MONDAY 16th MARCH 2020
THE TEMPLE BAR
Kornhamnstorg 55, Stockholm
“Landscapes of fear”: Navigating a world of perilous predators
Imagine you’re a wildebeest on the savanna. You spend your days running around after mates, chowing down on grass, and hanging out by the waterhole. An idyllic existence? WRONG! Each of these activities is fraught with danger: behind every boulder and blade of grass, predators lurk. But if you spent all day evading every lion, leopard, hyena, cheetah, and wild dog in the Serengeti, you’d starve or forgo the chance to create the next generation of wildebeest. The choices you make represent a trade-off between getting your own lunch and avoiding becoming someone else’s. Prey animals like wildebeest can form a ‘mental map’ of these trade-offs, that is, of how predator danger (risk) and food and mates (reward) are distributed throughout their habitats. We call this map a landscape of fear, and the decisions animals make as they navigate this landscape have important consequences not only for their own survival and reproduction, but for the functioning of entire ecosystems. I will talk about the strategies animals use to escape from predators, the ecosystem-wide consequences of these anti-predator behaviors, and how we can rebuild the relationships between predators and prey when conserving and restoring wilderness areas.
Aerosols, clouds and climate – measurements of tiny particles around the globe to understand a big problem
Climate change is a big topic these days (or at least it was until a few weeks ago…), and it is a problem with many different aspects, from science to society. I am one of the many people who try to better understand how Earth and Climate work, in order to better be able to predict the future climate. The focus of my work are atmospheric aerosols, tiny particles in the air, which are for example part of haze or smog. I study them in many different locations around the world, from India to Bolivia. I will explain where these particles come from, and show the crucial role they play for our climate.