Palaeo Discussion Group - Catalina Pimiento, University of Swansea - Title: The functional consequences of extinctions: from small mollusks to giant sharks
Catalina Pimiento, University of Swansea
Room G25, Reynolds Lecture Theatre, School of Earth Sciences, Wills Memorial Building
We are pleased to welcome Catalina Pimiento from the University of Swansea, who will be leading the Palaeo Discussion Group.
Title: The functional consequences of extinctions: from small mollusks to giant sharks
Millions of years ago, an 18 meters shark (Megalodon) used to live in all oceans of the world. How did this shark achieve such a large size? When, how and why did it become extinct? In this seminar, I will be talking about how investigating these questions lead us to uncover a previously unrecognised extinction event that not only affected Megalodon, but also, the global marine megafauna. In contrast with the effects of the extinction of small organisms like invertebrates, this extinction event resulted in an important erosion of functional diversity, leaving communities highly vulnerable to future extinctions, like the one we are facing today. We are now forecasting the loss of marine megafaunal functional diversity given the current extinction crisis we are experiencing. I will be presenting the results of this new research, which include the introduction of a new conservation index that aims to link species’ threats to their contributions to functional diversity.
All staff and students welcome.