Universal Diversity Patterns Across the Sciences - Agenda

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Monday, February 23

Introductory thoughts about universal diversity patterns, representing a 20 minute presentation followed by 10 minutes of discussion

8:45-9:00 Welcome

9:00-9:30 David Storch

9:30-10:00 Fangliang He

10:00-10:30 Brian McGill

10:30-11:00 Jim Brown

11:30-12:00 Jeff Nekola

12:00-1:00 Lunch

1:00-1:30 Arnost Sizling

1:30-2:00 Jordan Okie

2:00-2:30 Marcus Hamilton

2:30-5:00 What diversity patterns are truly universal? Perhaps some of out tentative patterns are not actually universal and should be ignored. And, perhaps there are others that warrant consideration. For the rest of the afternoon we’ll finalize our target list of the truly universal patterns that we should focus on for the remainder of the week.

The following itinerary is highly preliminary. My hope is that the discussions from Monday will more than fuel the next three days of interactions, and I do not want this Agenda to interfere with whatever may organically evolve from our discussions. I see our principle goal to be the initiation of a strong group of collaborative interactions and a broader view of the series of issues that confront us with this topic. For sake of argument, I’ve organized the following sessions by potential universal pattern, and for that time slot, we’ll consider what general mathematical processes and limitations may underlie them:

Tuesday, February 24

9:00-12:00 Negative power-law/exponential (??) distribution of event size (aka the species abundance distribution).

12:00-1:00 Lunch

1:00-5:00 Power law accumulation of unique events (aka the species area/time relationship)

Wednesday, February 25 9:00-12:00 Exponential (??) decrease of similarity with increasing spatial/temporal distance

12:00-1:00 Lunch

1:00-5:00 Quarter-power scaling of energy use

evening: group dinner at O’Keefe’s

Thursday, February 26 9:00-12:00 What patterns and distributions actually inform about process within a given discipline? What patterns and distributions are uninformative?

12:00-1:00 Lunch

1:00-5:00 Where do we go from here? The next steps needed to better understand Universal Diversity issues. Are there any papers that we can write currently about this topic? Are there further analyses to conduct and models to test, and collaborations we need to support? How should we best keep in contact to further the work we have begun this week? Are more face to face meetings necessary, and if so, how should we attempt to fund them?

Friday, February 27 I’d be curious to know how many people will not need to leave New Mexico until mid-late afternoon, as I’d be happy to informally continue these discussions at the hotel or other venue until the last person has departed. It is possible we could do this at the Brown Lab in Albuquerque, departing Santa Fe by the Railrunner train at either 7:12 or 11:30 AM. The cost is $8, which also allows for free use of the Albuquerque buses. There is a bus every half hour that runs from campus to the airport, that ride takes ~15 minutes.