UCL Division of Biosciences


CBER External Seminar - Professor Marc Cadotte, University of Toronto

06 March 2023, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm


Title: 'Functioning in a stressed world: Understanding the interaction between anthropogenic stressors and biodiversity and ecosystem functioning'

Event Information

Open to

UCL staff | UCL students | UCL alumni


Amy Godfrey


Room 301
UCL East


Human-caused change is altering biodiversity and ecosystem processes across spatial scales.  Biodiversity is the foundation for the functioning of healthy ecosystems and for providing economic and other benefits to human wellbeing. Twenty years of experiments confirm such biodiversity-ecosystem function (BEF) relationships, but putting this research into real-world environmental change and management scenarios has been surprisingly limited. Environmental change drivers (hereafter referred to as stressors) can impact species differently, with positive, neutral, and negative impacts on their fitness, carrying capacity, interactions, and access to resources -and so predicting the impacts of multiple stressors on changes to biodiversity and ecosystem functioning can be complex. In this talk, I examine how biodiversity influences ecosystem functioning, and then focus on how stressors alter species contributions to function and the nature of the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. I use theoretical models to examine how multiple stressors could impact BEF relationships, and then test this with experiments. I will then scale up these predictions to BEF patterns in different scenarios under anthropogenic stressors. I end off with how this research can provide insights and guidance to studying and managing biodiversity in cities. 

About the Speaker

Professor Marc Cadotte

Director of the Centre for Environmental Research in the Anthropocene (CERA) at University of Toronto, Scarborough

Prof. Marc Cadotte was trained as a community ecologist, first as an MSc student under Jonathan Lovett-Doust at the University of Windsor in Canada, examining the effects of forest fragmentation on forest structure in Madagascar coastal rain forests, then as a PhD student with Jim Drake at the University of Tennessee combining ecological theory with experiments (PhD 2006). He was postdoctoral research fellow at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis in Santa Barbara, California, USA, where he examined the role of evolutionary relationships among species in influencing the health and functioning of ecosystems. He is currently a Professor of biological sciences at the University of Toronto-Scarborough where he also held the term-limited endowed TD Professor of Urban Forest Conservation and Biology chair (2013-2019).

More about Professor Marc Cadotte