Fate of the Caribou: Movements, Memory and Coproduction of Knowledge

Institute Seminar by Eliezer Gurarie

  • Date: Jun 25, 2024
  • Time: 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM (Local Time Germany)
  • Speaker: Eliezer Gurarie
  • Dr. Elie Gurarie is a professor of wildlife ecology at the State University of New York - College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, New York, USA. He obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Washington in Seattle and has worked at the Universities of Finland, Maryland and Wisconsin, with a breadth of field experience in various mostly Arctic and sub-Arctic marine and terrestrial systems. He studies, broadly, the mechanisms by which animals navigate and thrive (or fail to thrive) in dynamic and complex environments. He combines spatial and movement ecology with population and community ecology, developing novel statistical and methodological tools and occasional theory, with an eye both on fundamental questions in ecology and highly applied problems in conservation.
  • Location: Bückle St. 5a, 78467 Konstanz
  • Room: Seminar room MPI-AB Bücklestrasse + Online
  • Host: Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior
  • Contact: ehurme@ab.mpg.de
Fate of the Caribou: Movements, Memory and Coproduction of Knowledge
Caribou and reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) are perhaps the single most important terrestrial animal in the Arctic: an ecological keystone that is also of incalculable material and cultural importance to circumpolar Indigenous communities. Their migrations, spanning the northern edges of the boreal forests to the coastal tundra, are the largest movements of a terrestrial mammal in the world. Even as the Arctic warms and anthropogenic impacts accelerate, the global population of migratory caribou has declined - in some places precipitously - and their ranges and movement behaviors have undergone dramatic contractions and shifts. We are engaged in a multidisciplinary, large-scale effort to study the causes and consequences of these range shifts and population declines. I will present some of our findings and approaches with an emphasis on the ways our work is guided by the knowledge and interests of our Indigenous partners. I will also discuss novel approaches to studying the role social cognition and spatial memory in understanding how wide-ranging animals can adaptively navigate a dynamic and rapidly changing environment.

The MPI-AB Seminar Series is open to members of MPI and Uni Konstanz. The zoom link is published each week in the MPI-AB newsletter.

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