Tuesday, August 8, 2017: 8:00 AM-11:30 AM
Portland Blrm 251, Oregon Convention Center
Bruce A. Menge, Oregon State University
Anne K. Salomon, Simon Fraser University
Peter Kareiva, University of California, Los Angeles
In his long career, Robert T Paine mentored numerous students, collaborated with a diversity of colleagues, and ultimately directly or indirectly produced an academic family of over 325 scientists. Through his own research, with his notable demonstration and naming of keystone predators and trophic cascades, and that of his “family,” his impact on the field of ecology was immense. In this symposium, we honor the legacy of this ecological giant through the device of his academic tree. Speakers represent several of the many “branches” of this prolific tree, and will discuss their particular career paths in the context of Paine’s influence on their intellectual development and growth. Bruce Menge will recount how Paine provided focus, launching him on a career that expanded in scope from population to community to ecosystem to meta-ecosystem ecology, linking ecological concepts to a deep empirical understanding of the systems he studied. Anne Salomon will share how Paine influenced her focus on the cascading effects of predator depletion on temperate reef food webs, alternative state dynamics, and the resilience of social-ecological systems. Simon Levin will trace the steps that led him from visiting Tatoosh Island with Paine in the 1970’s to subsequent collaborative studies of patch dynamics to his current interest in the parallels between ecological systems and financial and economic systems, particularly with regard to what makes them vulnerable to collapse, and to the evolution and development of structure and organization. Jane Lubchenco will relate her discovery of the excitement of ecology through interactions with Paine and her decision to switch advisors to him, and how that led to her current focus on linking science and policy, particularly in relation to ocean conservation. Jim Estes will recount his fortuitous meeting with Paine on Amchitka Island in 1971, Paine’s urging him to think about sea otters from the perspective of top-down forcing, and how that advice defined much of the rest of Estes’ career. Mary Power will discuss Paine’s influence on her studies of freshwater stream and river communities, her demonstration of trophic cascades in such systems, and how his impact help shape her career track. Collectively, speakers will present a perspective on the modern state of ecology and conservation biology in a time of unprecedented ecological change, and how Paine’s early and lasting influence helped shape its current form.