Leon A. Tkacenko, a doctoral candidate in Rutgers Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources attended and presented his research at the 3rd Species on the Move Conference in Bonita Springs, Florida. Tckacenko reports below on his experience:
Species on the Move is a meeting across ecological disciplines and social sciences focused on the impacts and implications of species moving beyond and within their ranges due to climate change. Species on the Move is a global conference that is held every three years at different locations. Throughout the conference there were sessions focusing on a variety of topics, from climate extinctions, to invasive species, to how moving species influences and drives art. It was incredibly interesting experiencing such a diverse array of sessions all revolving around the same underlying topic, species range movements due to climate change.
Attending Species on the Move was particularly beneficial to my research and science as it helped introduce me to a wide array of interesting research outside of my direct work. The work I presented on focuses on how we may be able to achieve a better understanding of the impacts of climate change on threatened birds by utilizing climate data from non-native populations. My work uses many of the same methodologies utilized in other work presented at this conference. The conference facilitated interactions with those researchers working on similar topics or methodologies to me from around the world. We had many interesting conversations throughout the conference which helped me to continue developing my current project, as well as helped to seed ideas for future projects. In particular, I had several conversations immediately following my session talk with other scientists working on species distribution models, that were very helpful to my research. Additionally, I was able to make connections with researchers from across the world who I hope to be able to collaborate with in the future. Attending Species on the Move was an incredibly important experience, that has implications for the research I am currently conducting, and hopefully, implications for research and collaborations going into the future.