Abstract: Because coastal fisheries have been a major provider of food and economic growth in modern human history, the inherent characteristics of fish populations have been studied by researchers for over a century. All this work has led to a rich understanding of the way demographic traits—such as growth, life span, and rates of mortality—relate to each other to shape the way populations persist through time, including how vulnerable a species may be to fishing pressure. However, in a world facing rapid climate-driven changes to ecosystems as well as increasing pressure from human extraction, biological peculiarities are becoming evident. This talk will cover two recent studies that highlight the ways demographic plasticity in coral reef fishes affects the resilience of species and potentially the resilience of reef ecosystems.
Biography: Brett Taylor is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Australian Institute of Marine Science in Perth, Western Australia. He has worked extensively on coral reef fishes and fisheries across the Indo-Pacific for over a decade. Much of this work has focused on age-based demographic dynamics, including species responses to overexploitation, interactions with environmental disturbance, and biogeographic gradients of life-history variation.