Judges’ Queries and Presenter’s Replies

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Presentation Discussion

  • Icon for: Peter August

    Peter August

    May 22, 2012 | 04:12 p.m.

    Nice job Hannah. I can’t believe you were able to capture the fish distribution and ecological data for all the time slices. Good detective work adn data synthesis! Have you followed the TNC NAMERA work in the same area? See


    Well done,

    Pete August

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    Jorge Soberon

    May 23, 2012 | 11:56 a.m.

    Extremely clear Hannah! Congratulations. I wonder whether it could be possible to use some real data? This may increase the punch of your presentation.

  • Icon for: Joane Nagel

    Joane Nagel

    May 23, 2012 | 02:34 p.m.

    Fine presentation, excellent poster. Congratulations on a clear explanation of niche modeling and its potential for understanding the impacts of climate change on various species. We’ll look forward to your niche modeling short course this summer at Haskell Indian Nations University climate change Institute.

  • Icon for: Lee McDavid

    Lee McDavid

    May 23, 2012 | 04:25 p.m.

    Nice explanation of niche modeling. Is this something that is widely used?

  • Icon for: Adam Sundberg

    Adam Sundberg

    May 24, 2012 | 04:23 a.m.

    Hannah, I understand Jorge’s position, but in such a limited amount of time, focusing on your two methods kept the video concise, and by extension, simple and straightforward. For those of us outside the field, that clarity was helpful. Excellent job.

  • May 24, 2012 | 01:00 p.m.

    Great presentation, Hannah! Your descriptions of ecological niche modeling and MESS are clear and accessible to a broad audience, and your project is novel and exciting.

  • Further posting is closed as the competition has ended.

Icon for: Hannah Owens


University of Kansas
Years in Grad School: 3

I Wonder Where that Fish Will Go? Predicting Ecological Shifts in the Northwest Atlantic

Alterations in known marine fish distributions as a result of climate change have already been observed. This study aimed to predict the future effects of climate change on the ecology of four key fishery species in the Northwest Atlantic. This question was approached from two perspectives: changes available combinations of variables such as temperature, salinity, and primary productivity, and changes in the degree to which the four species’ ranges overlap in the Northwest Atlantic. To predict how the range of the study species would change in the next 100 years, ecological niche models (ENMs) of each species were developed using climate and species occurrence data. To predict changes in niche variable combinations, Multivariate Environmental Similarity Surface (MESS) analysis was used estimate how future environmental niche space will diverge from currently expressed niche space. These approaches both indicate that in the next fifty years, northwestern Atlantic ecosystems will experience a decrease in the degree of range overlap of key species and an increase in the dissimilarity of future environments to current conditions. However, in the more distant future, these analyses show that these effects will begin to reverse, with areas of suitable habitat and environmental niche space similar to contemporary conditions emerging at higher latitudes.