Each participating student will give a seminar presentation to the entire class. For undergraduates, seminars should be 15 minutes long with 5 minutes for discussion and elaboration. For grad students, seminars should be 25 minutes, again with time for questions. We will undertake these seminars a day or two after we arrive at the field station (ensure that your presentations are available on a memory stick or SD card and preferably in pdf or older PowerPoint format). Be sure to use Brazil and Latin America as your touchstone for these seminars, but also compare to Canada and other countries to provide context. For example, for taxon specific seminars: How many species are there in Brazil versus Canada? How does each country rank in terms of global biodiversity? Where do most species occur in terms of habitat and geography? Why are some groups so speciose/ depauperate? Which families or orders (or other higher-level taxon) tend to dominate in Brazil? What proportion of species is endemic? For other topics, be sure to use Brazilian or Latin American case studies, provide Brazilian context, or situate Brazil geographically. For example, for such topics as ecotourisim or conservation in agricultural landscapes, be sure to find examples that are Brazil- or South America-specific. Be sure to impart rigor to your talk (e.g. not simply a slide show of pretty pictures, but a thorough treatment of the topic that you have been charged with). Order of presentation will be according to the ordered list on our web site below. We ask that you provide a one-page summary hand-out and make enough copies for everyone.

Your talk will be evaluated based on: Background & Context, Content & Thoroughness, Visuals, and Presentation style. We have prepared a Seminar Evaluation 2020 sheet. These will provide additional insights into grading. Evaluation will be done both by your peers and by the instructors. Please try to print off 25 of these and bring them with you.

Tips for giving a good seminar can be found | here |

  1. Geology of coastal Brazil (bedrock origins, age of mountains, plate tectonics etc.) [Emily Pountney]
  2. Phytogeography of the Atlantic Coastal Forest. Vegetation patterns, biomes and ecozones, and factors that influence them (e.g. topography, geology, climate). [Amelie Mahrt-Smith]
  3. Zonation in the intertidal zones. [Ani Marcus]
  4. Mangroves. Adaptations, evolutionary origins, and ecological importance. [Kayleigh Casmey]
  5. Epiphytes. Definition, types, environmental challenges, and diversity. [Darcey Pearson]
  6. Mammals: Patterns of diversity, ecology, biogeographic origins, and conservation. [Cheyenne Kammerer]
  7. Birds: Patterns of diversity, ecology, biogeographic origins, and conservation. [Soulaine Theocharides]
  8. Amphibians: Patterns of diversity, ecology, biogeographic origins, and conservation. [Arjun Augustine]
  9. Reptiles: Patterns of diversity, ecology, biogeographic origins, and conservation. [Alex Cameron]
  10. DNA Barcoding. Species discovery, controversies, and value. [Sierra Proud]
  11. Gap dynamics and the intermediate disturbance hypothesis and their importance in maintaining biodiversity. [Sean Vanderluit]
  12. Co-evolution: definition, diagnosis, and compelling tropical empirical examples. [Hayden Wainright]
  13. The latitudinal gradient – pattern, global generality and major classes of hypotheses for its existence. [Riley Gridzak]
  14. Biodiversity hotspots. Definitions, ecological and evolutionary reasons for elevated diversity, and importance in conservation. Emphasis on Brazil and South American examples. [Meghan Hamp]
  15. Impacts of agriculture on biodiversity. Comparing monocultural to polycultural practices. Industrial to local and subsistence agriculture. [Kristen Hayeard]
  16. Global climate change and its potential influence on species and habitat distributions. [Emma Lachance Linklater]
  17. The green economy and carbon credits for conservation. Definition, effectiveness and alternatives. [Emily Landon]
  18. Ecotourism and conservation. Benefits and points of concern. [Maleeka Thaker]
  19. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna. History, implementation and effectiveness. [Allen Tian]
  20. Feeding the world: Crops that Originated in the New World. [Heather Vanderlip]