Disentangling biodiversity signals from sampling and geological biases
Speaker: Alistair J. McGowan (University of Glasgow,School of Geographical and Earth Sciences, University of Glasgow/British Geological Survey)
As a quantitative palaeobiologist, the challenge I am faced with is extracting the signal of genuine biodiversity change from a noisy fossil record. Although palaeobiologists have made considerable progress in adapting ecological tools and methods to tackle sampling biases, the rock record is a unique challenge. My talk will give a broad overview of the problems of reconstructing the evolutionary trajectories of fossil taxa and communities and explain some of the spatial explicit analytical approaches I am attempting to adapt from my experience in ornithological fieldsurveys to tackle these problems.I will also discuss the challenges of data intensive research in biodiversity and my new collaboration with ScotGrid that is aimed at improving our ability to search and process large, complex data sets.