Winter 2018 - Carrie Tyler

Ecological Networks: The Impacts of Invasion on Paleocommunity Dynamics

March 16, 2018

The Grace Anne Stewart Speakers Series is excited to announce that Dr. Carrie Tyler from Miami University (Oxford, Ohio) will be visiting our Department March 16. She will be delivering a keynote address at noon, but we invite all members of the department to chat with her over lunch or to sign up for a private meeting. Please email the for more information.


The fossil record documents dramatic ecosystem changes that can be used to understand how and why past ecosystems have changed. But can we use paleocommunities as an analog for modern communities? In this talk, after assessing the reliability of the fossil record, we will examine the effects of invasion on marine paleocommunities by comparing modeled food web structure, stability, and resilience during the Late Ordovician. We find that the growing consensus is that skeletal remains and fossil assemblages can be used to evaluate changes in ecosystems today. Thus, our findings have important consequences for conservation and management efforts, as they suggest that (1) invasion led to destabilization and loss of resilience, and (2) that functional richness may play a more critical role in long-term ecosystem stability and persistence than biodiversity.


Dr. Tyler is an Assistant Professor at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She received her Ph.D. in Geosciences at the Virginia Tech and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida. She currently holds two NSF grants investigating the biotic interactions of echinoids, and modelling community complexity and stability through periods of biotic escalation and community disturbance.

Research Interests:

Dr. Tyler is a palaeobiologist, conducting research which investigates processes governing the distribution, palaeoecology, and evolution of marine invertebrates, the role of taphonomy and the fidelity of the fossil record in the development of macro-evolutionary and macro-ecological models, the application and development of quantitative palaeontological methods, morphometrics and functional morphology of marine invertebrates, and ecosystems response to and recovery from perturbation.

Carrie Tyler