SICB Annual Meeting 2018
January 3-7, 2018
San Francisco, CA

Symposium: Measuring Biodiversity and Extinction – Present and Past

Changing biodiversity is a major concern for all biologists. Anthropogenic changes to our planet are decreasing species diversity through the negative impacts of pollution, habitat destruction, direct extirpation of species, and climate change. Mass extinction events (and subsequent recoveries) have happened before in Earth’s history, and these provide important context to understand ecological responses to modern environmental change. The work of assessing biodiversity is woven into ecology, environmental science, conservation, phylogenetics, evo-devo, and many other disciplines; yet, ultimately the way we measure species diversity depends on taxonomy and systematics. The aspiration of this symposium, and complementary contributed talks, is to promote better understanding of our common goals and encourage future interdisciplinary discussion on biodiversity dynamics. The symposium will bring together a diverse group of speakers to confront several important themes:

1. How can biologists best respond to the urgent need to identify and conserve diversity?

2. Where are the major gaps in knowledge about the diversity of living animal groups, and what are the implications for understanding potential diversity loss?

3. How can we effectively use the fossil record of past diversity and extinction to understand current biodiversity loss?

Sponsors: DEDE, DIZ, DPCB

This symposium has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement H2020-MSCA-IF-2014-655661


  • Julia Sigwart, Queen’s University Belfast (N. Ireland), and University of California Berkeley


S11-1 Sunday, Jan. 7, 08:30 BENNETT, KD: Intersection of Quaternary climate oscillations and the generation of biodiversity: crucial or irrelevant?

S11-2 Sunday, Jan. 7, 09:00 PADIAN, K: Measuring and comparing extinction events: reconsidering diversity crises and concepts

S11-3 Sunday, Jan. 7, 10:00 EDIE, SM*; COLLINS, KS; HUANG, S; ROY, K; VALENTINE, JW; JABLONSKI, D: Extinction, climate, and the dynamics of biodiversity: Analyses of living and fossil marine bivalves

S11-4 Sunday, Jan. 7, 10:30 MANDER, L: Modern and Ancient Plant Biodiversity: what use are Pollen Grains?

S11-5 Sunday, Jan. 7, 11:00 YEUNG, NW*; HAYES, KA: Extinction of the hyperdiverse Hawaiian land snail fauna: What remains and what are we doing to save it?

S11-6 Sunday, Jan. 7, 11:30 RABOSKY, Daniel L: Speciation, extinction, and the assembly of global vertebrate diversity

S11-7 Sunday, Jan. 7, 13:30 SIGWART, Julia D.; SIGWART, Julia: Measuring biodiversity and extinction: can global patterns help the species discovery process?

S11-8 Sunday, Jan. 7, 14:00 OKAMURA, B*; HARTIGAN, A; NALDONI, J; OKAMURA, Beth: Extensive uncharted biodiversity: the parasite dimension

S11-9 Sunday, Jan. 7, 14:30 WHEELER, QD: Blank Canvas: The Case for Descriptive Taxonomy

S11-10 Sunday, Jan. 7, 15:00 WINSTON, J E; WINSTON, Judith: 21st Century Biological Nomenclature—the Power of Names

Complementary Session: Session 104

Banner photos and images by Julia Sigwart, Keith Bennett, Quentin Wheeler, and Stewart Edie. .