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Screen shot from CeMEB webinar
Instead of meeting for a conference at Tjärnö Marine Laboratory, as originally planned, the researchers gathered on the web to share presentations and discuss the results. In addition, registered participants logged in to listen and ask questions.

Succesful webinar on species re-distribution


In March, CeMEB organized a three-day webinar on the evolution of species ranges. With more than 200 registered participants the meeting reached a large audience, including leading scientists in the field, but also environmental agencies. Here, main organizer Marina Rafajlovic comments the outcome of the webinar.

Marina Rafajlovic.
Marina Rafajlovic.
Photo: Hasselblad foundation

Why did you organize this webinar?

Rapid and severe global climate change is occurring now, and it is expected to cause major loss of biodiversity in the near future, both on regional and global geographic scales. It is, therefore, of utmost importance to collect adequate, practical knowledge on the key ecological and evolutionary factors implicated in the changes in species’ ranges and their long-term contributions to ecosystems in the face of global climate change. This knowledge will be crucial in the quest to mitigate the expected loss of biodiversity.

What is the ”take-home-message” from the meeting?

A promising way forward is to strengthen the link between empirical and theoretical research, approaching similar questions from multiple angles. For me, it was particularly interesting to see that ideas from traditionally different fields – ecology and evolution – have started to converge. This will help moving the field forward.  

What will happen now?

The next step is to work on the Theme Issue “Evolution of Species’ Ranges in the Face of Changing Environments” for the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B.  We have invited researchers to contribute to this issue that will be published in the beginning of the next year.

Follow up meeting suggested – stay tuned!

In addition, many of the invited speakers expressed an interest to continue interacting and developing further ideas that have emerged during this meeting, possibly during a new in-person meeting following the publication of the Theme Issue. This would  indeed be a great opportunity,  and we are considering this option. So please, stay tuned!