Patagonia Geology – NESCent Workshop

Title: “Perspectives on the Origin and Conservation of Biodiversity in Patagonia”
Organizers: Jack W. Sites, Jr. and Daniel G. Faith
Dates: 16–19 June 2008
Location: Duke University, Durham, NC

Themes of the Discussion:

  1. What do we currently know about Patagonian Miocene geological/climatic history, and is this knowledge sufficient to make a priori temporal/spatial predictions about diversification in freshwater and terrestrial groups?
  2. How might the fledgling efforts in Patagonia benefit from multi-species comparative phylogeographic studies in other regions?
  3. What new analytical methods (coalescent methods, niche modeling) might be applied to current research efforts, or incorporated into the next round of diversification studies in Patagonia?
  4. How can conceptual ideas from ecology be synthesized with ongoing or the next round speciation/biodiversity studies?
  5. How can the data being collected, and planned future studies, be incorporated into relevant databases and brought into biodiversity conservation efforts?

Discussions will center on:

  1. Addressing the question “What is an integrated biodiversity research plan?”
  2. New tools/methods (in comparative phylogeography)
  3. Effective linkages to DIVERSITAS/GBIF objectives, the emerging GEO Global Biodiversity Observation Network, and conservation
  4. Future collaborative review papers, research proposals, etc.
  5. Information exchange across disciplines


Day 1

7:45 AM first Millenium shuttle to NESCent
8:00 last Millenium shuttle to NESCent
8:30 AM short introductions by JW Sites, Jr. & D. Faith (10 min each)
8:50 AM NESCent introductions/who they are/what they are about/details of support for our meeting/how things will be run/filing claims for reimbursements, etc.
9:00 AM The PIRE Patagonia Project—Jerry
9:45 BREAK
10:15 goals/objectives for Catalysis meeting (JWS/Dan; see above 5 points); what products do we envision?
11:00 AM open up to the group—what goals/objectives/products do we envision?
12:00 PM LOCAL LUNCH (Jeff Sturkey [NESCent] says there are a lot of places close by)
1:30 PM How might geological processes (in Mio-Plio-Pleistocence time frames) impact Recent species distributions?
  • J. Rabassa* (15 min) (*designated ‘leader’)
    “Chronology of the Late Cenozoic Patagonian glaciations and their correlation with biostratigraphic units of the Pampean region (Argentina)”
    “Late Cenozoic Glaciations in Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego”
  • D. Ariztegui (15 min)
    “Late Pleistocene Environmental Change in Eastern Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego – A Limnogeological Approach”
  • P. Moreno (15 min)
    “Abrupt vegetation changes during the last glacial to Holocene transition in mid-latitude South America”
  • “Millennial-scale climate variability in northwest Patagonia over the last 15 000 yr”
    2:15 group discussion—focus on goals/objectives/products
    2:45 BREAK
    3:15 breakout groups; self-select?
    4:00 PM regroup and summarize results of group discussions (with respect to goals/objectives/products)
    5:00-5:30 PM decompression
    6:30 DINNER
    8:30 shuttle from NESCent back to the Millenium Hotel

    Day 2

    7:45 first Millenium shuttle to NESCent
    8:00 last Millenium shuttle to NESCent
    8:30 multi-species systems—what can we learn from other studies?

  • Jim McGuire (15 min)
    “Phylogenetic Systematics and Biogeography of Hummingbirds: Bayesian and Maximum Likelihood Analyses of Partitioned Data and Selection of an Appropriate Partitioning Strategy”
    “Mitochondrial Introgression and Incomplete Lineage Sorting through Space and Time: Phylogenetics of Crotaphytid Lizards”
  • Ann Yoder* (15 min)
    “Has Vicariance or Dispersal Been the Predominant Biogeographic Force in Madagascar? Only Time Will Tell”
    “The role of molecular genetics in sculpting the future of integrative biogeography”
  • Jon Waters (15 min)
    “Geological Dates and Molecular Rates: Fish DNA Sheds Light on Time Dependency”
  • 9:15 group discussion—focus on goals/objectives/questions
    9:45 BREAK
    10:15 new approaches to comparative phylogeography

  • Catherine Graham* (15 min)
    “The effect of sample size and species characteristics on performance of different species distribution modeling methods”
    “A comparison of methods for mapping species ranges and species richness”
  • Bryan Carstens (15 min)
    “Investigating the evolutionary history of the pacific northwest mesic forest ecosystem: hypothesis testing within a comparative phylogeographic framework”
  • Mike Hickerson (15 min)
    “msBayes: Pipeline for testing comparative phylogeographic histories using hierarchical approximate Bayesian computation”
    “Comparative phylogeographic summary statistics for testing simultaneous vicariance”
  • David Kidd (15 min)
    “Geophylogenies” (map)
  • 11:15 breakout groups
    12:00–1:15 pm LUNCH (close by again)
    1:30 regroup and summarize results of group discussions
    2:30 broader implications/new directions—what can we learn from other studies?

  • Christy McCain (15 min)
    “Could temperature and water availability drive elevational species richness patterns? A global case study for bats”
  • Jeannine Cavender-Bares* (15 min)
  • “Phylogenetic Overdispersion in Floridian Oak Communities”
  • Brian McGill (15 min)
    “Species abundance distributions: moving beyond single prediction theories to integration within an ecological framework”
  • 3:15 BREAK
    3:45 break-out groups; self-select, but different from previous teams
    4:30 regroup and summarize results—goals/objectives/products
    5:15–5:30 pm decompression
    6:30 DINNER
    8:30 shuttle from NESCent back to the Millenium Hotel

    Day 3

    7:45 AM first Millenium shuttle to NESCent
    8:00 last Millenium shuttle to NESCent
    8:30 conservation and data-basing implications
  • Dan Faith* (15 min)

  • “Getting biodiversity intactness indices right: ensuring that ‘biodiversity’ reflects ‘diversity’”
  • Jeremy Kerr (15 min)

  • “The Macroecological Contribution to Global Change Solutions”
    “Tests of the mid-domain hypothesis: a review of the evidence”
  • Simon Ferrier (15 min)

  • “Using generalized dissimilarity modelling to analyse and predict patterns of beta diversity in regional biodiversity assessment”
  • Leslie Rissler (15 min)

  • “Adding More Ecology into Species Delimitation: Ecological Niche Models and Phylogeography Help Define Cryptic Species in the Black Salamander(Aneides flavipunctatus)”
    9:30 AM break-out groups; self select, but rotate again
    10:15 AM BREAK
    10:45 AM regroup and summarize results; develop final list of longer-term goals, objectives, products, new collaborations, etc.

    Possible additional key themes for discussion:
  • how DNA barcoding may/may not be used for conservation assessments
  • phylogeny and climate change impacts
  • 12:00 NOON LUNCH or DEPART (For light reading, see “Rise of the Andes”)
    1:30 PM begin annual meeting of PIRE Patagonia Project (Catalysis Group members welcome if they must wait on late flights)
    8:30 PM shuttle from NESCent back to the Millenium Hotel