as we know it. Paleontological research, as well as observations on the responses of species and ecosystems to past and present climatic changes, has taught us important lessons to understand how biodiversity deals with large-scale environmental changes. As well, new methodological tools and approaches allow sophisticated analysis to understand the phenomena. With all this information and tools at hand, a question of prior importance emerges, are we able to anticipate the impacts of the current climatic change on biodiversity at the global and local scales in order to be able to take concrete actions for avoiding a potential ecological disaster? In this talk I present some of my research illustrating the main challenges and our level of knowledge to answer this central question. I conclude that we are able to detect general patterns on the responses of biodiversity to this climatic change event; however, current levels of uncertainty in data and modeling processes still impedes a clear view of what we can expect in the near future, particularly at the local scale, where conservation decisions are made.
Enrique Martínez Meyer is a researcher at the Zoology Department of the Institute of Biology, in the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), since 2002. His research lines are within the scope of Geographical Ecology, particularly addressing questions regarding the causal factors of the distribution and abundance of biodiversity and its responses to environmental changes. His research includes projects in climate change biology, conservation, ecological niche theory, and ecology of mammals. Since his incorporation to UNAM, Enrique has taught courses on Biodiversity Informatics, Ecology of Vertebrates of the Tropical Dry Forest, and Biological Consequences of Climate Change, as well as more than 15 workshops on Ecological Niche and Distribution Modeling. Enrique has produced 1 book, 6 book chapters and around 50 papers in international journals.