Nick Famoso – Chief Paleontologist from John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, National Park Service

Title: In the shadow of volcanoes
Abstract: It is clear that ecosystems are devastated after a volcanic eruption coats the landscape with a layer of ash; however, the ecological recovery of the local groups of mammals after eruptions is poorly understood. Volcanic eruptions vary with magnitude and type and only a fraction of them have been analyzed for effects on the groups of mammals that live in the area of devastation. To better understand the recovery of these effected communities, we will look at ecological changes across modern volcanic boundaries in the 1980 Mount St. Helens (MSH), Washington, and 1914-1917 Mount Lassen, California, eruptions. We will then then investigate the fossil record specifically focusing on the extremely volcanically perturbated Oligocene record at John Day Fossil Beds National Monument in central and eastern Oregon. We will also look at some other examples of volcanically perturbated ecosystems throughout the Cenozoic and how mammals have adapted to volcanism across the globe.

Where: RUCH 103
When: Monday, September 9th
Time: 3:00pm
Directions: Map