Category Archives: Uncategorized

New Paper

With summer in full swing the core team is busy researching, completing field work, and planning the fall international conference. More details coming soon!

This past week, a paper was published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B that looks at the individual and joint effects of climate change and land use on vertebrate communities. Using 4 different climate scenarios, the author predicts which driver, or a combination of the two, will threaten regional biodiversity. As emphasized by the Grand Challenge team, taking an integrated approach to climate change research is necessary to evaluating the future for complex landscapes.

The full citation and a link to the paper can be found below:

Newbold, Tim. “Future effects of climate and land-use change on terrestrial vertebrate community diversity under different scenarios.” Proc. R. Soc. B 285.1881 (2018): 20180792.

Fall 2018 Conference

The core team is pleased to announce that the Grand Challenge project will host an international conference on Friday, October 26, 2018 with additional events on Thursday, October 25, 2018. The event will feature discussions on climate vulnerability and adaptation strategies for agriculture and ecosystems in Texas and other semi-arid regions. Confirmed speakers include Dr. Lee Hannah from Conservation International’s (CI) Center for Applied Biodiversity Science and Dr. Chris Field from Stanford’s Woods Institute.  Over the next few months the team is working to finalize the program and solidify logistics.

Check back in July for more information.


Spring 2018 Seminar–Update

On Friday, April 27, Dr. Jerry Hatfield from USDA’s National Laboratory for Agriculture and The Environment visited campus. During his time in College Station, he met with researchers from the Grand Challenge Team,  the Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture, as well as graduate students from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. In these meetings, Dr. Hatfield described some of the innovative work being done at USDA, current interdisciplinary collaborations, and his thoughts on future adaptation strategies for agriculture.

The seminar, titled” Climate Impacts on Agriculture: developing effective adaptation strategies and practices”, detailed current knowledge on the expected impacts of climate change to agriculture through the use of local and national studies. Some examples included: future changes to the yield gap for crops in Indiana and Iowa; the distribution and abundance of pests such as the invasive brown marmorated stink bug; and distribution of palmer amaranth. In order to respond to these changes, Dr. Hatfield went on to suggest adaptation strategies for cropping and livestock systems.

More information and material from the seminar can be found here.

The adaptation workbook Dr. Hatfield described can be found here.

Spring 2018 Seminar


Following the workshop in February, the Core Team wanted to invite a speaker to campus that has researched climate change effects and vulnerabilities at the intersection of agriculture and ecosystems. Given that this is relatively specific expertise, the team went through a brainstorming process to try and find a candidate that would be able to provide this specific knowledge.

The goal of the seminar is to learn about relevant research related to the Grand Challenge project but also serve as an example of how research can occur at the intersection of both agriculture and ecosystems. The seminar will also generate discussion on campus of climate vulnerability and adaptation as well as draw attention to the issue. This unifying seminar will help direct future research within the group and stimulate additional research questions.

With this in mind, the team is pleased to announce that Dr. Jerry Hatfield will be visiting campus on April 27 to meet with interested researchers and deliver a seminar. Dr. Hatfield is an accomplished researcher and has served on a number of committees, organizations, and in advisory roles.   You can read more about Dr. Hatfield’s positions and research interests here. Details for his seminar are below or can be found here.

Please see the flyer below and join us  for his seminar.



Relevant paper recently published

A recent article in Science looked at earth system models and advances in models for terrestrial and marine systems. The article discusses some of the same issues our researchers touched on at the most recent workshop. Thanks go to team member Dr. Kirk Winemiller for sharing the article with the group!

The full citation is below and a link to the full text for the article can be found here.

Bonan, Gordon B., and Scott C. Doney. “Climate, ecosystems, and planetary futures: The challenge to predict life in Earth system models.” Science 359, no. 6375 (2018).