University of Wisconsin–Madison

ACES Symposium 2017

Abrupt Change in Ecological Systems (ACES) is hosting a symposium on October 17th. We hope you’ll join us for an exciting afternoon of talks and posters on cutting edge research looking at abrupt ecological changes occurring in Wisconsin and beyond!

Event Details:

Where: Pyle Alumni Lounge, Pyle Center

When: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Tuesday 17 October 2017
1:00 – 6:00 pm

Who: This even is free and open to all.

See below for a list of speakers and opportunities to present a poster.


Event description:

Context: Ecological systems often change abruptly (fast in time, or fast relative to drivers), and abrupt changes are becoming more common as rates of environmental change accelerate. Such changes often arrive with little warning and lead to rapid shifts in biodiversity, natural resources, ecosystem services, and human wellbeing. Ecologists have long studied the patterns, directions, and tempos of change, but science still struggles to predict when, where, and why abrupt and fundamental changes are likely to occur in ecosystems. Meeting this challenge requires close integration of novel theoretical approaches and high-quality empirical data from diverse ecosystems. Understanding and predicting abrupt change in ecological systems (ACES) is among the biggest challenges in contemporary ecology.

Goals: This half-day symposium highlights current research at UW-Madison that aims to detect and explain ACES, and to bridge the gap between existing theory and what is testable and measurable in the real world. The event features research talks by a broad array of UW-Madison faculty and postdoctoral researchers, a keynote lecture by Steve Carpenter, a poster session, and reception. Supported by the UW2020 initiative, the symposium will catalyze discussion among campus researchers and identify opportunities for collaboration and enhanced leadership.

Call for posters: Posters are invited from any UW-Madison researcher (faculty, staff, postdoc, graduate student, undergraduate) working on topics related to abrupt ecological change. Please email your name, affiliation, and poster title by 10 October 2017 to Dr. Tanjona Ramiadantsoa (

Schedule of Speakers: presenter and topic/title
1:00-1:05 Monica Turner, Welcome and introduction
1:05-1:20 Zak Ratajczak, “Making sense of abrupt ecological change”
1:20-1:35 Jon Pauli, Abrupt collapse of snowshoe hare in Wisconsin
1:35-1:50 Jake Vander Zanden, Non-native species invasions & abrupt change
1:50-2:05 Jien Zhang, Detecting ACES in managed systems: trends in US crop yield
2:05-2:25 Break
2:25-2:40 Allison Stegner, Detecting abrupt change in paleo forests
2:40-2:55 Tanjona Ramiadantsoa, Modeling abrupt change in paleo forests
2:55-3:10 Karen Strier, Disease and abrupt change in primate populations
3:10-3:25 Ken Raffa, Causes of sudden insect outbreaks/epidemics
3:25-3:45 Break
3:45-4:45 Steve Carpenter, Keynote: “Synthesis and emerging research opportunities for ACES”
4:45-6:00 Poster session and reception (food and cash bar)