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Ice Age Vertebrates and Environmental Change: When is a species?
March 23, 2018 • 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
ABS Seminar co-hosted with the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences
Presented by Dr. Jim Mead, Professor and Chair, Dept. of Geosciences, East Tennessee State University (website)
Abstract: There are a variety of definitions of a species differing from Biological Species, Paleontological or Fossil (Morphological, Typological, Phenetic) Species, Chronospecies, Phylogenetic Species, Molecular Species, Ecospecies, among others. When do you use which? And there are a variety of mechanisms employed by researchers when assigning a species or describing a new species. Views by neontologists and paleontologists often differ. Land and resource managers often pick and choose a definition of species depending on existing policies, interpretations of policies, politics, and other mitigating issues. My discussion will be about how, why, and when does one create a new species based on the fossil remains. I will give examples about bison, mountain goats, mountain sheep, and sea mink, among others. I will present a personal case about a ‘species’ issue and the resource/land management at Grand Canyon National Park.